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Melenie

Virtual Schools that you have used and recomend

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DD is completing 4th this year and I would like to look at all of our HS options for her 5th grade year next year.  I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the thought of the middle grades and want to investigate virtual schools a bit more.  We live in Florida, I know there is FLVS, I have seen Calvert around on the boards here, but are there any others worth looking into?  I would like something that offers good support and is especially good at teaching composition.  DD is behind in math as well, if that makes a difference.  I prefer something classical, but I can be flexible.

 

Thanks,

 

 

 

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Are you looking for an independent study program through a private school (like Calvert, Seton, Abeka Academy, etc.)? Or are you looking for a charter or other PS program?

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I would prefer us to keep our HS status.  From what I can tell we can do that with Calvert and FLVS, but I do not know of any others.

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Laurel Springs School

 

K12 either the iCademy or as an Independent {which is what we do}

 

Memoria Press {has online classes, too.}

 

For Math, CLE.

 

 

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Thanks Paradox5.  I have looked into the Memoria Press classes and I think DD would like them.  It may be a good way to ease her into virtual school.

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Our local school district in Florida uses Calvert for K-5, and then they switch to K12.  It's separate from FLVS, though. I do know that Calvert will provide remedial math or reading/writing, if necessary.

 

Know that if you use FLVS or a local virtual, usually you have to take the FCAT.

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K12 has an independent study option.  Their curriculum is sort of classical.  You can choose which level of each subject when you go this route too and they have placement tests for free for math and LA. It is a paid option to go Independent study but every thing is scripted and at 4th grade it is written to the student so they can just login and do their assignments.  

 

I use Math in Focus which is what cavert uses if you google Math In Focus placement test you can estimate about where she would be there.  We really like MIF... dd is in 4th grade but only in the 3rd grade books but does fine on the standardized tests for her actual grade.  

 

Hope this helps a little.

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American School's GENERAL course was a perfect fit for my oldest son. He started the GENERAL diploma option at an 8th grader. I lied and wrote "N/A homeschooler" when asked about 8th grade graduation.

 

It's been over a decade since he graduated, so times have changed, and I don't know how much. The price has gone up, and there are online as well as snail mail options. 

 

American School offered my son the option of being an average student, and being able to compact anyway. He earned his Cs and moved on. My son was going to take a long time to earn a C or a short time to earn a C that was all he was ever going to produce. Period.

 

My son started working almost full time at 14. From 12 to 14 he worked part time for store credits that he sold to other people for cash. Yes. both practices are illegal, but that's what he did. He graduated from AS at 16, and started putting himself though junior college, even paying for his health insurance which was required to be on campus. He graduated at 19, was entirely financially independent, and moved to Las Vegas, where he made a nice life for himself.

 

Things were a mess when my boys were teenagers. I was sick and we were living in poverty and domestic abuse. We did what we had to do. American School gave my son the opportunity to get out on his own and start a new life for himself.

 

None of this is applicable to most people here. But that's our story with a correspondence school.

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American School has been around for a long time.

https://www.americanschoolofcorr.com

 

The Swanns used American School, in the 70s and/or 80s and it was many decades old then. I love, love, love, this book.

http://www.amazon.com/Regrets-Homeschooling-Earned-Masters-Sixteen-ebook/dp/B003K16NCU/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1392237063&sr=8-15&keywords=no+regrets

 

I don't know about now, but in the past, AS was the choice of most Amish and Mennonite teens choosing to finish their education.

 

Back in the early 2000s, to enter a JUNIOR college, as a FRESHMAN and UNDERAGE and using FEDERAL GRANTS, a student had to have an accredited diploma. I'm told that isn't true now, but I don't know for sure about that. I was told that it had to do with teacher unions and federal government trying to make sure junior colleges were not used as high schools, but maybe that was just a rumor. All I know is that AS is accredited and it opened doors for US, that otherwise would have been closed.

 

I'm really disappointed to see that AS is now $75.00 a month. That is just too much for many low income families, especially with more than one child. If we were homeschooling now, my son would have had to pay for his high school as well as his college. It almost came to that, as it was. But I eked out that monthly payment somehow.

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Dd is using FLVS for just about everything in 9th at the moment and we could not be more pleased. She is still registered as a homeschooler so it is totally our choice whether she takes FCAT or EOCs.

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FLVS classes are awesome and you can use it as a homeschooler.

 

But NOT in 4th grade. That would put you under "FLVS full time" which is a public charter school and uses Connections Academy not FLVS courses. It's horrible. Never ever do it. Lol

 

Now as a 5th grader she could apply to take some of the 6th grade regular FLVS courses. They're pretty good, very similar to the FLVS high school.

 

Anyway, we use Calvert with ATS and we like it a lot. It's very challenging and well rounded.

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I have heard really good things about Angelicum Academy. That is Catholic but they have a secular version called Great Books Academy. The cost is fairly reasonable IMHO: http://www.greatbooksacademy.org/online-discussions-for-grades-3-8/

I have a friend homeschooling 5 using Angelicum and she really loves it.

 

Although I don't know anything about the quality of the education for anything beyond 2nd grade, some on here have liked Time For Learning.  You would probably need to supplement with that one, though.  At least that was my experience with the 2nd grade material.

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Christian Liberty has a correspondence school. So does Christian Light. I think Alpha Omega has one. I know ACE does. I don't think any are accredited like American School, and I think they are all more money, with more expectations, but less assistance.

 

What I did NOT want from a school was expectation without the support to get the student there. American school never expected the student to self-educate with materials and assistance they did not provide. If they couldn't fully provide something they dropped the expectation or offered it as an elective with a warning.

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We used CLE at the beginning of this year. I would not recommend it even though I think their math, la and reading are wonderful.

Science and history are absolutely awful!

 

Basically, it was like my SIL warned: I just paid over $200 to have more paperwork! No support, boring. Horrible!

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AS only allows for one question per day now. That is the limit of support they give to students. The AS materials we recieved were not well done..all black and white with little to no diagrams, etc.  I was not able to find out the publishers for other course books, either. Anyway, it is sad to see things change sometimes.

 

time4learning is Common Core based, if that is important to you. It is not classical.

 

Anyone heard anything about Calvert's new high school?

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Thanks for all the recommendations and also the warnings. I think we might "dip our toes" into one FLVS class next year and then see how it goes before adding more.  

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Yeah Calvert just updated their blog.  There will be two separate programs..the Calvert Plus which is the material plus ATS and you can purchase teaching for individual courses.  Or, you can enroll in the full Calvert Academy which means you will be on a regular school calendar with regular live lessons and regular testing and interaction with your teachers.  One teacher oversees your student though.  

 

Unfortunately, all high school materials will be delivered primarily through electronic media - ideall for an ipad, and then you also get a print manual which lays out the course and helps you help your student along.  I am disappointed in this, because my son is on the computer so much with his programming.  I had really wanted my son to just have real physical books.  I think it's hard to study from e-books and I am also worried about his eyes, etc.  

 

It also said that it's based on a learn-use-teach model where students have to learn the material, use the material and then show they really understand the material by teaching it through presentations, media, interaction and writing. Not sure what all of that really means though!

 

 

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Yeah Calvert just updated their blog.  There will be two separate programs..the Calvert Plus which is the material plus ATS and you can purchase teaching for individual courses.  Or, you can enroll in the full Calvert Academy which means you will be on a regular school calendar with regular live lessons and regular testing and interaction with your teachers.  One teacher oversees your student though.  

 

Unfortunately, all high school materials will be delivered primarily through electronic media - ideall for an ipad, and then you also get a print manual which lays out the course and helps you help your student along.  I am disappointed in this, because my son is on the computer so much with his programming.  I had really wanted my son to just have real physical books.  I think it's hard to study from e-books and I am also worried about his eyes, etc.  

 

It also said that it's based on a learn-use-teach model where students have to learn the material, use the material and then show they really understand the material by teaching it through presentations, media, interaction and writing. Not sure what all of that really means though!

 

The Swanns used Calvert for K-8 and then American School for High School. So much has changed since then, but it might still be the best plan.

http://www.amazon.com/Regrets-Homeschooling-Earned-Masters-Sixteen-ebook/dp/B003K16NCU/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1392237063&sr=8-15&keywords=no+regrets

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One morning, about 2 weeks ago, the phone company had some kind of disaster, and we lost our phone service, our Internet service and our TV service. Our next door neighbors phone was also out. Later that morning, I went to the office of the Homeowners Association and the Secretary called the phone company for me (I speak "Spanglish") and she was told there was a major problem and it might be the next day before our service could be restored. It was restored, later that afternoon.

 

I wrote the above because that day I was thankful that the "Online" courses of TTUISD require a Traditional textbook be purchased and that DD was not "dead in the water" that day. She was able to continue studying, although not what she had planned to do that day. The same could happen if there was a long power outage.

 

Students can "enroll" in TTUISD or take courses as a "Supplemental" student. At this time, DD is taking "Supplemental" courses, because it saves us some $ and because DD doesn't need to take some EOC courses that are required of students who are enrolled. When she begins 9th grade, she will be "enrolled".  If we were planning to move to Texas and enroll her in a Public school there, she would be enrolled at this time, but we are not planning to do that, so we are waiting to enroll her.

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AS only allows for one question per day now. That is the limit of support they give to students. The AS materials we recieved were not well done..all black and white with little to no diagrams, etc. I was not able to find out the publishers for other course books, either. Anyway, it is sad to see things change sometimes.

 

time4learning is Common Core based, if that is important to you. It is not classical.

 

Anyone heard anything about Calvert's new high school?

I liked some of the bland self-written textbooks from AS that others complained about. They were written FOR the course, and prepared the student well for the tests, and fit well into a 1 or 1/2 credit course.

 

It's been a LONG time, but there were some quick credits early on, that used AS written texts and my son was able to just complete them and log some credits, before getting bogged down in some prettier and more rigorous books. All the prettier texts had extensive study guides and the courses were choppier and longer, and SQUEEEEEEzed into a credit.

 

It's been a long time, but AS was triaged and realistic and time tested. It was completable if nothing else. And the accrediting agency assured that students completing this completable course were as well prepared for further study as students that used prettier books.

 

With a 14 year old that outweighed me by over 100 pounds and just wanted to be DONE and out the door to go to work, I was SO thankful for the EFFICIENT black and white self-written texts. They were my favorite. My son didn't need the eye candy. He drew plenty of manga in the margins when he was supposed to be studying. :lol:

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I'm not trying to be snarky, but how can the American school provide a college prep education when they only require 18 credits, there are only 2 science classes, and their college prep math sequence ends at Geometry? None of the state schools where I live would accept this diploma as college-ready. I know they have been around a long time, but that seems out of sync with the new reality of what colleges expect.

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I'm not trying to be snarky, but how can the American school provide a college prep education when they only require 18 credits, there are only 2 science classes, and their college prep math sequence ends at Geometry? None of the state schools where I live would accept this diploma as college-ready. I know they have been around a long time, but that seems out of sync with the new reality of what colleges expect.

I see chemistry, physics, and Earth science listed as electives. https://www.americanschoolofcorr.com/courses/science

 

I also see math up through Calculus listed as electives. https://www.americanschoolofcorr.com/courses/mathematics

 

So a student COULD take a full 4 years' worth of math and science through American. It just isn't required for their diploma.

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I'm not trying to be snarky, but how can the American school provide a college prep education when they only require 18 credits, there are only 2 science classes, and their college prep math sequence ends at Geometry? None of the state schools where I live would accept this diploma as college-ready. I know they have been around a long time, but that seems out of sync with the new reality of what colleges expect.

There are 2 diploma options, general and college prep. Then there are electives to add to the required courses.

 

State colleges often require more than many private colleges. Junior college is still college prep, too, especially for some students planning to transfer. SOME schools do require so much more than they did in the past, but others don't.

 

AS is just trying to make sure the REQUIRED courses don't ask for more than some colleges are requiring. It's so much easier to add than subtract. Higher maths are there as electives. Also many students add their own courses to the AS courses. The AS diploma fills the basics and the accreditation, and then the student has the opportunity to be interesting, just like a PS student. Or take a special course from another school that excels in THAT individual course.

 

AS is comparable to PS, not private schools. There is good and bad to that. The good is they don't cherry pick and they take their lower level students seriously. They do take their more gifted and wealthier students seriously too, but they don't cater to them at the expense of the more vulnerable students. As it is, the price has risen, preventing the most vulnerable students from having access.

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Ok. I thought that you were limited to the courses listed on their college prep page for your diploma. Are the electives necessary to round it out to a 24-credit diploma an extra expense or are they included in the $2100 tuition or are they extra? 

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If it is still the same, any extra credits above the required 18, cost extra.

 

Most people I knew just added their own unaccredited courses after the 18 credits. Colleges that wanted that outside validation, were usually very happy to accept non accredited courses AFTER the student had officially completed all the requirements of an accredited school.

 

Also, many people preferred to add credits from another school, to do something special. An Ancient Greek credit or something like that. Sometimes you can follow up 3 years of mom Latin with Latin 4 from another school, to validate all the previous courses.

 

There used to be an active American School forum, and we all figured out every trick in the book to tweak things up and down and all around to fit just about any situation imaginable. The AO forum reminds me a bit of that old AS forum.

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Unfortunately, the American School courses are not NCAA eligible, so it wouldn't work for my hockey-playing son.

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