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Am I being delusional about online school?


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My rising 6/7th grader is quite intelligent and does very well. He actually is willing to do the work I assign too, no problems there. But, my older kids kind of put me through the ringer with junior high and high school. The oldest one was definitely willing to do his work, but wanted everything to be independent. Also, his handwriting was terrible, so even though he did the work, I could not correct it. The second one would not do anything at all unless I were sitting next to him and interacting the entire time. This was not possible. He is not an only child. I could not just sit with him 6-8 hrs a day doing his work with him, reading aloud, having him read to me, reading his questions, etc. The only subjects we had any success with were the ones where I did that. I still feel stressed over how things have gone with the second child. In fact, he is just a non-student. He refuses to do anything I assign at all. He is not in school and he will not go to school. (he is in therapy and everything and we do family therapy, etc, so his issues are not the point of this post).

So next up child is bright and never really refuses to do any of his work. I, personally, struggle because first grader likes to get a rise out of 6th grader all the time and it just goes on and on and on. I feel like lessons I have planned often do not get done as they bicker the entire time. Plus, the older the kids get, the more outsourcing I tend to do. I figured online school would reduce this. This online school meets once a week per subject and then they work independently the rest of the time. They also have extracurriculars where he can go in person to do, like robotics. He really wants to do robotics but the closest robotics team type thing I can find is a distance away and costly. 

Son says he would like to remain homeschooling. His day should be short enough and flexible enough that we can still do his favorite things from home schooling. I am torn because I was kind of looking forward to having someone else, an outside source, to help a bit, without having to be all in, sending the kids off to school. Opinions? Oh, and the online school is not K12 or Connections.

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I am confused. If he refuses to do any work without your direct supervision, why would a once-a-week online school make a difference? Why do you think he would do the independent work for that?

Edited by regentrude
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IMO, online school is the worst of both worlds in that you lose control of content and scheduling but you still have to get them to do the work.  So, essentially, you get all of the bad with none of the good.  If the choice is between b&m or full time online, I'd choose b&m school.

If I had kids who were mature and responsible and were able to do the work properly without any input from me, I might have a different opinion.  I have not had students like this though I've heard they exist.

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If the 6th-grader is willing to do his work, I would simply separate him from his brother for school. Physically separate, with swift consequences for whoever leaves their space to go bother the other. 

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17 minutes ago, EKS said:

IMO, online school is the worst of both worlds in that you lose control of content and scheduling but you still have to get them to do the work.  So, essentially, you get all of the bad with none of the good.  

This exactly.

FWIW, even college age students struggle with online classes. It requires a great deal of self discipline and motivation. Doesn't sound like a good fit for your student.

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2 hours ago, regentrude said:

I am confused. If he refuses to do any work without your direct supervision, why would a once-a-week online school make a difference? Why do you think he would do the independent work for that?

No…the was an older child. I am frustrated over my experiences with the older kids so I was thinking this might be a better way to go with this middle child. But fact is, this middle child has never given me grief.

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2 hours ago, katilac said:

If the 6th-grader is willing to do his work, I would simply separate him from his brother for school. Physically separate, with swift consequences for whoever leaves their space to go bother the other. 

Yeah…I think maybe I should just post about the little one getting on middle one’s nerves. I told middle one years ago to stop behaving like that and the younger were learning from it. Now the littlest one is the one doing it.

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I actually think this online school option sounds good.  He can get instruction from a teacher without it being derailed by his younger sibling, he is responsible and willing to put in the work on the other days, and he can go in person to do some activities.  Sounds like a win to me!  As long as you like the program, that is.  

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3 hours ago, freesia said:

I'm confused, too, what child are you asking about? the 6/7 grader?  I am also confused about what the question is exactly.

Sorry. The 6/7 grader is in the middle age wise. The older kids both gave me a certain amount of grief in high school. One only wanted to do everything independently.  That was the older one and he is in college now. The younger one, who is 17 yrs old, would not do anything at all, unless I sat right next to him and interacted at all times. Because of feeling so frustrated about all this, I thought maybe I could head off the teen years angst by putting him in online school now. He has a friend who is in it.  But, he is not excited to do it. He is excited about his friend, but not the online school.

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Just now, Janeway said:

But, he is not excited to do it. He is excited about his friend, but not the online school.

Ok, that makes a bit of a difference.  What type of online school is it and why is he not excited?  I enrolled my kids in almost all live online classes for next year.  They are not completely excited because they know there will be deadlines for everything and generally more work.  They are a little excited about the interaction with other kids and an instructor.  Is it the format of the classes that bothers him or something else? 

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44 minutes ago, kristin0713 said:

Ok, that makes a bit of a difference.  What type of online school is it and why is he not excited?  I enrolled my kids in almost all live online classes for next year.  They are not completely excited because they know there will be deadlines for everything and generally more work.  They are a little excited about the interaction with other kids and an instructor.  Is it the format of the classes that bothers him or something else? 

It is through a school district, a public virtual academy. It is not K12 or Connections, but it is one that other parents who have had kids there have loved. However, I realize no one I know who has their kids there were former homeschoolers. So, someone who loves the public schools would not have the same tastes or experiences as me. I do not want to be quoted so I can remove this later, but the school is called IUniversityPrep.

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Hmm I don’t know if I’d do it. I did find for my two boys that online classes were an excellent way to make homeschooling work long term but I don’t start them (other than a few eight week writing classes in eighth grade) until ninth grade. Then I usually outsource foreign language and writing and play it by year with each child. I think a middle schooler who isn’t interested in the online wouldn’t work well. I suggest taking it by year and setting boundaries with the first grader. I think middle schoolers do best with a number of mom led lessons bc they are at a tender time and need the human connection. 

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I had to separate my two boys when the oldest started high school 3 years ago. It was a HUGE benefit to us all. I stopped getting upset at both of them and they both were able to get the attention they needed. I have the youngest set up in our school room and the oldest is in his bedroom. He has to keep the door open so he can still hear what is happening downstairs. I hated doing it at first as I worried the oldest would feel excluded but he's an introvert and is much happier and more productive when he can be by himself.

In regards to the online school, sounds like it could be worth a try for your sanity but if he isn't looking forward to it you might have an uphill battle on your hands. Maybe try a short online class from Outschool this summer to see if would adapt to an online learning experience? We've done online classes, some were successful (Clover Valley big time thumbs up) some were not (DE at local community college was very hit or miss). Really depends on the format and interaction of the teacher with the students. 

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12 hours ago, freesia said:

Hmm I don’t know if I’d do it. I did find for my two boys that online classes were an excellent way to make homeschooling work long term but I don’t start them (other than a few eight week writing classes in eighth grade) until ninth grade. Then I usually outsource foreign language and writing and play it by year with each child. I think a middle schooler who isn’t interested in the online wouldn’t work well. I suggest taking it by year and setting boundaries with the first grader. I think middle schoolers do best with a number of mom led lessons bc they are at a tender time and need the human connection. 

I would rather wait until high school too, BUT, in Texas, there is a stupid rule that says you must be enrolled in public school for one day the year prior if you want to use the virtual schools. So last year, when the schools were on lockdown and everyone could go to virtual school, I enrolled my son for a few days. So, if he does not go this year, he will not qualify on a future year unless I go to the trouble to enroll him and pull him back out and make him go to school, in person, for a day.

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What do you think of the program?

Is he going into 6th or 7th? If you would rather wait until high school, I would wait.  Jump through the enrollment hoop in 8th grade and start it in 9th. I would not base this decision on those requirements.  

Also, there are so many other online options.  I don't know anything about public virtual schools so I can't comment on that.   

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20 hours ago, regentrude said:

This exactly.

FWIW, even college age students struggle with online classes. It requires a great deal of self discipline and motivation. Doesn't sound like a good fit for your student.

+1 and a lot more than 1...   That is extremely true.  My DD is an alumna of Texas Tech University High School. That is Distance Learning (Asynchronous which is the most difficult) from TTU K-12.

OP: Check this out!   On this URL: https://www.depts.ttu.edu/k12/

it says:  "Texas Tuition-Free

Online Academic Program

The State of Texas has determined TTU K-12 is now eligible to receive state funds. As a result, we will offer a tuition-free K-12 online academic program beginning in August 2021. This program will be in addition to the current options we provide our students."

I remember when the legislature was working on that, 2 or 3 years ago. You are TX residents, so if you qualify for FREE tuition that is something I suggest you check out.

However, as regentrude mentioned, Online courses can be extremely difficult for university students.  My DD began in TTUISD (now TTU K-12) with 6th grade courses. When the COVID-19 hit early in 2020, she was uniquely prepared for the switch from in-person courses to online courses in her university.

If the Search on WTM worked better, you could look for threads about Online Virtual Public Schools. Maybe not in TX, but I remember the workloads were horrible.  And if they are Public Schools, they get paid for the days the students are in school, so there can be tremendous pressure from K-12 and Connections and other "free" Online Public Schools.

Good luck to your DS!

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I looked up the school online, and based on the vocabulary used in some of the descriptions and the videos of the Live Lessons, I am going to make a huge leap and say that I strongly suspect that is using the Pearson (Connections Academy) curriculum and platform that has been rebranded for this particular district, but I could not find any documentation on the web site to say what curriculum is being used. Pearson curriculum is not necessarily a bad thing. Public school curriculum in Texas is so regulated that there isn’t a whole lot of difference in any approved curriculum.

The big issues is that it is still public school with all the requirements of Texas public schools. If you are planning to use a virtual public school eventually, then starting in middle school is not necessarily a bad thing. It will allow you both adjust to the new routines and requirements at a time when grades are not as important as they will be later in high school. Also, many kids will start taking HS credit courses in 8th or even 7th grade in Texas( or that was the case back when my oldest attended middle school/HS in Texas) If your child starts public school in 9th grade he will those HS credits that other students may already have. 

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12 hours ago, City Mouse said:

<snip>

The big issues is that it is still public school with all the requirements of Texas public schools. If you are planning to use a virtual public school eventually, then starting in middle school is not necessarily a bad thing. It will allow you both adjust to the new routines and requirements at a time when grades are not as important as they will be later in high school. Also, many kids will start taking HS credit courses in 8th or even 7th grade in Texas( or that was the case back when my oldest attended middle school/HS in Texas) If your child starts public school in 9th grade he will those HS credits that other students may already have. 

I bolded something I believe is very important.  My DD began with TTUISD (now TTU K12) with several 6th grade courses, as a Supplametal student.  The first platform she used there was the Moodle platform.  Once or twice, before she graduated from Texas Tech University High School, they changed platforms.  That's just one little thing about "Online" courses.  To get into the mode during Middle School, when the grades don't count, will IMO reduce the stress on a student when in High School, when everything counts.

OP good luck to your student!

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I homeschooled four kids k-8th grade. The two oldest wanted to go to public high school, but because of the 1.5 hour bus ride one way, they went into an alternative high school situation that basically gave one of them a GED diploma and the other nothing (long story). My two youngers also were homeschooled k-8th, but these two went to Laurel Springs School online for high school. Both graduated high school with excellent time management skills and grades to get them into the top UC in California. Both were well prepared of AP, ACT, and SAT scoring in the top 10% of each test. 

K-12 was too easy. Laurel Springs college counselors made the college application process smooth.  

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