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Online high schools, any insights or experiences?


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DD would like to do an online high school for 11th and 12th grades. For various reasons, home schooling isn't an option. Does anyone have any experience of online high school programs, particularly of Indiana University High School or Laurel Springs?  

 

Are there any independent assessments of online providers? 

Edited by lamamma
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My dd is enrolled in Memoria Press Online Academy's diploma program. It's new this year but it is affiliated with Highlands Latin School which posts their results. There is an admission test for the diploma but you can enroll in classes without passing the test, you just won't be eligible for the high school diploma.

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I looked at this a year ago. I can't give you personal experience, but I consistently found concerning reviews for Laural Springs. Ones that have mostly good reviews are Texas Tech Unversity online high school (I didn't look very close), Nebraska online high school (I don't care for how their math is set up, but liked everything else) and IU (they didn't have dd's foreign language) None of them are "exciting".

 

Is your DD coming from a regular high school and wanting to finish with a diploma? Some will allow you to take classes from the other online accredited high schools so you could pick and choose a specific class from elsewhere or do some dual credit work. Dual credit is another option you could explore. My older kids were never at their home high schools at all their Junior and Senior years, it was all dual credit. The rules have changed now, so they would have been homeschoolers under the new rules in our district, but they all graduated in the top of their class.

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Thanks.  What or where did you see the negative reviews of LS? Friends in California have said good things about it -- but it was a friends-of-friends situation so I don't know anyone with first hand experience. I like the fact that a number of their courses are UC approved as well as NCAA.  

 

DD is in a regular high school, but falls under the "anxious, gifted, perfectionist" umbrella. At the moment she goes to class but does not perform. Dual track with her home school won't work, but maybe she could enrol in one of the more solid online schools for a diploma and take some supplementary courses with another if she wants more variety.

 

She won't work with me, so I need to find a program where the materials are good and clear enough for her to navigate largely on her own. Will look up Texas Tech. I've looked at Nebraska, but the materials for Indiana look better to me. 

 

Did you HS your kids? How did they get through??

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Thanks.  What or where did you see the negative reviews of LS? Friends in California have said good things about it -- but it was a friends-of-friends situation so I don't know anyone with first hand experience. I like the fact that a number of their courses are UC approved as well as NCAA.  

 

DD is in a regular high school, but falls under the "anxious, gifted, perfectionist" umbrella. At the moment she goes to class but does not perform. Dual track with her home school won't work, but maybe she could enrol in one of the more solid online schools for a diploma and take some supplementary courses with another if she wants more variety.

 

She won't work with me, so I need to find a program where the materials are good and clear enough for her to navigate largely on her own. Will look up Texas Tech. I've looked at Nebraska, but the materials for Indiana look better to me. 

 

Did you HS your kids? How did they get through??

 

You wrote that "DD is in a regular high school".   What state do you live in?  If you change to a school such as TTU K12  (formerly known as TTUISD)  and you do not live in TX, your DD may need to take some additional courses she had not planned on taking, to comply with TX state laws, to qualify for a diploma.  You need to check VERY carefully, on how many credits she will need, to get a diploma from Texas Tech University High School, if you do not live in TX.  The same would apply to the other schools you might consider, if you do not live in the state where the school is located. 

 

My DD is a Distance Learning student in Texas Tech University High School (TTU K12).  She began with 2 courses, for 6th grade, during October 2012.  At that time, she was very weak, Writing and Reading in English. We live in South America.

 

The TTU K12 courses are Asynchronous.  That requires a lot of Self Discipline and Time Management from the students.  There is a big difference, between an "online" course that is Asynchronous and one that is Synchronous and meets at a specific time on a specific day.  It is easier for the students, if it is Synchronous.  But with a Synchronous course, the student loses the flexibility of possibly going somewhere or doing something else, at that particular time. 

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Thanks.  What or where did you see the negative reviews of LS? Friends in California have said good things about it -- but it was a friends-of-friends situation so I don't know anyone with first hand experience. I like the fact that a number of their courses are UC approved as well as NCAA.  

 

DD is in a regular high school, but falls under the "anxious, gifted, perfectionist" umbrella. At the moment she goes to class but does not perform. Dual track with her home school won't work, but maybe she could enrol in one of the more solid online schools for a diploma and take some supplementary courses with another if she wants more variety.

 

She won't work with me, so I need to find a program where the materials are good and clear enough for her to navigate largely on her own. Will look up Texas Tech. I've looked at Nebraska, but the materials for Indiana look better to me. 

 

Did you HS your kids? How did they get through??

In that case, scratch MPOA. It will be a terrible fit for someone with test anxiety and paralyzing perfectionism. TBH, most online schools that offer a diploma are going to feed test anxiety because they usually rely on a lot of quizzes and graded homework that autocorrects. The pace is manageable but relentless and it's almost impossible to not mess up sometimes. You have to keep on top of the weekly assignments or you'll be buried beneath an avalanche of zeros that you'll never overcome.

 

If you can homeschool, I'd look at MOOCs and Great Courses classes. Have her sit down and crank out the essays and correct them together. She'll gain confidence and improve her ability to just sit down and write even if she's anxious. I'd take the same approach for math homework. For foreign language, I'd look into an online tutor who will expect her to speak and will gently guide her to improve her skills (for Spanish, I'd highly recommend Homeschool Spanish Academy--they got my painfully shy 14 yo to actually speak Spanish).

 

Good luck finding something that fits your dd. I know how hard that can be.

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We didn't have luck with the online high school dsd did.  Lasted one semester. Her personality is similar. 

 

I would recommend homeschooling, but handpicking mostly online classes, rather than enrolling in an all-in-one high school. Search here for reviews and find the ones that seem to be good fits for your dd. You will find that there will be much more flexibility this way, especially as she makes the transition to coming home, which tends to be difficult for a high schooler. 

 

Online courses this way can be a lot of work; be sure to leave some room for courses like chiguirre recommends.

Edited by lisabees
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OP this is a follow-on to my comments in post #6 and to elaborate on something mentioned in post #7.

 

I did not notice Test Anxiety mentioned...  I haven't had any coffee yet...  Sorry...    TTU K12 courses (until recently the school was known as TTUISD) have a requirement that the students MUST pass the Final Examination of each course. The Final Examination is 25% of the grade for the semester. Also, the Final Examinations must be under the supervision of an Approved Proctor.

 

Additionally, the State of Texas (Texas Education Agency or TEA) requires five (5) End of Course examinations be passed, or a School District cannot issue a High School Diploma to a student.  My DD took those courses in 9th and 10th grades, so she has those examinations out of the way now.

 

I wonder if in the state you live in, there is a free option for your DD to complete High School, at Home, Online, via K12 or Connections Academy and have a High School Diploma issued by the school your DD is currently attending, or, by the Online School? Your DD might speak with her Counselor in the High School she is currently attending, and ask for information and for ideas. 

 

Since she is midway thru High School, changing for 11th and 12th grades is more complicated than had you made a change before she began 9th grade.

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Thanks all for the suggestions! 

 

 We live overseas, so there is no support from any state or federal program, and DD will have gaps whichever program she does. She's also likely to have to do an extra year because the anxiety first hit in 10h grade and she missed most of the year. 

 

She's ok with tests and exams provided she feels she has the foundation -- but I think part of what she wants to do is to go back and plug some of those tenth grade gaps. Even though she is "gifted" (I know; they all are! but we ran her through testing when she hit the wall in tenth grade), she's not comfortable with taking risks.

 

How does The Virtual High School work? I've just looked quickly and it seems to be something done in conjunction with home schooling or a brick school program. Her current school does the IB, and has not flexibility -- it's the IB or nothing.  Her only other option would be to go back into 11th grade now, or repeat 12th grade to see if the familiarity helps her get through, but that feels like a huge risk to me.  More importantly, she doesn't want to stick around an extra year.

 

Lisa -- which program did your DD do? Did she homeschool after? Was she willing to work with you? My DD isn't. 

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DD used an online public charter school (PALCS). She came home in high school to dance ballet full time. She homeschooled before using the online school and returned to public school in January. As you can imagine, public school has not been an easy transition.

 

I hope you consider my suggestion in looking for specific online classes that may be a good fit for your daughter. Match the class, as well the teacher's personality, to your dd's needs. These boards can help guide you in the right direction.

 

DD14 is similar and wanted mainly online classes this year. She struggled a bit in the beginning with time management but has really enjoyed it. History, part of English, and electives are done with homemade stuff.

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Thanks Lisa.  The PALCS school looks great, but only for Pennsylvania residents, sadly.

 

How do you find out about a teacher's personality ahead of time from an online school? 

 

DD really likes structure -- and I;ve looked at the Indiana textbooks and materials and they seem very solid; maybe not exciting, but that's life. I was thinking she could use Indiana for her core diploma and take some electives with a different programme (there are a handful at Laurel Springs that look interesting, but it's harder to get a handle on their methodology and materials).

 

DD used to be incredibly organised and self-motifvated, so I'm hoping that's still there somewhere! I think it will work if she keeps going with some music and sports; otherwise, being home all days feels like a recipe for disaster.

 

 

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There are many online providers that are not affiliated with a diploma program. I am suggesting that you piece together your own curriculum, using different providers. The wonderful members here can share their experiences/thoughts regarding classes and teachers. Search on the board or ask. :)

 

It really depends on what you are looking for, but here are some options to get started...

 

http://www.wtmacademy.com/

http://www.aphomeschoolers.com/classes.shtml

https://artofproblemsolving.com/

https://bravewriter.com/

http://hscollegebound.com/Hamlet.htm

https://www.derekowens.com/

http://www.clovercreekscience.com/physics/

Edited by lisabees
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I have one child graduating from Laurel Springs this year. It is a great school, but requires a lot of self discipline on the student's part to keep up. The honors and AP classes take a lot of time to complete. The teachers are good and very responsive. They also have a gifted program. 

 

ETA: As far as late work, there is no penalty for late work. The due dates are just pacing suggestions. When passed the due date, the dates turn red but no points are deducted. So a student could work ahead in one class while getting behind in another. There is a lot of flexibility. The only problem is if you don't finish by the enrollment deadline you have to buy an extension of one or two months. 

Edited by CAJinBE
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Both Connections Academy and K12 have online private schools that are not affiliated with any local school district.

I haven't looked at K12, but I am considering Intrnational Connections Academy for my 10th grader. He is current in our state CA charter. I am very happy with the curriculum, but he is going to have a very hard time passing our state testing requirements and the private school side offers a lot more of the electives he wants to take. It will also give him for flexibility in the courses he can take because of different qraduation requirements.

It is pricey though.

Edited by City Mouse
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Thanks all for the suggestions! 

 

 We live overseas, so there is no support from any state or federal program, and DD will have gaps whichever program she does. She's also likely to have to do an extra year because the anxiety first hit in 10h grade and she missed most of the year. 

 

She's ok with tests and exams provided she feels she has the foundation -- but I think part of what she wants to do is to go back and plug some of those tenth grade gaps. Even though she is "gifted" (I know; they all are! but we ran her through testing when she hit the wall in tenth grade), she's not comfortable with taking risks.

 

How does The Virtual High School work? I've just looked quickly and it seems to be something done in conjunction with home schooling or a brick school program. Her current school does the IB, and has not flexibility -- it's the IB or nothing.  Her only other option would be to go back into 11th grade now, or repeat 12th grade to see if the familiarity helps her get through, but that feels like a huge risk to me.  More importantly, she doesn't want to stick around an extra year.

 

Lisa -- which program did your DD do? Did she homeschool after? Was she willing to work with you? My DD isn't. 

 

Oh.  I assumed (incorrectly) that you are in the USA...  The fact that you are overseas (as we are) and that your DD is not confident of some of her 10th grade courses, changes a lot of what I had assumed and the suggestions and comments I made based on those assumptions.

 

IMO if your DD enrolls in TTU K12 (ex TTUISD) courses and she is diligent, she will learn the material and be well prepared for the tests. They have, in the past used traditional textbooks, and they begin at the front of the book and end at the back of the book. I personally believe that would be impossible, with the same textbook, in a Public High School in Texas. They simply do not have the time, in a brick & mortar school..

 

They allow up to 6 months to complete a course (one semester).

 

I will assume (I hate to assume because I usually assume incorrectly) that you are like us and that you are not Legal Residents of any of the 50 states. If you are Legal Residents of a state, possibly, you might be able to enroll her in the Free Virtual School of that state, assuming they have all of the High School courses and will issue a diploma. That's pretty iffy.

 

Even if that were available to you, there are probably threads here on WTM, and if not, elsewhere on the web, where you can read mostly Negative Reviews, by people who have been in the free programs paid for by their states. Sometimes the people are happy, but mostly they seem to get buried in workload, with lack of feedback from the teachers/administrators, back office staff, etc., and be very unhappy. I am certain that varies greatly, from state to state and from  school to school within a state.  

 

We were in the same boat you are and when we pulled   DD out of the private (Church run) school she was in, at the end of 5th grade (each year it got worse, as they lost students and their money) and I did briefly look at Laurel Springs, among some other schools.  As I recall, Laurel Springs was very expensive and not within our budget. I did look into Calvert, with regard to Home Schooling, and that was before Calvert was purchased (I contacted Calvert in May or June of 2012) so what I learned about Calvert at that time is probably not of help to you.  I looked at some other schools also.  One in California, claimed to be accredited, but when I checked out the accreditation, The accreditation seemed to be bogus.  You must be very careful about who the accreditation authority is and whether or not it is recognized. In the case of TTU K12 (TTUISD) it is TEA (Texas Education Agency) which is part of the government of the State of Texas..

 

I studied the information Calvert sent to us and found it very confusing. Many different plans. Some of them quite expensive.

 

You can search on WTM (search via google, limiting your search to WTM, like this "welltrainedmind.com insert search terms" (without the quote marks) and possibly you can find something about the Nebraska or Indiana High Schools.  Also, search with Google, but not limiting your search to WTM.

 

There had been a High School program at Oklahoma, but I believe they ended that, a few years ago.

 

There is (or was) a program at Ole Miss (Mississippi)

 

A research paper I read on the Colorado web site, some years ago, about the free virtual schools paid for by various states (K12 and Connections Academy) was extremely Negative.  Primarily, K12 was profitable, whether or not students succeeded with the program or dropped from the program. K12 would receive $ from the state and was "churning" students.  Not a good sign, if a large percentage of the students in a school do not stick with the school.

 

I suspect IB programs are quite rigorous, so your DD has been exposed to rigor in her current school. 

 

If you study the web site of TTU K12, with your DD, and if you (and your DD)  think it might be a "go", I will ask the Texas Tech University High School Principal if I can give you her email address (in a PM) and you can write this up for her in an email, with all of your concerns, and hopefully with a transcript of where your DD is as of this time, and get some feedback from her.   Knowing that you are overseas and that your DD will probably want to repeat 10th grade, or, at least some of the courses she took, changes the  suggestions I am making now...

 

I forgot to write that they have recently changed the Math textbooks to eBooks.  I think we paid $16 or $17 for the Algebra 2 eBook and that DD can access it for one year for that  price.  I am not sure, but suspect they may/will eventually change other courses to eBooks. It is *extremely* important that your DD is very solid in Algebra 1, before progressing to Geometry and Algebra 2.

 

Question: How is your daughter with U.S. English? Reading and Writing?  My DD was very weak with that, after 4 school years in a school where English was taught, as a 2nd language, but very poorly. She could have a verbal conversation without any problem, because I have always spoken U.S. English (my native language) with her since she was born, but with Reading and Writing she was very weak when she enrolled for the first 2 TTUISD courses during October 2012.  One of those courses was 6th grade English.  I knew if she could survive that course, that she could survive any of their courses.  I mention that because 2 of the 5 EOCs required for Texas High School graduation are for English.

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CAJinBee -- I've been trying to get a sense of how the LS classes work.  Do they use text books? Do you have to buy materials? What is the balance, roughly, between time spent on a computer and time working with more traditional books, pens and paper? Did you child find the classes (or at least some of them!) interesting?  If you are able to reply by PM, please do.  I've heard fairly extreme things -- positive and negative -- about LS but I really like the look of the course offerings. And we're originally from California, so I like it that so many courses meet the UC requirements. That's a big plus for us. 

 

Do kids have a chance to redo papers or exams if they do badly, or do they churn out the work and move on? Are instructions clear? Sorry. I really do have a million questions.

 

Lanny.  Thanks for all the info and for your kind offer. I'll look more closely at the Texas program tonight and let you know.  

DD's English is very strong. Other than three years at middle school, she has always been educated in English and it's the only language spoken at home. 

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The Laurel Springs classes are asynchronous and at your own pace. There is a Learning Management System that shows all the student's courses, assignments, and grades. If you look at the course catalog you will see that many courses have a choice of textbook or online. We've done a mix of both. The textbook is included in the price, lab materials are extra. If it is an online course that uses an e-text I will try to find a used copy of the same textbook on Amazon just to reduce screen time and make review easier. Some of the online classes are totally online, no textbook at all. My daughter does her work on paper if it is math or science and then takes a photo of each page with her phone and uploads that to the LMS. This took some getting used to but now it's automatic for her. Quizzes and tests are online, some multiple choice and some short answer. Papers are turned in via Turnitin to check for plagiarism. My daughter found most of the classes interesting and challenging. Some teachers gave more detailed feedback than others, but all have been quick and helpful as needed. The teachers don't provide video lessons but they will meet the student in an "i-classroom" or Skype. The student must request this extra help but the teachers are always happy to do it. 

 

They teach to mastery, so a student must earn at least a 70% on every assignment before the final exam will open. When a grade is below 70% a little redo arrow appears next to the grade and the student does the assignment again. If it is a quiz, it won't be exactly the same. Most of the time the instructions are clear. Occasionally there is a link that won't work, but an email to the teacher will result in an alternative link or explanation. I do not think they can redo a final exam. 

 

If you contact them they will let you see samples. For instance we were comparing AP Biology from different providers and we did a Skype with one of the teachers and she walked us through the course on line so we could see what it was like. I would say it is a very good education and is meeting our needs while overseas. But it is a lot of independent work, quite different than going to classes everyday and doing homework at night. Definitely full days for a full load of honors and AP classes. I'm not sure how the student athletes  or professional actors manage it, but maybe they aren't taking the most difficult course load. 

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We are overseas and DD is enrolled full time in K12 International Academy.  I am very pleased with the academics, and the professionalism of teachers and administrators.  One word of caution - be sure that what your daughter has already done for high school is transferable.  I had to provide accredited transcripts for credits earned elsewhere to be accepted.

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Thanks AliR.  I'll take a closer look at K12 International. I had looked at it a few years ago, but my daughter decided to go to a brick school instead.  Your point about the transcript is a good one. I'm pretty sure she'll get credit for most of the work she has done, but I also think the difficulty of IB courses is vastly under-rated by non-IB schools and universities (another topic!).  How did you choose K12?  Is your DD also in high school?

 

CAJinBe, thanks for all the information. It's incredibly helpful. How does your daughter decide whether to take a course online or with a textbook? Has she done that on a course-by-course basis?  If the course load is heavy, is it hard for her to make time for other activities? I'm worried that being home all day, every day will get claustrophobic, so am trying to line up some art classes and other activities she can do outside the house.  

 

 

 

 

 

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OP  You mentioned Art courses.  My DD took the TTUISD Middle School Art course and she loved it and she learned so much from it. How that can be taught by Distance Learning, I don't know, but it is and is taught very well.  Then, DD took the TTUISD High School Art course and she loed that too.  I believe those courses are required to be taken and are not "Electives".  Not positive about them been mandatory as I write this.

 

RE: Math courses:  Whichever school you and your DD end up selecting, it is *imperative* that the students show their work to their Instructor.  When DD takes a Final Exam for a Math course, she does all of the work on Letter size paper and then Scans it in and that goes back to the school to be graded, as a .PDF file.

 

Until a couple of weeks ago, TTUISD has used a CMS (Course Management System) called "Moodle", which originated in Australia.  Now, the new courses, or new enrollments are going to be on the "Blackboard" CMS.  

 

There's a bit of a "Learning Curve" anytime anyone uses a new platform, but whichever platform your DD ends up using, after awhile, it will seem totally normal to her.  The message there is that at the beginning, there will be new things to learn. How to ask questions. How to submit lessons. Etc.

 

Always important that the students have Physical Exercise...

Edited by Lanny
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Thanks Lanny.  What grade is your DD in, and roughly how much time would you say she spends online vs reading or working with pen and paper?  My DD isn't much into screens -- she likes books and ink pens -- but at the same time, it seems to me that a remote program where you are logging in every day and the work is logged online might be easier to stay on top of.

 

 

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Thanks AliR.  I'll take a closer look at K12 International. I had looked at it a few years ago, but my daughter decided to go to a brick school instead.  Your point about the transcript is a good one. I'm pretty sure she'll get credit for most of the work she has done, but I also think the difficulty of IB courses is vastly under-rated by non-IB schools and universities (another topic!).  How did you choose K12?  Is your DD also in high school?

 

CAJinBe, thanks for all the information. It's incredibly helpful. How does your daughter decide whether to take a course online or with a textbook? Has she done that on a course-by-course basis?  If the course load is heavy, is it hard for her to make time for other activities? I'm worried that being home all day, every day will get claustrophobic, so am trying to line up some art classes and other activities she can do outside the house.  

 

She decided case-by-case. When she took biology in 10th grade we started with online since I thought it would be easier to understand with videos and graphics plus text. But for her learning style, she got lost in the online information especially when it was time to review. Basically she had to go through everything again and there was no time for that. So we switched to textbook. You can switch within the first month, but you do have to start over. For other things the online works very well like English with supplemental novels. On the other hand, my other daughter is doing AP Biology online and it works very well and included an e-text. I bought her a hard copy text used also so she can mark it up, put sticky notes, read offline, etc. That combo works best I think. I have extra math textbooks around the house for reference too. 

 

As far as the time, she does volleyball three times a week. We had to drop coop as they got older but I think that is pretty common. You get 10 calendar months to complete a year-long course, plus you can buy up to two months extension. There is basically 36 weeks of work so you have to figure out which weeks you want to take off and work ahead or else see the red dates. The learning management system doesn't stop for holidays, but as I said before there is no penalty for late work. A lot depends on the student. My other daughter is taking just one class and she keeps up and turns in the best work she can do and not be late. Occasionally she has to redo something. My full-time student tries to do her best work on everything and gets behind. She is starting to understand the good enough philosophy now. 

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Thanks Lanny.  What grade is your DD in, and roughly how much time would you say she spends online vs reading or working with pen and paper?  My DD isn't much into screens -- she likes books and ink pens -- but at the same time, it seems to me that a remote program where you are logging in every day and the work is logged online might be easier to stay on top of.

 

My DD is in 11th grade in Texas Tech University High School now.  It's 533 A.M. so I cannot ask her for an estimate of the hours or the percentage of time she is looking at the computer display.  I believe that percentage has increased, for example, because they now have the Math courses using eBooks instead of traditional textbooks.  Algebra 2 is her first Math course using an eBook.

 

Personally, I believe it is nice to be able to hold a traditional textbook in your hands and not be looking at the computer  display, but there are advantages to the eBooks, especially since you are overseas, as we are. You do not pay shipping. You get access to the book almost immediately.  If they find an error, they can update the ebook, because it is online. Trade offs...

 

For the Math courses she does her work on regular Letter size paper and then scans the pages in and makes one .PDF file and submits that to the school.  IMO it is crucial, especially for Math courses, that the Instructor can see and grade the students work like that. You don't want a computer scoring the work your DD does.  I believe over the years there were a few machine scored quizes my DD has taken, where she saw the result immediately, but I believe those have been rare.  

 

I believe that my DD spends the most time on the English courses. 

 

The vast majority of the textbooks over the past 5 years, I have purchased, Used, from Amazon or eBay Sellers and had them shipped to our Receiver/Forwarder in Miami and then we pay them to ship to our house in Colombia.  Hopefully, that way, if someone sent the wrong ISBN number, or the book was in very bad condition (I always buy books listed "Good" or better than that) it would be caught in Miami. Fortunately, so far, we have never had that happen. A few of the books we only paid one cent plus shipping for. We got lucky on those!  We haven't purchased any textbooks from the TTUISD bookstore, because of their prices. We have purchased the LAB kits from them and the Algebra 2 ebook, since they are the only vendor for those.  

 

IMO there's a lot of work involved with those courses and they are thorough.

 

I think a program where the students are monitored closely, like the free Virtual Online courses many states offer to their residents, that are run by K12 or Connections Academy, many of the people find that  offers them little flexibility with their schedule and they are tied to the schedule of the school for those courses and events. Public School at home and since the state is paying, they monitor the students.   A Synchronous course would probably keep the students more on track with regard to Time Management, but doesn't offer the Flexibility if one has something else to do during a scheduled class time.

 

Since you are not eligible for one of those free online schools from a state, paying for it privately will give your DD much more flexibility with regard to when she studies.

 

Someone upthread had mentioned MOOC courses?  Those are Asynchronous, but they have a schedule of tasks that must be completed during each week of the course, and that puts pressure on one to keep up or you need to drop the course.  I took one of those last February and I think that format, where the course has a tight schedule, might be better for students who are not good at Time Management or Self Discipline, because the course schedule forces  productivity from the students,  

 

TTU 12 (TTUISD) courses do not have that kind of schedule for the students to comply with.   My DD has learned a lot about Time Management and Self Discipline during the past 5 years she has been taking courses from TTUISD.

 

IMO, many of the students in a brick & mortar university would not be  be successful with that type of online course.

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She decided case-by-case. When she took biology in 10th grade we started with online since I thought it would be easier to understand with videos and graphics plus text. But for her learning style, she got lost in the online information especially when it was time to review. Basically she had to go through everything again and there was no time for that. So we switched to textbook. You can switch within the first month, but you do have to start over. For other things the online works very well like English with supplemental novels. On the other hand, my other daughter is doing AP Biology online and it works very well and included an e-text. I bought her a hard copy text used also so she can mark it up, put sticky notes, read offline, etc. That combo works best I think. I have extra math textbooks around the house for reference too. 

 

As far as the time, she does volleyball three times a week. We had to drop coop as they got older but I think that is pretty common. You get 10 calendar months to complete a year-long course, plus you can buy up to two months extension. There is basically 36 weeks of work so you have to figure out which weeks you want to take off and work ahead or else see the red dates. The learning management system doesn't stop for holidays, but as I said before there is no penalty for late work. A lot depends on the student. My other daughter is taking just one class and she keeps up and turns in the best work she can do and not be late. Occasionally she has to redo something. My full-time student tries to do her best work on everything and gets behind. She is starting to understand the good enough philosophy now. 

 

This is what dd17 struggled with - it was (and still is) a vicious cycle for an anxiety-filled perfectionist. When school is uninspiring, and your work is constantly behind, you feel terrible about yourself. In dd's case, she shuts down for days at a time, which only makes it worse.

 

OP, no matter the path you/she choose, know that you will likely need to help with time management, etc. I think you mentioned earlier that you worry about lack of engagement with others. Maybe live classes vs. asynchronous is a better alternative. Make sure you understand the withdraw policy.

 

Just as credits may not be transferable going into an online school, they may not be transferable if plans change again.

Edited by lisabees
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After reading more of your needs, I'd look at Wilson Hill Academy. They have live classes that meet a couple times a week, with real teachers you can contact for help if you need to. It's essentially online private school which is a great fit for a lot of kids, and they have lots of international students.

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CAJinBe, your full-time student sounds a lot like mine. Mastering "good enough" is probably what she most needs to learn from school/life!  But getting the program right can, I think (hope!), help foster that.  I like what you have said about LS teaching mastery -- and giving them opportunities to redo tests or assignments until they get it right. It should help with the all-or-nothing issue with perfectionism.

 

Have either of yours done one of the LS lab classes? They seem to be online only. Do you know if LS students do as Lanny suggested and write out their work and then upload the pdfs? 

 

Lisabees -- I don't know how long this has been an issue for your dd.  Mine (same age) was at her worst two years ago, when she pretty much withdrew from life for months. Just having to get up and get out of the house and to school every day has been good for her -- which is why I'm worried about her coming out of the bricks and mortar school --  but having missed tenth grade entirely, and now being in senior year at an IB program really is a bridge too far.  

 

She's a voracious reader with a curious mind, but self-education doesn't get you into university -- and she does want to go. 

 

Lanny, thanks again for all the information. IT sounds like the Texas program has worked really well for your DD. I looked at it, but so late in high school I think there are too many Texas specific requirements.  LS and Indiana seem a bit more generic in what they require. 

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OP  I have tried to be very honest with you, regarding our experience with TTU K12 (formerly TTUISD).  I know that you have deep interest in Laurel Springs and I hope the other parent who responded, with a DC who is about to graduate from Laurel Springs, can provide answers to your questions and concerns about Laurel Springs. For us, that school wasn't an option, because of the costs, but if you can afford it, it might be a better match for your DD.

 

In our case, I am thankful that my DD began in TTUISD with 6th grade courses. By the time she began High School, where everything counts, she knew how things worked, with the Moodle Course Management System, and she had a good idea of what to do and how everything is done.   I believe that your DD will have a "Learning Curve" whichever school you and she decide on, and that it would have been better for that "Learning Curve" to have happened before High School, when everything counts.  That's not an option for your DD, you do not have that luxury now, so you need to try to limit the damage.

 

How many of the credits she has now will transfer? How confident is she of the material in those courses?

 

TTUISD is a special ISD (Independent School District) in the State of Texas. Like the Dallas ISD or Houston ISD or Lubbock ISD. So, their students are subject to the same course and testing requirements as those in a Brick and Mortar Public School in Texas.  For High School, the five (5) End of Course (EOC) examinations must be passed, for the students to qualify for a High School Diploma.   

 

I see that as additional stress for your DD, who would need to pass those 5 EOCs, for courses that my DD took in 9th and 10th grades. I was happy when we learned that my DD had passed them and I told her that now she can just concentrate on the SAT and ACT exams, since she has the EOCs behind her.  I think that takes a lot of the stress away.  A student in Texas can relax, after passing those EOCs.

 

For us, TTUISD is a blessing and we highly recommend it, but it isn't for everyone.  The school is run by a large public university and the testing requirements are not flexible.   For example, if one fails a Final Examination, I believe they must repeat the course.

 

PLEASE investigate TTUISD and Laurel Springs and the other schools you are interested in, very thoroughly, get all of your questions and concerns answered, and then you and your DD can (hopefully) make the best decision for your DD about how to continue her education.

 

If she were just beginning High School (9th grade) this would be far less complicated, and you have written that she feels weak in some materials and would apparently like to go back to 10th grade.  

 

There is also the matter of Laurel Springs (and possibly other schools) with regard to your interest in some or all of their courses being UC approved.   If your DD is hoping to attend a UC school, that might  be important, since you wrote that you are from California.  If you think she would apply to a UC school, then that might be an important factor for you, if not, it doesn't matter.  Laurel Springs accreditation seems to be very solid.  (I took a quick look at their web site yesterday)

 

Your goal is to come up with the best possible solution  for your DD, where she will be successful. Each school will have "Pros" and "Cons".  I wish you (and especially your DD) much good luck, with the research you need to do and with the decision you will make.

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They have done lab classes: Honors Biology, Honors Chemistry, and currently AP Biology and AP Physics 1. Only the AP Biology is online. Maybe things have changed. The lab kits are purchased separately from LabPaq. For math and science, she writes out her work on paper and then takes photos with her phone, emails them to herself and creates a document which then is uploaded to the learning management system for grading by the teacher. The math exams have multiple choice and also boxes to show your work on some problems. It's a little tricky to know how to type in the math at first. The AP Biology has all been some multiple choice and a lot of FRQ practice but it is all typed in online. Except for graphs that those are sent in as photos or pdfs. 

 

In general the online classes are easier to keep up with because the work seems to be broken into smaller chunks, like maybe five items due per class per week. The textbook classes have basically one big assignment due each week. For example Week 1 =Lesson 1, read the chapter and answer the following questions on such and such pages. Then complete Lab 1 or Quiz 1. It varies obviously. If you are sincerely trying to keep up, the teachers will work with the student on modifications to the work unless it is an AP class. Those are fixed in stone it seems because they are approved by the College Board. If you get way behind for no good reason, then they are less flexible. I'm not sure if that makes sense. But it is good to have a working relationship with the teacher rather than come at the last minute with huge problems. 

 

I agree with Lanny that there is a learning curve involved with all of this and the parent does have to be involved to solve problems and help. The teachers are very skilled in working with the technology and are eager to get to know the students. You have a different teacher for each class. They all send welcome videos introducing themselves at the beginning of the year and include multiple ways to get in touch with them such as text messages, phone, email, Skype, and i-classrooms. There is also an online help room staffed by a teacher all day that can help if you can't get to your actual teacher for some reason. We've never needed to use that. 

 

If you are full-time, you also have a guidance counselor and a required seminar class that helps the student with preparing college applications, doing standardized tests, choosing classes, and things like that. It was helpful to have someone besides myself asking those sorts of questions and laying out timelines. 

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Lanny, thanks again for all the information. IT sounds like the Texas program has worked really well for your DD. I looked at it, but so late in high school I think there are too many Texas specific requirements.  LS and Indiana seem a bit more generic in what they require. 

 

You are welcome.  I have just taken a very quick glance at the entire thread.  As you know, your DD has a very problematic situation here.  Difficult choice for you and her to make.  You have strong interest in the possibility of her being admitted to a UC school and that may tilt the decision to LS, or another school that meets the UC requirements.

 

How her taking 5 years to complete High School will look to university admissions people is another matter, but you can cross that bridge when you come to it. That's down the road...

 

You are absolutely correct that there are many Texas specific requirements. That's not a problem, for a student who begins in 9th grade, but for a student who wants to go back to 10th grade, that's a problem, because some of the testing is for 9th grade courses.

 

Question: Where you live, is there a brick and mortar school that is accredited in the USA by SACS or another Regional accrediting agency? 

 

I suspect that your DD is now in a British school, because of the IB program, but that is an assumption.

 

I wish you and your DD much good luck with this decision!

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This is a big decision for you to make. It will be important for your dd to have buy-in to whatever you decide. LS is having a virtual open house on December 7th at 1:00 EDT. We did that before we started. There is a presentation and then a chance to type in questions for the panel. I wish you good luck in your decision making. 

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This is a big decision for you to make. It will be important for your dd to have buy-in to whatever you decide. LS is having a virtual open house on December 7th at 1:00 EDT. We did that before we started. There is a presentation and then a chance to type in questions for the panel. I wish you good luck in your decision making. 

 

+1   This is an extremely crucial decision, and the OP and her DD need  to make this decision together. It should not be decided by one person and imposed on the other person.   The LS "Open House" sounds like a great thing for the OP and her DD to participate in.  I suggest they write down 2 or 3 of their most important questions, and if they are lucky they will be able to ask those questions during the "Open House".  

 

When I was looking for a solution for our DD in 2012 (my wife tasked me with that after I attended a hastily called meeting at the Brick & Mortar school DD was attending) one of the schools I was looking at showed on their web site that they were BBB approved.  I sent an email asking which Better Business Bureau had given them approval, since there was no link from the school web site to a BBB web page.  No response to that question, but numerous please enroll messages.  I eliminated them from consideration because they could not, or, would not, answer my question.

 

IMO, it is much better to write questions and get answers, via email, because then you can take your time writing your questions and the person responding can do the same writing their answers. Nothing verbal counts...  It's like a contract, nothing verbal counts...

 

There are a lot of issues the OP has written about. My impression is her DD wants to repeat 10th grade.  I wonder how she would feel about going all the way back to 9th grade. That would give her a "Fresh Start" and she could enroll in any High School they decide is best for the DD.  That depends on the age of the DD at this time and how she would feel about that, etc.  

 

There are many more hoops to jump thru, with a school like TTU K12, run by a major university that puts their name on the High School Diploma,  I suspect,the same rules their Brick & Mortar university students on campus in Lubbock, and their Online university students must comply with, are used by TTU K12.  

 

I really see this selection of a new school as very problematic, whether it is LS or TTU K12 or some other school.  

 

I wonder if there is some other school where the OP lives where the DD could attend, without the pressure of IB level courses.  I suspect that would be better (and easier) for her than trying to cope with the added complexity of being a Distance Learning student and needing to do the Time Management and Self Discipline that are required.  

 

IMO the OP should not be looking at AP courses or a huge workload for her DD at this time. I believe she should be looking for a situation where her DD can be successful and confident at this time.  

 

There are pros and there are cons, to each possibility the OP and her DD  will consider. I wish them Godspeed in this journey. 

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Here's another possibility, for an extremely motivated student. Wasn't in our price range, and they didn't have 6th grade, which is when our DD began as a Distance Learning student, but possibly they offer scholarships?  https://ohs.stanford.edu/

 

Here's the Home Page for the Ole Miss High School:

http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/hsathome/

 

I believe that OU (Oklahoma) had a High School, but that it was closed, several years ago. Not sure...

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A friend of mine used Calvert for her three kids up to eighth grade. They were only just starting to offer high school at that time so I can't comment on that. They liked Calvert though. I was impressed with the materials that I saw at the time. It was well organized and everything came in the box. High school might be different though.

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Thanks all for the thoughtful and helpful responses.  I'm so glad to have found this community!

 

Has anyone heard of Calvert out of Baltimore? It was recommended by a friend of a friend. 

 

Calvert has been around for approximately 100+ years. HOWEVER, the company was sold to another company, a few years ago. They had originally offered through 8th (?) grade, but, I believe a few years ago they began offering High School.  I believe they had a Brick & Mortar school (probably in Baltimore) and also what was originally a "Correspondence" school. Now known as Distance Learning and more often done "Online" and not by sending things back and forth in the U.S. Mail..

 

I think their courses were for people who were home schooling their DC. Not sure whether or not they offer a High School diploma now and if so, if it is accredited by one of the Regional Accrediting organizations.

 

Calvert was one of the schools I contacted (think May or June 2012) for our DD.  I studied the information they sent to me. I found their different programs confusing. EG: Which would be best for our DD if we went with Calvert, beginning with 6th grade. Some of the programs (depending on more help from them, etc.) were quite costly, but probably way below LS which you are also interested in.

 

I have no idea about what Calvert offers today and suggest that you do contact them and ask them to mail their information to you.  I found it easier to sit in a chair in the living room and study their material, than to try to read it on their web site at that time.

 

ETA: FWIW I googled, I think yesterday, as you had done, for something like "Laurel Springs+reviews". (without the quote marks).  I read on one web site some things that were truly disturbing, along with some "Reviews" that seemed to be similar and possibly false reviews or where students were "encouraged" to post positive reviews on that web site.  It is hard to know when looking at Reviews, on any web site, whether or not they are written by actual customers or planted by the company. If you read enough Reviews, you can (hopefully) try to figure out which ones are genuine and which ones are planted. That said, at lest one person in this thread has a DC who is a Senior in LS and is happy with it and that is someone you can get accurate information from, with regard to your questions and concerns about LS.

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DD did 8 credits with Calvert for 9th and into 10th grade before transferring into K12 international academy.  Is there anything in particular that I can help with?

 

@AIIR    Awesomel  You can give the OP feedback on both Calvert and K12 International (pros and cons) and why your DD transferred from Calvert into K12 International.

 

OP: I just Googled again, for Laurel Springs Reviews 2017.  Disturbing. As you'd written, there are some horrible comments and also some very positive comments. I know that you are very interested in LS, so you need not to be impressed by their web site (or that of any school you look at) and instead try to get as much information as is possible from the poster whose DC is a Senior in LS at this time.

 

This is one URL I found in the Google SERPs for my search for Laurel Springs Reviews 2017:  

http://www.homeschoolreviews.com/reviews/curriculum/reviews.aspx?id=135

 

ETA: Here's another link for the Google SERPs for my search.  

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/education/laurel-springs-school.html

 

OP you must investigate, as thoroughly as you possibly can, every school that you and your DD might share an interest in. LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP

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CAJinBE, thank you so much for describing how the classes work. It's incredibly helpful.

 

Have you found that, even with High School, you need to be around to help? Does your DD need you in the background most days, or was it a matter of being around to help troubleshoot while she was getting used to the technology and methodology during the early, learning curve phase?  I work full-time, and though I can arrange to work part of the week from home, I need to be in the office some of the time. 

 

@AIiR  Yes please!  What Lanny said  :001_smile:  -- any info about Calvert, such as pros, cons, and why your DD transfered would be great. Also, any thoughts on K12 International? A PM is fine if that works better.

 

Lanny. Thanks again for all the digging.  I've also seen the negative as well as the positive reviews of LS, but have heard some very good things, of course from CAJinBE, but also from friends of my sister in California -- a number of her friends' kids have used it, though mainly to fill in the occasional course or two. 

 

Because we were transferred overseas, we get help with education costs (phew!), so I have the luxury of not having to worry so much about that. But the right fit is important. I'm guessing that with online schooling, like most things, one kid's dream school is another kid's nightmare.  Personally, I love the look of Oak Meadow and might choose that for myself, but I think it would drive DD crazy.  Right now, she needs structure, and very clear guidelines and expectations. 

 

CAJinBE, thanks for the head's up about the open house; I'll do that on Thursday and see if DD can join.   DD really wants this to work -- she has her heart set on a university program, so there's some good external motivation!

 

 

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My DD began with 2 sixth grade courses, during October 2012, in TTUISD.  At that time, she was very weak, reading and writing English. I did help her a little with the 6th grade English, she'd never written an Essay before that, which was one of the 2 courses  she started with.  She quickly mastered how the "Moodle" CMS (Course Management System) works, how to submit her lessons, taking a Quiz, and the Final Exams, etc. IMO she has (more or less)  been "her own teacher" for years. There is a lot of course material presented by the school, to accompany the Textbooks, but the student is on their own to complete the assignments and submit the work to be graded.  From the Reviews of Laurel Springs that I read, yesterday and today, some of them indicated (IMO) less Support from the Instructors and Staff of Laurel Springs, than what my DD gets from TTUISD (now TTU K12).  And, less course material from them. TTUISD spends a LOT of time, when they develop a new course. I think a year or 2.  A couple of times, we have waited, for a new course to be released and it seems to  always take much longer than they anticipate. One has the advantage with a school like TTUISD that there is a lot oversight in the preparation of the new courses and there are a lot of people looking them over, before they release a new course.     I think it is great that your company is  paying for at least part of the education costs for your DD. That helps a lot.  If we had the kind of money I think it takes to pay for Laurel Springs, my DD would still be in the Private SACS accredited  brick and mortar school here in Cali, where she was in K4, K5 and First Grade. A wonderful school that she loved.  All the students love that school.  What I hope will not happen is that you enroll your DD in Laurel Springs, or some other school, and that it turns out to be very different than what you want and hope for, and will be another bad experience for your DD.  Try to protect your DD from another bad experience, when you and she choose her new school.  Don't fall for a slick web site or high pressure sales people trying to get you to enroll and pay them.  It would be nice if your DD could begin, with, for example, 2 courses, like my DD did, to "get her feet wet" and see what it is like, before committing thousands of dollars to them. But, doing that would delay her graduation date.  Some of the Reviews of Laurel Springs said the people were surprised when the school announced their time for the course was up, so I think you need to clearly understand all of  their rules and procedures, as you would those of any school.

 

ETA: Regarding the course material that the school provided in Middle School. To me, the Middle Art course DD took was amazing.  The course had been prepared when it was a Correspondence course (send things back and forth via  U.S. Mail) and since we are overseas, was sent to us as a .PDF file. To our surprise, there were 2 textbooks. One for the first semester and another one for the 2nd semester. What my DD learned from that course was and is to me amazing.  Not being able to draw a straight line, to know what my DD learned, in a Distance Learning course for Art was incredible.  She also loved the High School Art course. 

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CAJinBE, thank you so much for describing how the classes work. It's incredibly helpful.

 

Have you found that, even with High School, you need to be around to help? Does your DD need you in the background most days, or was it a matter of being around to help troubleshoot while she was getting used to the technology and methodology during the early, learning curve phase?  I work full-time, and though I can arrange to work part of the week from home, I need to be in the office some of the time. 

 

@AIiR  Yes please!  What Lanny said  :001_smile:  -- any info about Calvert, such as pros, cons, and why your DD transfered would be great. Also, any thoughts on K12 International? A PM is fine if that works better.

 

Lanny. Thanks again for all the digging.  I've also seen the negative as well as the positive reviews of LS, but have heard some very good things, of course from CAJinBE, but also from friends of my sister in California -- a number of her friends' kids have used it, though mainly to fill in the occasional course or two. 

 

Because we were transferred overseas, we get help with education costs (phew!), so I have the luxury of not having to worry so much about that. But the right fit is important. I'm guessing that with online schooling, like most things, one kid's dream school is another kid's nightmare.  Personally, I love the look of Oak Meadow and might choose that for myself, but I think it would drive DD crazy.  Right now, she needs structure, and very clear guidelines and expectations. 

 

CAJinBE, thanks for the head's up about the open house; I'll do that on Thursday and see if DD can join.   DD really wants this to work -- she has her heart set on a university program, so there's some good external motivation!

I try to be available throughout the day as much as possible because issues do come up. I help with the math and science courses probably once a week, although in tenth grade it was more because I had to fill in some gaps from her previous international school experience. I'm very proud of how independent my daughter is now and she can easily find resources online to help her understand things which I think is an important skill to have. She mentioned her independent learning abilities in her college apps. My other dd that is doing AP Bio I only help to bounce ideas off of or look at if I think she is going in the right direction. I told her up front that biology is not my thing at all. She also knows how to find excellent online videos for review or extra help. If I wasn't there they would contact the teachers more often, but that would be a good thing too. 

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@AIIR    Awesomel  You can give the OP feedback on both Calvert and K12 International (pros and cons) and why your DD transferred from Calvert into K12 International.

 

OP: I just Googled again, for Laurel Springs Reviews 2017.  Disturbing. As you'd written, there are some horrible comments and also some very positive comments. I know that you are very interested in LS, so you need not to be impressed by their web site (or that of any school you look at) and instead try to get as much information as is possible from the poster whose DC is a Senior in LS at this time.

 

This is one URL I found in the Google SERPs for my search for Laurel Springs Reviews 2017:  

http://www.homeschoolreviews.com/reviews/curriculum/reviews.aspx?id=135

 

ETA: Here's another link for the Google SERPs for my search.  

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/education/laurel-springs-school.html

 

OP you must investigate, as thoroughly as you possibly can, every school that you and your DD might share an interest in. LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP

I read through those reviews and I think the negative ones are a bit off. Just looking at the 2017 ones I see a few questionable things. For example, lab materials are extra. I've said that and it was no surprise to me. They come from a third party vendor. Extension fees are by month with two months being max. This may be different in the summer. RE getting locked out of classes, we've never had this happen but there are gates sometimes.This can be frustrating if you are behind and trying to do a lot at once. Gates have happened when you have to have one thing graded to do something else. For example, teachers have three days to grade and all grades must be in before you can do the exam. You must plan for this. Some teachers grade within an hour, some take the full three days. Even so I think three days is pretty good. You get to know the teacher's style and can plan for that. Another gate is proctor information. This is due at the beginning of the last unit. You can't go on until you have submitted that. I think this is so that the student gets the point of lining up the proctor in advance. 

 

The comment about all text-based is odd because a textbook course is obviously text -based. It is not hard to find resources online these days. There are so many good ones. The value added of the teacher for me is the grading and explanations of wrong answers. I've not needed a tutor.

 

The teacher's provide grades and a brief comment on every assignment. Usually it is something like "Good Job" or look at this one again. If the student needs help he has to contact the teacher via one of the many methods available. We have gotten a few emails when my dd has fallen behind but these are really not necessary because the end dates and due dates could not be more clearly defined on the LMS. Like I said they turn red when late. Any parent that claims not to know the end date is really incompetent. 

 

I would never do a summer course unless you want to spend all day doing that course. They are just the regular courses compressed into weeks instead of months. 

 

I don't think LS is a perfect, life-changing experience but it is very good. We are overseas and can not afford the international schools although we tried for a few years. If there was an amazing brick and mortar school near us that was affordable, we would probably do that. I'm grateful that LS is an option. The guidance counselor this year has been great too. 

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CAJinBE and Lanny -- what have you done for proctors, and how often do you need them.  Is it just for final exams?

 

DD is super shy -- and also embarrassed that she will be taking a different road while her friends at the international and local brick schools are walking a straighter line.  I'm sure her current school would let her take exams there (the administration is great, and I've been a parent there for six years), but she won't want to do that.

 

Thanks to you both for all the information. It's giving me a good sense of how these courses work, what I will need to do, as a parent, to support DD, and the practicalities of making LS work for her. The info on grading and gates at LS is really good to know.

 

Lanny, is that the type of feedback your DD is getting through the Texas program?  I took a look again last night -- you're a good advertisement for them  ;) -- and it's great that your DD has had such a good, long term experience, but I still think there will be too many Texas specific requirements for my DD to cram into two years. 

 

 I'm not really blinded by the gloss of any of the websites (at least I think not!), and I'm not looking for miracles, but I like the California connection of LS and the variety of what they offer under one roof.  But I also agree that it's hard to tell without seeing the materials themselves. With Indiana, I've been able to look at a handful of course introductions and outlines  and really like them -- the font is clear (important for these programs), the language accessible without dumbing things down, and there is a real sense of voice and personality from the teachers who have written the introductions.  I like it that the university seems to own and feel responsible for the materials. But I also really like the range offered by LS, and think the electronic time keeping might actually be a help, and make DD feel a bit more connected.

 

I looked at Calvert last night and will call them later, but it looks like there is a lot of parent teaching expected, which wouldn't work for us. 

 

DD has agreed to try two courses from different places to see which suits her best.  That might clarify things. And hopefully we'll be able to get that going soon and she'll feel like she's starting to make progress again. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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>CAJinBE and Lanny -- what have you done for proctors, and how often do you need them.  Is it >just for final exams?

 

The Proctor we use is a High School teacher here. We need her for every Final Examination, at the end of the course.  Also, we had to have her "Bonded" so that she could supervise the 5 End of Course examinations that are required for Texas High School graduation, by Texas law...

 

>Lanny, is that the type of feedback your DD is getting through the Texas program?  I took a >look again last night -- you're a good advertisement for them  ;) -- and it's great that your >DD has had such a good, long term experience, but I still think there will be too many Texas >specific requirements for my DD to cram into two years.

 

Normally, I don't believe there is much communication between my DD and her Instructors, but that probably depends upon the subject.  If she has a question, or an issue, she messages them, I know that happens occasioinally. Usually, for Math for example, if she doesn't grasp something, from the explanation in the textbook, and what's in the Moodle, she will look on Khan Academy or some other web site, to find a more understandable explanation.

 

I 100% agree with you that putting your DD into TTU K12 (TTUISD) at this time in her life would require a lot of very Texas specific requirements...  If your DD were beginning 9th grade, at this time, I would highly encourage you to look, very seriously, at TTU K12, but with the EOC requirements and the course requirements that are specific to Texas, that would IMO be very rough for your DD, because she has already been in 9th and 10th grades...  She would need to cram quite a bit of Texas specific stuff in. And, IMO, the worst part would be the stress of the 5 EOCs that are required. (Until a few years ago, there were 15 EOCs required, but the Texas Legislature reduced that to 5 EOCs).  And, I don't know how much of what your DD has successfully completed would transfer in... 

 

I can understand how your DD might feel about going back to the school she was previously enrolled in, to have exams proctored, whether they were for TTU K12 or LS or some other school. However, that would be the easiest thing for you and for your DD to arrange as far as proctoring that the new school would probably approve...

 

My DD went to the private school where she was a student in K4, K5 and First grade, to take the PSAT and she will take the ACT and SAT exams there too. 

 

I understand that some universities, for their Distance Learning students, have some kind of Remote Proctoring system, and I think TTUISD looked into that, a few years ago, but so far it hasn't been mentioned to us, so I believe they did not think that was a good way to go, at this time. 

 

My DD does almost everything on her own with regard to studying.  I don't have access to her grades or progress in the Moodle and I don't think my wife does either. We trust her, to do what she needs to do.  A couple of times, during the past 5 years, she has gotten behind, and we have had to pay for a course extension. The transition from Middle School to High School, was a big jump in workload and that's normal. There another huge increase in workload, going from High School to University.  The workload keeps increasing, as students keep advancing. Totally normal.

 

DD has learned how to do whatever she needs to do, to use the right computer application, to do what she needs to do for a specific assignment.  She is excellent with figuring out what to use to do a specific task on the computer.  She knows far more about that than I do. 

 

A few years ago, I think there was someone here who was a Keystone (?) Distance Learning student. She lived with her family in an RV and I believe she was happy with her courses and working hard on them.

 

Also, I think someone had inquired about the University of Missouri program, but someone responded that they Machine Score. My DD has, I know, taken quizzes that have been like that, but I greatly prefer that her work is seen by her Instructors and graded by them.

 

I think someone here on WTM wrote that she was from Nebraska and had taken 1 or more courses from them, when she was in High School.

 

I can't remember if anyone here has experience with Indiana.

 

I don't remember seeing anything here about Ole Miss (Mississippi).

 

The priority at this time, for you and your DD, IMO, should be for you to help your DD be successful in her studies again and be much happier with her life. Help her increase her confidence again.

Edited by Lanny
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The proctor can be any professional, non-family member that will agree to make sure the student has an adequate testing environment and doesn't cheat. This can be going to a library or school. Since we are members of a local co-op I have friends that are certified teachers that come to the house as needed. This is only for final exams. My daughter is more comfortable at home and we know the wifi is going to work, don't have to drive anywhere, etc. The proctor receives a secret code to unlock the exam that they type in on the students computer. No other tabs or windows can be open or else the exam will close and the student fails. This is all clearly explained in the proctor information. I think this year we are going to use our Dutch tutor who comes to the house twice a week anyway. She teaches in a local school. 

 

Lanny mentioned not seeing his dd's grades. I have my own login for the LMS so I can see the lesson content, the grade book, all comments, quizzes and tests after they are complete. The only difference is I can not submit any work or change due dates. One interesting feature we didn't know about at first is that the student can slide the target end date up. For example if you are doing a normal ten month course the system schedules everything to be done at the end of the tenth month, whatever that date might be. But it is actually a good idea to slide the date back about a month (May instead of June for example) , this gives you time to take off for holidays, illness, or whatever. So the assignments come at a more rapid pace at first. This is also good because the first lessons are often the easiest and it is smart to work faster on those and leave more time for review at the end. There is an on boarding course at the start that shows you how to do all this, but I think we just missed it or didn't realize the benefit of doing it. 

 

Another thing I don't think I mentioned is that if you are a full-time student you are assigned an advisor. This person is the teacher for a one semester required course each year called Junior Seminar, Senior Seminar, etc. This does take a bit more time but it's useful information on taking the SAT, ACT, college apps, resume writing, etc. Sophomore year I thought it was a lot because it was all new to us, but by senior year it was all starting to come together. You do have to pay for this extra class. There are lessons on NCAA and UC stuff that didn't apply to us but at least we know what they are. 

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TTUISD (TTU K12 now) courses are not, to the best of my knowledge and belief, NCAA approved, if that's of importance to the DD of the OP.   I would be concerned, about how many of the credits the student has completed would be accepted by TTUISD or another school the OP is looking at.. Possibly all of them. Possibly none of them.  I'm not sure how that would work, for a student transferring in from another High School. 

 

DD has a Counselor in the school.  When starting 9th grade, the students need to select which Diploma endorsement(s) they are heading for and that determines some of the courses they must take. 

 

There have been, if my memory is correct, some people here on WTM whose DC are taking or had taken courses from American School. I think one can request more difficult courses from them, if wanting to head to university?  If one were to attend a school like that, I think it would be helpful if one also took some University level courses, from a major university, to show that  they can do University level work.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_School_of_Correspondence

 

https://www.americanschoolofcorr.com/

 

(They don't list the "dozens of well known colleges and universities in the United States" their graduates have been admitted to)

 

There is another school called Penn Foster, but I just looked at their list of schools their graduates have been admitted to, and it is not impressive:  https://www.pennfoster.edu/high-school/student-life/alumni-institutions

 

My guess at this time is that the DD of the OP will be better served by a generic school like Keystone (?), or possibly by a school like Laurel Springs, possibly one that is UC accredited and has NCAA approval for some or all of their courses, than by a public university run school ,with very rigid state-specific requirements.

 

I hope the OP and her DD can figure this out and make the best possible choice where the DD will be happy and successful.

 

ETA: This is something specific to California which might be of interest to the OP and her DD:

https://www.connectionsacademy.com/california-online-school/curriculum/high-school

 

ETA #2:  I read a bit on the California Connections Academy URL above. That's free, so I assume that is only for  Residents of California. Possibly they have a paid program that might be of interest to the OP and her DD?

Edited by Lanny
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Here's another online Distance Learning High School, run by another major public university (UT Austin).. For the OP and her DD, and their situation, probably like Texas Tech University (TTUISD or TTU K12) this is not a "go", because of the requirements of the State of Texas for a High School Diploma,  that would be tough for the DD to comply with, if she transfers in as a Junior.

 

https://highschool.utexas.edu/

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Here's another online Distance Learning High School, run by another major public university (UT Austin).. For the OP and her DD, and their situation, probably like Texas Tech University (TTUISD or TTU K12) this is not a "go", because of the requirements of the State of Texas for a High School Diploma,  that would be tough for the DD to comply with, if she transfers in as a Junior.

 

https://highschool.utexas.edu/

 

UT Austin also offers a lot of dual enrollment classes through their online high school. Those might be a really good option, they're relatively inexpensive given they're UT Austin classes. They even offer their accelerated full calculus course (through multivariable in 2 semesters).

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For DS1 we are using American in Lansing IL. It is regionally accredited, self paced, no proctors, and very affordable. It is not the most academically ambitious online HS, but it is a good fit for him. He is taking book based courses but with online tests. For math, he is doing those all online. He did their prealgebra and hs algebra courses as independent courses before starting his 4 yr cycle, so his diploma program is starting at geometry and will go through calc. He will also do both chem and bio as lab sciences. I think he can finish at least a year early if he works at it and start CC then. The biggest advantage I see with American for him is that you only work on one or maybe two courses at a time, finish them, and then start another. So instead of managing 5 or 6 classes at once, he is taking two and doing them rapidly. He is also taking a foreign language at a different accredited distance school, which will transfer as a credit when it’s done. Three subjects at a time is perfect. Any more would be too many.

Edited by laundrycrisis
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