Sunday, February 13, 2011

Virtual School

Henry has been doing Connections Academy online public school for two weeks now and I thought I'd give you my initial reactions.


*We can schedule our days as we like.  Unlike regular public school (afternoon kindergarten - ick!) we can schedule school around our family instead of the other way around.

*Fun art projects.  I love art, but doing art with kids too often seems like sooo much work that I tend to shy away from it.  But when it's an assigned project, I have no choice, right?  And it's been fun.  Interesting projects, but not TOO involved, and much better than what he was doing at his last school.

"Art" project at his last school...

 And from this school...

If you're wondering, that last one is a rocket ship yarn sculpture launching in my kitchen.

*Accountability from the teacher.  As you may have guessed, getting things done and staying on task is not my strong suit.  We've gotten alot more done these last two weeks since I have to submit our hours and check off lessons as we do them.  It's helpful for me to have that external motivation.  It seems to also motivate Henry to have another adult who is checking up on what he is doing.  Could certain other adults in the house play this role?  Sure.  Do they?  No.

*Ability to skate through boring stuff.  Since I am the one facilitating the lessons, we can fly through easy or boring lessons, just doing the bare minimum, and we can take the time to really delve deeply into the things Henry is more excited about and really enjoys.  We can take things more at HIS pace.

*It's public school.  So when I tell people what he is doing for school, they are generally pretty interested and positive.


*It's a LOT of work.  Henry has a lot of lessons to do each day.  And a decent amount of prep work is expected from me too.  It can get pretty tricky to get it all done with the baby slowing us down.  And some of the stuff seems like "fluff" that I would skip if I were the one in charge of lessons planning instead of the teacher.

*It's public school.  So they have lots of requirements on hours, attendance, lessons that need to be done (though some lessons are marked optional), etc.  And some of the lessons are fairly unimaginative.  It does give alot more flexibility than traditional public school, but it's NOT homeschool.

So, I think the final word today is that while it isn't perfect, and I'm not sure we'll still be doing it next year, it seems to be a really great option for us at this juncture in our lives.

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