K-12 is not homeschooling

As you are looking at the various educational options you have this coming year. There is one option being touted on television and at many homeschooling conventions.        K-12

There is so much misinformation about whether this is homeschooling or public schooling at home. It’s simple. K-12 public school option is Public School at home. You are placing your child’s learning under the authority of the public school system and it’s educational material yet again. This is not a homeschooling option.

The closest thing I would equate this to is home bound status. Where a public school teacher comes to your home once or twice a week because your child has a sickness or significant need. Except in this case there is a online teacher that is there everyday teaching your child.

I imagine that I will upset some of you. That is not my purpose. My purpose is to let you know what you are getting into BEFORE you start K-12. After reading through their glowing self praise page there were a couple of things that jumped out to me. They list using K-12 as a private school or homeschool. You would then be paying for K-12. I looked through some of their al a carte classes and for accredited courses you could spend $650.00!

Does this strike you as crazy? You pay taxes right? So you would be paying for public schooling and then paying again for K-12 if you wanted to use it as a private or homeschooling al a carte. I am not paying twice for an education that I am deliberately choosing NOT to use. I am a homeschooler.

What do you need to know about K-12?

1) It is a PUBLIC SCHOOL option. Meaning you are not homeschooling. You are public schooling at home with the public school’s material and a public school teacher to guide your child. Not you. Defined that way by the law and the company not me.

2) All that free stuff, laptop included is not yours. It’s the public school’s. Some have tracking software on it to be sure you child ‘attends’ school everyday on time and makes progress they feel is approriate.

*I do hope you remember what happened in Pennsylvania, School for spies- the Pennsylvania scandal gets bigger,  where the laptop camera was misused to watch teens in their bedrooms. Even if you are promised they won’t. By having the laptop in your home you leave open the opportunity for an unscrupulous person to misuse that camera in YOUR home.*

3) You are obligated to attend school when the school says you should. There is some leeway but not nearly as much as the commercials make it out to be. You will get a phone call from the school system if your child should not attend or appear to not attend school  (the computer) for long enough.

4) If your child needs lots of assistance or adjustments then you get to go through the lovely IEP process again.

5) If you were hoping that your child would have a more intense academic structure you will only still be held within the structure of what K-12 curricula can handle.

6) If you were hoping to provide your child with religious based material, such as a creation based science curriculum. You are going to have to look elsewhere. If you want to fit in Bible time then like regularly attending kids you will need to carve that time out of ‘family time’.

7) If things don’t go well and you decide K-12 is not for your child. You need to find out exactly how you would withdrawal from K-12. Will you get your money back? Will your child’s work up to that point be counted? I have heard very mixed results from around the country as to how easy or extremely hard it was to remove their child from K-12.

I realize that some of you maybe upset at me for calling out K-12. Why would I stir the pot? It’s simple. Some of our special kids cannot tolerate the public school curriculum speed and rigid schedule. I would hate to see you start what you have been told is homeschooling to find you are not homeschooling. Instead you are strapped to a computer Monday through Friday with a teacher watching your child’s attendance and progress on the other end. All the enjoyment of homeschooling draining away. The flexibility of homeschooling gone. Your family beliefs not being incorporated into your child’s learning like you were hoping.

K-12 is not homeschooling.

UPDATE: Because of the multitude of comments both here and on FB I continued to look into virtual schools, not just K12. Please see my follow up post for more details. Virtual Schools Multiple Options

I also would like to point out that each state has it’s own educational system and laws. Thus each state will be different. What you have that works great in California is not what a family in Illinois is using.

Another blogger’s look at online schooling: Homeschool vs Virtual School at Home~They are not the same.

40 Responses to K-12 is not homeschooling
  1. Kim Bowlin
    July 30, 2012 | 3:56 pm

    Thanks for the review! Knowing it was the “curriculum of choice” for Missouri’s virtual public school program defined to me that I would never use this curriculum. Knowing about the laptops, the rigorous schedule demanded, the extra money required only adds to my reasons to not suggest or recommend K-12.

  2. Coleen
    July 30, 2012 | 4:04 pm

    Hi! We use ECOT, which is an online public school only in OH. I pretty much hate the live sessions, but my son also does independent work on Compass Learning.He gets services: OT, vision, O&M and speech. I would really like to just do Compass Learning (Learning for homeschoolers), but I really want him t have the services. Having a child with disabilities isn’t easy whether at home or in the brick and mortar.Nice article though, it’s all absolutely true.

  3. Jessica
    July 30, 2012 | 4:06 pm

    We used K-12 for our children when we first brought them home. It is an excellent program for those who would be overwhelmed trying to home-school on their own (like I would have been). We didn’t pay for anything. The children worked at their own pace, got instruction, feedback, etc. We decided to do homeschooling last year. We wanted more freedom to pursue the interests of our children. The computers they send you do not have web cams and the parent is the one responsible for in-putting their childrens school hours. I did this on my personal computer. We used our Bible study in as history, reading, music, etc. We really enjoyed it. It is NOT homeschooling but it isn’t as awful as this article made it seem. It isn’t for everyone. We would have been lost without it after ripping our children out of the local public school (which was full of bullying and kids I didn’t want my own kids being influenced by.)

  4. Tammy Smith
    July 30, 2012 | 4:12 pm

    my granddaughter will be starting the k12 program in Ga and it doesnt cost my daughter in law anything. I home school my kids and understand your view but GA public schools are not working for my Granddaughter and K12 for my dil is the next best thing. I prefer the creation science and flexibility I have with homeschooling.

  5. Anne Elliott
    July 30, 2012 | 4:22 pm

    Good post, Heather. We tried the K12 option last year, but before we even got through the enrollment process, we started to realize how few rights we would have as parents. It just couldn’t work for us, not if we wanted the control that we feel God wants us to have. Oh, well….

  6. dwade
    July 30, 2012 | 4:26 pm

    There are instructional methods thankfully available to all families. Parents may actually find advantages to this particular avenue despite your slanted view.

  7. Leah
    July 30, 2012 | 4:33 pm

    Great article! Sharing!

  8. Heather Laurie
    July 30, 2012 | 4:49 pm

    “Slanted” can also be interpreted as my own opinion, based on my research and speaking with a K-12 salesmen from my area. Let’s keep this civil and understand we can disagree without belittling one another.

  9. Earthami
    July 30, 2012 | 4:58 pm

    I went with K12 for our first year of schooling from home and as someone else said it gave me the confidence that I could do it on my own.

    That said, my son HATED it. It took a year and a half before he was willing to look at anything on the computer as school and not immediately shut down.

    So while I didn’t, at the time, mind having their computer in my house, I was fine giving it back and moving on to finding our own way.

    That said my son was in 1st grade at the time and so I was with him during every lesson and I was the teacher for every lesson. The certified teach only administered the state mandated tests at that level so I didn’t have to deal with all the monitoring that happens when the children get more self sufficient.

  10. Rachael LaRock
    July 30, 2012 | 5:06 pm

    I don’t think anyone has the right to label some types of learning homeschooling and some types as not homeschooling. I find it to be elitist and a way of dividing parents over educational issues, instead of focusing on what works for each individual student. We have been homeschooling for over 14 years to avoid a cookie cutter approach to the education of our children and it doesn’t make homeschooling any more viable of a choice if we use that same cookie cutter to label each other as “real” and “not real” homeschoolers. Labels are for canned goods and homeschool binder! Not for children and not for the educational choices that work for them. Enough of the “them vs us” mentality in homeschooling (and in life!).

    I think these choices are going to become more and more fluid as technology and education meet each other in the next few decades and our children will not make these kinds of distinctions among themselves. I think when we look back over the years we homeschooled, these types of distinctions will be an embarrassment to them. It is my suggestion that we spend our energy on better issues (like actually helping the kids learn) than on dividing our community.

  11. Heather Bowen
    July 30, 2012 | 5:08 pm

    Thank you for this! I have often wondered about the k12 program especially since they are now advertising on tv. I now know FOR SURE this is not for us. If I wanted my children to attend public school, I would send them to public school. We homeschool to get out of that system. K12 was not at our state homeschool convention this year and now I know why! Thank you!!

  12. Laurie
    July 30, 2012 | 5:15 pm

    We have attempted to use K12 twice. Once with my son who has autism for kindergarten and once with my NT son who learns at a rapid pace. It did not work well for either child.
    For my son w/ autism, the pace was far too rapid and the material and methods were not a great fit…he lasted maybe two weeks. My NT son HATED the curriculum. While he can ingest and learn rapidly, he became quickly overwhelmed and bored with both the pace and the material. He wanted to linger on subjects he enjoyed and that was not possible. Honestly, it is better than sending a child to a school that is over-crowded and the children are unkind…but, in my opinion, not much better. There are much better options available.

  13. Oona
    July 30, 2012 | 5:16 pm

    Not only is this an important article, it is *especially* important for parents of special needs kids.
    I agree with the points made here and although I do know a couple of families happy with the k12 program, it is not traditional homeschooling as I would define it.
    In my opinion, it is not a great program for special needs. It is still much too demanding and structured to allow them to achieve at their own pace- whether they want to work slower or faster.
    Thanks for posting this. While it may work for some, I wouldn’t choose it and I think that it is being advertised in an unclear and not completely honest way.

  14. Elise
    July 30, 2012 | 5:22 pm

    This will be my first year homeschooling with my extra-special daughter. I opted not to pursue K12 in CA because I felt leery of the high pressure “sales” when I called to just get basic information. Additionally, I knew that too much computer learning would not work for my daughter. For me, using Christian-based curriculum is not my priority; getting her up to grade level is my priority. I opted to use a public charter school in CA. I’ve had total autonomy to choose curriculum (as long as it is secular), although I’ve been grateful for the expertise of the educational specialist who has been assigned to us. Most importantly for me, I did not want to give up my daughter’s IEP. I’ve worked too hard to get her the level of service that is in that document and we’d never be able to afford it privately. Choosing the public charter school does mean that she needs to be working to state grade level standards and she does need to “attend” regularly, but it also means that they are covering speech with her private speech therapist 2 hours per week and they are providing a special tutor to work on her academic goals. I couldn’t have done any of that on my own. I guess I just want to point out that there are other options between the “traditional” approach to homeschooling and K12.

  15. Heather Laurie
    July 30, 2012 | 5:30 pm

    Rachael, There are at least 2 states that I have been told about that have specifically written into the law that K-12 is online public schooling and NOT homeschooling. It is the education and legal world that is. Each family decides how and what to use to educate their children. I am trying to be sure we are all educated on what using K-12 means legally, and who is in charge of your family’s educational path.

  16. Brande
    July 30, 2012 | 5:38 pm

    I appreciate your article here. Does anyone know the difference between K-12 and Connections Academy? I know they are both through the public school system, but was wondering about the similarities and differences.
    We have home schooled for over 7 years now, using various Biblical bases curriculum and changes things for different children. I only ask because I have now helped start a home school support group and have started to see where some groups don’t allow families who choose these options to be a part of them. Our Leadership Team is working through that now. Thanks for any input.

  17. David
    July 30, 2012 | 6:29 pm

    hi,

    Thanks for the link to my Pennsylvania School spying scandal article.

    Which reminds me – I should revisit the topic to see how it was all resolved.

    Cheers…

  18. Tabitha
    July 30, 2012 | 6:53 pm

    I am doing K12 with my sons this year. I know it is public school online instead of homeschool but it will provide me with the support I need to help my son. Here is GA it is totally free. The only states they charge in are ones that don’t offer the public school online program. This is our first year with K12 but I have used online public school before and was happy with it for my son. I have chosen not to use their computers as I have my own and they are only for families without home computers. It may vary from state to state but I have been happy with the information I gotten so far. I can let you know how it goes later but think that K12 is an option for those of us that it fits. I guess it depends on the reason a family choose to keep their children home for school.

  19. chasity
    July 30, 2012 | 9:27 pm

    K12 has 3 options: online private school where you pay and are enrolled in a private school, online public school where you don’t pay and are enrolled in a public school, and homeschool where you pay and are just buying courses, no teacher help at all. All 3 use the exact same curriculum but the homeschool option gives you all the flexibility you want.

    It is very expensive but I have some hand me down subjects from a friend and I am totally impressed at the material. No cheap workbooks here! So, you can actually homeschool with this, using their material, with no school over sight. Perhaps the homeschool (buying materials only) option was overlooked in your research.

  20. Deanna
    July 31, 2012 | 6:29 am

    Thank you for taking the time to research this! I have been wondering about it myself, but am leary of anything offered by the public school, since we want a very BIBLICAL emphasis in our curriculum for our children.

  21. Heather Laurie
    July 31, 2012 | 8:16 am

    Hi Chasity,
    If you would please refer to the 2 paragraphs above the list you will see I did not miss those private and homeschooling options.

  22. Stacy
    July 31, 2012 | 11:23 am

    I use k12 for my 3rd grader and my youngest will be joining us for kindergarten. As much as I would LOVE to use a bible based curriculum, our budget doesn’t permit that. Most homeschooling families are a one income household so I imagine I’m not the only one to say this. So until that changes, k12 is working for us. There is no camera on my son’s computer, and I’ve never been questioned about attendance. One of the reasons I pulled my son out of the traditional setting was because I was threatened to have to meet with the District Attorney after my son missed 5 days in 5 month period. Unacceptable. My son had perfect grades. So I would not tolerate it if k12 acted in that way. We are happy with it.

  23. Michelle
    July 31, 2012 | 11:29 am

    In response to the question above of the difference between Connections Academy and K12, there are essentially none. They use different curriculum is all. I used both, Connections for my younger boys for one semester and K12 for 2 years for my older son, and one for my two younger ones. I prefer K12- for their curriculum, and also they are more flexible and easier to work with. This was several years ago, so it may have changed some, FYI.

    I feel that both are a valid choice for some families, but it should be a well thought out and researched choice. Not just for the “free” curriculum. We liked them, and were grateful for the help and for what I learned along the way. I prefer homeschooling to public school at home, but it fit my needs at the time. I can see that they will be growing as more families find dissatisfaction with the public schools and look for different options.
    Good Luck with your research on what’s best for YOUR family and children. I am grateful that we have so many options for us out there now. What a blessing!!!

  24. Jenn
    July 31, 2012 | 11:53 am

    I use K12 for all three of my kids. I am their teacher. Yes, we do have a teacher assigned to us, but she does not teach my children. If kids need extra help in math or writing, then there is an online teacher-led class. But, other then that, I teach my kids. They learn everything from me. If I don’t like how the school set the material up, then I can change the lesson to teach my kids. My son does really well in math, so I just have him do two or three questions in the workbook, and then take the assessment. The teacher does not teach my kids, she’s there for questions I may have, or for extra classes if the child is falling behind. I love K12 and would recommend it to anyone.

  25. K
    July 31, 2012 | 11:54 am

    You have obviously never actually looked into the public school version of these programs. I still do all the teaching. The teacher is only there to help AS NEEDED and to track our progress. My son has never attended a class/lecture by his “teacher”. Before judging something, you should really look into and talk to families who have actually done it!

    Also K12 is a CURRICULUM. Yes it also has private schools and charter/virtual schools buy their curriculum to use, but K12 itself does not own or run all these schools! They have their own administrations and teachers. Yes, it is funded by our state gov’t. Yes, in most state that means we still have to participate in state testing. Small price to pay for over $5,000 worth of materials per student! Unless you want to pay for my child’s education, I suggest you mind your own business!

    If the ONLY thing that matters to you is WHO paid for my child’s curriculum, and that reason is alone is your reason for not calling me a “home schooler” then fine. You can keep your LABELS and judgmental attitudes to yourself! I work very hard to give my children the best education I can give them! The public schools failed my son, so I took it upon myself to make sure he got the attention and help he deserves! Plus since I own my home and I pay property taxes which help fund our public school system, then I see no reason why I should not take advantage of this program!

    People like you are why we have these divides! There is no reason for it! There is no one way to home school! Who are you to decide what curriculum I use?! Who are you to judge how it is paid for? Who are you to say your way is the right way and my way is wrong?! Last time I checked this is still a Free Country! You can do it the way you want to, and I can do it my way! It doesn’t make either of us wrong or right. The main difference I see is that I SUPPORT your right do the best for your children and I SUPPORT your right to complain about my way. Compared to people like you who are judging something they have never actually tried.

  26. Liz Terek
    July 31, 2012 | 12:03 pm

    Wonderful article. We use Connections Academy in PA. I also added Bible in the form of Book It! books & we altered a bit the science. My son will be in 4th grade this year with them. We did a full year last year & thus far, are happy. Whatever is best for your individual child is fantastic. But, I appreciate all the good info from your site!

  27. Heather M.
    July 31, 2012 | 12:11 pm

    You did not do a very good research on K12. Regardless how we school our child at home…(public online, private online, paid out right for curriculum w/o any guidance) it’s still homeschooling. My child has a teacher, but she does not “teach” the lessons to him…I DO! She is only there for guidance and to make sure we are where we need to be. Far as religion, all you have to do is include what you want in your daily school time and include the time as either language arts, history, art….depending what you did w/your religious study that day. Unless you’ve tried it specifically and spoken w/people who used it…don’t bad mouth it. It might not work for your family w/special needs, but it works for many other families w/or w/out special needs members. Since I do the public school route, I can get free speech therapy for my child and other help as well. I don’t mind he has an IEP, that enables us to be able to get other services as well that we normally wouldn’t be able to get.

  28. Cindy
    July 31, 2012 | 12:25 pm

    Well, that is definitely NOT homeschooling. For those who are really dead set against any public involvement in their family’s education (that would be me), this program sounds like a trojan horse. For those who aren’t opposed to educational welfare, or who haven’t thought out any of the other implications of public schooling, or who are just lacking confidence in their ability to teach their children, I guess it might be a first step to getting out from under the heavy hand of the state. Kinda gives me the creeps, though. The state, once involved, is very hard to get rid of. Best not to involve them at all, if you can help it.

  29. Amber
    July 31, 2012 | 12:33 pm

    I have a couple of good friends who teach for K12. As far as quality goes, they provide as good if not better education than the brick and mortar schools. However, you are absolutely right in your warnings. It is not homeschooling. I live in AZ which is one state that has made the legal distinction. Yes if you just buy the curriculum you are homeschooling. However, it all amounts to your goals. Are you bringing your kids home to avoid peer pressure or other issues alone. Then virtual public school should suit your needs, but you are not technically homeschooling (although if this is what you want to do, that is fine). If you like the PS curriculum, but want the flexibility of homeschooling, then buy the books and use them how you want to. You will be homeschooling at this point. However if you are like me and want to provide a biblically sound education, catering to each child’s strengths, needs and interests, then avoid these options. This article is far from judging anyones choice, it is just laying the info out there so you can make an informed choice.

    I think it is important to note that all virtual public school options are the same in the above info. The difference between them is equivalent to choosing between the regular public school down the street or one of the local charter schools. They are all controlled by the government and must meet certain standards and criteria. How they meet those standards are what is different.

  30. Heather Laurie
    July 31, 2012 | 12:42 pm

    Dear friends, Just because I disagree with you does not mean I did not research the topic before writing about it. Nor does it mean that I don’t think you are doing the right thing for YOUR family. I want you to know that your decision has wide ranging educational and legal implications. You are not under homeschooling laws. You are NOT under the legal protection of places like HSLDA because you are an online public schooler.
    As always I encourage you to do what is best for YOUR family. You will always find support, encouragement, and helpful information here.
    God bless
    Heather

  31. Shawn
    July 31, 2012 | 1:30 pm

    Hello,

    Thanks for the article. I understand K12 is considered public school at home but whats with all of the labels? I guess what I am trying to say is why is there a need to differentiate the students that are taught at home? I understand that virtual schooling is not governed by the exact same laws/rules as traditional homeschooling but you will find some similarities. Did you know that the parent is the main teacher of the student and not the teacher? I don’t think that people are saying you did not do your research but if you are going to post and article then it should state all of the facts and not just be a one sided argument. You are leading parents to believe that they do not have ANY freedom using the K12 program and that is just not true. No, it doesn’t include the Bible as a course but there are resources (FREE) out there that parents can use as an alternate and that is what we do. Regardless of what program you use, each state has it’s attendance requirements and luckily for those of us who choose we can also go to school on the weekend which is great for my family because of my husbands work schedule. We can still go on vacation during the school year not on state mandated holidays and do car schooling just as any traditional homeschooling family. We are not limited to what we can do for our child’s education. We pay taxes just like you and other family’s do but using K12 was our family decision because of what works for us. We don’t bash anyone’s choice of public school, traditional homeschooling, nor virtual schooling because we do not know individual family circumstances. All-in-all, no matter what program you choose, be sure it fits your family and your child’s learning style:)

    p.s. Please do not make it to seem like everyone qualifies for a computer…trust me we don’t.
    And you are correct K12 is schooling at home but so is traditional homeschooling.
    Here’s one more, paying for private k12 is just like paying for private school…we pay taxes for public school but if we decided to go to a private christian school, that would not mean that we get to stop paying taxes. So, what was your point of that statement?

    I don’t want you to think I’m bashing you but would have like to see more accurate statements and not just what you have heard from others.

    Thank you,

    Shawn

  32. Ann
    July 31, 2012 | 2:08 pm

    I don’t think anyone is saying that you didn’t research the topic simply because you have a different viewpoint. It is clear that you didn’t completly research the topic becuase you are making statements that are completly inaccurate.

    The computers that they provide do not have webcams with software for tracking your childs progress. Every student does not get a computer and you can use your own computer so they would not be able to “track” their students this way.

    As a k12 parent I am the one guiding my student through lessons not a teacher. The teacher can help if we need and ask for help but the parent is the one in charge of teaching and making sure the student understands the lessons.

    If you want religious cirriclum included or more intense focus on certain subjects you can easily supplement things of your your choosing.

    My daughter is far from strapped to a computer m-f. This is very inaccurate for most people that use k12 there are many offline activities that we do, as well as taking breaks and fitting a schedule to our needs.

    I don’t believe k12 is the best option for everyone. Just as I don’t believe public school or homeschool is right for everyone. Your article is based on your opinion and you don’t seem to have much previous experience with k12 other then calling and taking to someone about possibly using it. The inaccurate slant to your article could scare people that might actually benefit from this program.

    I believe that you should thourghly research ANY program before getting involved and make sure it will be the right program for you and your kids.

  33. Sherri G
    July 31, 2012 | 2:13 pm

    My daughter has High Functioning Asbergers, ADHD, Learning Disabilities in writing and math, Sensory Processing Disorder and gets Chronic Migraines. She is smart (in the right environment) and very creative. I pulled her from Brick&Mortar school mid-6th grade and placed in a K12 Virtual Academy (yes, public school)…they were great! They modified the lessons, offered remedial math lab, dropped progress requirements/month, allowed her to verbally answer quizzes and I would write them down, and type her essays. We were able to work anytime of the day and any days of the week…if she had a migraine on Tues/Wed then we worked on Sat to catch-up….if she had appts or activities, we could work around them. The Virtual Academies/Charter Schools use K12 curriculum which is no different than purchasing Calvert, SOS, Compass Odyssey, Time4Learning or any other “set” of complete curriculum….its HOW you use that curriculum that is up to you, even with the public schools. The curriculum is based on Mastery of Skills and Objectives and spirals in many areas. So, if your child understands the online portion and can pass the lesson assessment, you move on…if you need or want to supplement including adjusting the material to include Bible based learning, you have the FREEDOM to do so….the certified teacher is there to Supervise but the parent, known as a Learning Coach, actually instructs and helps the child learn the materials….many of the statements made in this article are biased because labeling this type of schooling and bashing the choices others have made that are different than yours is easier than actually researching and talking to real families who use the program, private pay or public school. WHO CARES! What is important is that the children of the future have options which will allow them to learn, excel in academics and other areas of their life and become successful in the technological future….

  34. Karen Grimes
    July 31, 2012 | 2:30 pm

    I am happy and proud to say that this year my 2 special needs kids will be attending the k12 Hybrid option where they will attend school 2-3 days a week. Yes I know that K12 isn’t homeschooling but after getting my books and looking them over they beat regular public school curriculum anyday. Don’t judge the company until you have personally tried it…

  35. Heather Laurie
    July 31, 2012 | 2:30 pm

    Okay Shawn any one that say’s I’m not trying to bash but… usually is about to bash. You did. Wrongfully so, I didn’t just reguritate what I was told by others.
    Second as Sherri G so clearly sums up ‘WHO CARES?” The law and the legal organizations that are designed to protect and assist homeschoolers care. The law of each state to varying degrees care.
    As for whether or not you get a computer or one with or without a camera etc. Each state is different if they choose a differnt virtual school. The amount of money alloted. The laptops given out in my state had microphones and cameras.
    Once again I will point out this article was not meant to upset you but to inform you.
    God bless
    Heather

  36. Laurie W
    July 31, 2012 | 2:36 pm

    We are currently using the K12 curriculum. We have enjoyed our online public school and will be doing it for a second year. The online public school is what you make of it. If you choose to do the program as it is mapped out you can; however, you do have the option of completing any lesson you choose in any manner you choose. You do not have to follow the OLS to a T. You just need to ensure they are learning the state standards/learning objectives. You are not strapped to a computer and can use every day life to teach lessons. Yes there are minimal requirements that must be met but it is 4 times a year and not like it is a weekly thing. I personally like our online school that is using the K12 curriculum. They have outings that allow our children to get together with other students as well as learn will playing. I couldn’t have asked for a better set up then GCA. Online public school was an answer to our prayers. Online public school may not be for some but then again B & M as well as the traditional homeschooling is not for everyone either. TO EACH HIS OR HER OWN!! No one way is the correct way of educating our children. What fits one family may not fit another.

  37. Nicole
    July 31, 2012 | 2:51 pm

    Talk about a danged if you do and a danged if you don’t. The brick and mortar schools claim that k12 is a homeschool and the homeschools say that k12 is brick and mortar school. The problem that I see is that the people who are bashing k12 has never used it, except for a limited amount of people who tried to control the learning completely (which those parents have problems with any school regardless). I have a special needs child that is starting the k12 program this year. My child was bullied at her previous school and I realize that she needed a new venue to learn and excel. She was always ahead of the other students, but her grades started suffering. She was being picked on by others because she was so smart and when she played dumb they called her stupid.
    I considered k12 because with my schedule (full-time college student) that I could not make detailed lesson plans daily nor weekly for my child. I also could not afford to pay for my own homeschool books. I contacted k12 and signed up for the public school option, which means we still have to take the state mandated states (another way that k12 can prove accountability). My lack of finances allows for my child to qualify for the computer (which is a desktop and no camera, for those who think some pervert is watching us).
    Now about putting God into our lessons, there is a way that as a parent can teach Creationism and Darwinism (which honestly in the South it leans more to Creationism). Our k12 program allows us to be flexible with that issue. Though I think that those that think Creationism is the only way, probably has no plans for their child to attend college.
    You’re right k12 is not homeschool! We are not bound by walls!

  38. SUSAN HILL
    July 31, 2012 | 2:52 pm

    The only comment I have about the K12 program is you have to take your kid in for TCAP testing. So, even though your kid in not attending the school the school still gets the federal and state credit for that child. Here in TN it is around $7,000 per child.

  39. K
    July 31, 2012 | 3:33 pm

    I get that using the online public school may not fall under the LEGAL definition. I can deal with that. I just do not like the labels that people are placing on the kids and acting like just because the state is paying that it means we are take a lazy way out or that everything is magically covered and provided to us! I still have to find PE type things for my son. I still work hard to fill any gaps I find in any of the curriculum we use! I am still the one teaching my child. I did not get a free computer or any other electronics and no one spies on me through our web cam!

  40. Kelly G
    July 31, 2012 | 5:35 pm

    I realize you addressed this in one of your paragraphs – kind of – but K12 is a curriculum company that brands its own textbooks, similar to Calvert. K12 also provides the option to use their program through a public, state funded school district. This, I agree, is more home based education rather than homeschooling.

    However, if you purchase your K12 materials independently, you are not paying for public school work as you seemed to imply above, Heather, and you are indeed a homeschooler, albeit one with an expensive curriculum.

    My disclaimer is I used the public funded K12 program for one year for 1 daughter and am now using my own put together curriculum to homeschool my 2 daughters. The program was a great stepping stone to figuring out how I teach and how they learn outside of a brick and mortar school.