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Asking for friend: What online option(s) would you recommend for a family needing flexibility

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but still enough structure to make it easy for mom?  An old friend called me today asking me about homeschooling high school for her freshman.  She's homeschooled 4 other kids, always through 8th grade, but the school system in which they live has gotten really bad AND in the past couple of years they've had many family members get cancer and die.  Currently both she and her husband have dying siblings.  :(  So she wants something like a Connections Academy or just an online option for as many subjects as possible that they can drop to go visit family when needed and pick back up days later, kwim?

 

What are your thoughts on this?  They are also considering moving in a year so the possibility of the son going BACK to public school is on the table.  She's worried about requirements (we're in Ohio) when trying to put him back in if that happens.

 

Thank you for any advice you can give!  

 

*They are Christians but don't need a complete Christian curriculum by any means.

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Possibly something like K12 but independently (not as part of a charter school)? I think that way they can move at their own pace. No experience though so hopefully others will chime in.

 

She might also consider the At Your Own Pace classes from the Virtual Homeschool Group.

 

This is the website, though they are having server trouble today so it might not pull up while they get that ironed out. The courses are free.

 

http://www.virtualhomeschoolgroup.org/

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In Florida, we have Florida Virtual School (FLVS) and homeschoolers can choose a "flex" option or a full-time option. The flex option allows students to take up to 6 classes and there is structure and accountability but not "strict" deadlines (i.e. depending on the class you need to turn in 2-4 assignments a week but they don't care when you do them or turn them in as long as it is during the week. They are also allowed 2 weeks vacation). The FT option is basically the same but I think there are a few extra requirements but I can't be sure. It is an accredited institution. In Florida, we don't pay for these classes 😜; however, they also have a global/international option that allows students outside FL to take these classes but they are a bit pricey....

 

I googled "Ohio Virtual School" and got a few hits (Ohio Virtual Academy, etc). Maybe there are similar options in Ohio and then those credits will most likely transfer into public school. FLVS classes transfer back to the public school and a lot of PS kids take classes on FLVS if there is a schedule conflict.

 

Hope that helps! Good luck.

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Before choosing any type of curriculum, I would advise your friend to find out what type of credits would potentially transfer to a public school.   This may limit her options.   I also live in Florida and the public high schools won't award credits for unaccredited courses.   Since FLVS is an accredited public school, classes taken there would transfer with no issues.  

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Thinkwell is possibly an idea too - we used them for some classes and you go at your own pace and the questions and tests are automatically graded.  They have a number of AP classes which means if a student did those and wrote the AP exam and passed, I can't see any high school not accepting them. My boys did some of their AP classes and did get do well enough to get credit for college so they do prepare students well.

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Thank you!  We have never sent one of our high schoolers into the public school systems after having homeschooled for part of high school so I know she's nervous plus she doesn't even know where she'll be.  She did do k12 through a virtual academy with 4 kids at one point and it was CRAZY for her, but this is just one student so maybe she would like the on-your-own version.  Thank you for the other ideas, too, as I know she's not opposed to piecing things together from various sources.

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They need something that is Asynchronous and not Synchronous, so they will have the scheduling flexibility.  TTUISD courses, for one example, are Asynchronous.  If there is a possibility of Home Schooling part of High School and then going into Public High School, your friend needs to check out the laws in Ohio and with the School District that would receive the students mid-way through High School .Would they give them credit for courses completed, without them repeating a lot of courses or taking a lot of tests? That gets dicey and may or may not be possible.  

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My kids were able to take classes through IQ Academy during some difficult years.  It did rely on a schedule, but I did not need to participate at all.  They actually really enjoyed it, and the teachers were great -- always available during off-time for questions, etc.

 

IQ Academy is not available in every state, and you can only participate if it is offered in your state of residence.  But, it is considered a public school, so I believe if you go full-time, there is no tuition.  They provide computers too.  My kids didn't go full-time so had to pay a fee per class; but our local public school covered the costs of going part-time as long as they took at least one class at the public school too -- which they generally did.  (Even if it's just choir or band.)

 

It's probably similar to K12, which is available in most states, I believe.

 

Someone on this board recommended an online high school in California, where there is no deadline.  You just go at your own pace.  I don't really know much about it, but they were very responsive when I once inquired about it a little.  This is it:

 

http://www.svhs.co/courses.aspx

 

ETA:  We also did a couple computer courses through Switched On Schoolhouse.  We liked them.  Nothing amazing or super creative, but they covered what they needed to cover with just a little support from me.  I don't even know if they're around anymore!  This was probably over ten years ago.  I did have the option to remove lessons/projects/quizzes from the computer curriculum if I wanted to.

 

 

 

Edited by J-rap
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If they use a state run virtual academy, they will still need to do the work and sign in on school days. They cannot just skip days. However, if one can afford it, you can often pay for these programs privately and take as long as you wish.

Edited by Janeway

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Here in TN in my district (don't know about anyone else) they will only let you come back if you have taken your courses from approved providers (most of which use the same program as T4L but charge a lot more).  So my first step would be to call the local district and even the future district to see what they accept as far as credits.  

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Well DO NOT do Connections!  It is the opposite of flexibility  My sister did it for one year and I had my nephew during that time period for ten days. Additionally, she attested to all the things that were wrong in the program.  It is UNWIELDY, terribly sub-par, disorganized and confusing and the layers of protocol that each individual state adds to it only makes it worse and worse.  Terrible, do NOT do it.  Please.

 

I would really look into T4L but if she's planning on going back to public school she may need to call them and find out what they accept.  Going in as a freshman is usually not a problem, although they will give your student entrance tests.  Going back in the MIDDLE of of high school, is extremely difficult unless you took accredited courses.  What each district deems "accredited" may differ.

 

What about seeing about scholarships at private schools? Peopel woudl be SHOCKED how much money you can make and get help.  Many private Christian and Catholic schools are part of nationwide scholarship networks which take into account your bills, how many children you have, medical bills, and many other factors.  

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Silicon Valley Online high school....but I don't know if it's accredited.  

 

It was certainly flexible and easy to use...so easy that I would worry about some subjects not teaching enough, so that the student could ease back into brick and mortar school, especially in skillset subjects such as Foreign Language and math.  But for content subjects it's fine.

Again, I don't know if it's accredited.

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Well, I will say that my kid has been in our state's Connections Academy, and I like it when compared to the other public school options,but It is not homeschooling and many people going from homeschooling to CA do not like it. It is a much more rigorous curriculum that most public schools here, so that also makes people coming from public school unhappy. However, it does work well for many.

 

On the other hand, if money was no issue, I would do the private school version over the public charter version because it does offer more flexibility and the kids do not have to participate in PARCC testing.

 

Also, my DS does better having some outside accountability. That allows me to blame the school when he doesnt like an assignment rather than have him think that Mom is the one forcing him to do it.

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I know someone that makes over 120K per year (gross) and lives in a medium COL area, but because he has four kids and child support for another two, the catholic school nationwide scholarship network gives them 5k per year per kid, so they only pay 1200.00 for two kids (not including uniforms and fees of course)...

 

Honestly, your sister should check into it. 

Edited by Calming Tea

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