I know some of you can't stand K12...why?
I just posted a long reply to your "cost of K12" question. You can get some of my info there.
We're starting our 5th year with K12 as *independent* homeschoolers - not involved with any virtual public school. Some people assume that's the only way to use K12, and it's NOT true. You can purchase it just like you would any other curriculum (and only do one course or all six).
First, I'll tell you why some HS'er are opposed to K12. They are opposed to *any* public-school-at-home program, because it's not "true and pure" homeschooling. They don't think you should invite the government into your home. I'm not going to start a flame war about it here. It's been done too many times the past six years since K12 started. What really gets my goat about it, though, is the same HS'ers are not anti-Calvert, who also runs virtual public school programs as Connections Academy. I've seen the virtual schools help way, way too many people (many my friends) and it's a wonderful option for many families. It's great as a "bridge" between public schooling and HS'ing. It gives parents who are "gun shy" a chance to try out home education, it helps families where both parents are not all the way "on board", etc.
My son has done *awesome* in K12. He's scored in the 99th percentile on all standardized tests - even when tested a year ahead. I love K12's dynamic (not static like a printed one from most curricula) planning and progress tools, I am in awe by the depth and breadth of the curriculum (I learn *so* much that I never had, even in college), I love the ease of use and the professional online and offline components, my son enjoys it immensely (not all of the time is on the computer like many think), and I can't say enough good about it.
You can attend an online seminar about the program, and gain access to a one-week demonstration account to see the online component in detail. Please note that until the middle school years, you, as a parent, will still need to be involved in teaching. It's *not* a sit-your-kid-at-the-computer-a... program. Far from it. Yes, there are things they do independently (more so as the grades progress), but you'll need to guide and lead them.
K12's science, history, and art are so good you won't find an equal anywhere. Language Arts is very strong, too, and has many strands (literature, phonics/spelling, composition, vocabulary, analogies, grammar/usage/mechanics, public speaking, etc). The history from 1st-4th is a four-year coverage "from the stone age to the space age", 5th and 6th are American History (using The History of US books as a spine), and middle school repeats world history in more depth. Art is paralleled with history, which is so much fun! It not only covers art methods and artists, but also architecture, clothing, furniture, etc. Music trains with the Kodaly and Solfege methods.
We did switch out of K12 math at their Pre-Algebra level (6th) and now use Teaching Textbooks for Algebra 1. The math just wasn't a good fit for him like 1st-5th was.
A great thing about K12 is how you can have different grade levels for your child, and they can progress through each course at differing speeds.
The spine of the curriculum is based on the Core Knowledge Foundation scope and sequence. You can view/download copies of the K12 scope and sequences for each course at their site. It will show you a portion of the depth and breadth of each course.
Let me know if you need/want more info!
I am one who you would think was in the "can't stand K12 category", but really, its not K12 that is the problem. I just hate Public School at Home being confused with Real Homeschooling. Here is why:
1. This is not homeschool, IT IS PUBLIC SCHOOL, that is not to say the program is bad, but just to point out that it is a Public School program.
2. Confusing these programs with homeschool poses many dangers to homeschooling freedoms. Those who came before us in the homeschooling movement faced persecution, fines, arrest, and loss of custody of their children, they faced these things to win BACK the God given right to raise and educate their children as they believed. I truly believe we do them a dishonor to put these hard earned freedoms at risk for the sake of convenience. Its not that these programs themselves are bad, but calling them "homeschool" is. So if you choose this option, please call yourself a "virtual schooler" or "independent study family" or something like that, not a "homeschooler". For information on the dangers posed to homeschooling, see the HSLDA website.
3. If you choose a public school at home, you are giving up your right to control your program. You are at the mercy of someone else's decisions, even if they do offer some choices, the choices will only be allowed within the parameters set by the program. Usually these programs offer almost no choice.
4. The virtual school in my state is time based. That means if your child is bright and finishes the day's math lesson in 15 minutes when it was supposed to take 50 minutes, they don't get full credit. Instead they have to be assigned "busy work" to fill the time quota. This might be okay if you were allowed to do whatever you wanted to meet that time (for instance; play Monopoly) but usually you have to do something from a list of "approved" activities.
5. People I have talked to in the program have faced a lot of hassles. Not getting their books on time, so they started late, but were expected to finish on time anyway. Forgetting to log their time for an activity, so not getting any credit even though they have the finished assignment, etc.
6. People often sign on these programs hoping to avoid "gaps" in their child's knowledge. This is fear driven. Aside from that, "gaps" cannot be avoided. No person can possibly know everything there is to know (though we have all met some who think they do). Even if it WAS possible for a curriculum to have no gaps, everyone forgets a great deal of what they learn. At least as a homeschooler, you have a little bit of say as to where those gaps will be. Do you want a gap in the knowledge political correctness, or do you want a gap in the knowledge of the Bible? What is more important, that your child memorize a list of dates, or have an overview of History? Is it okay for a High School student to need to draw a picture to solve a multiplication problem, or should they have memorized the facts in 3rd grade? Different people will answer these kinds of questions differently, but if you put yourself under someone else's control you are giving them the right to answer these questions for you.
7. Many states run these programs only until a certain grade, hoping to pull "homescoolers" completely back into the public School system with them. You do it for three years, become dependent on it, and then it is pulled out from under you, you face the choice of returning you kids the brick and mortar Public School or re-learning how to truly homeschool.
8. Nothing assures the program will continue. When enough homeschoolers have joined up that the homeschool voice loses its power, the programs can be stopped. By then, we may not have the right to homeschool anymore. It wasn't until the mid 90's that homeschooling became legal in all 50 states, there is no guarantee we will keep these freedoms. Make no mistake that public school officials ultimate goal with these programs is to end homeschooling! I truly believe that these virtual schools are just a tool being used toward that goal. They are not supplying these programs to be "nice", they are supplying them to get students back into the Public School system. In a very large city near me, they have closed 5 schools in the past year, not from lack of money, but from lack of students. And there are more people now than there used to be, more kids too. That means that too many people are opting out of the public school system and it is finding itself without enough students for the schools it has. Is it any surprise that schools around here have suddenly become so "friendly" to homeschoolers? If they can get you back they will, and if the only way to do it is with a Virtual School, so be it.
Okay now I'll step down off my soap box and hope no one is mad. :-)
ADDING MORE THOUGHTS
If this K12 program is being done independently, and not through the Public School system, then it would be true homeschooling, but not the kind I would choose. I prefer being free to make my own choices about what is best for each child.
My son used 3 k12 middle school courses as a Independent Homeschooler last year. He really enjoyed the interactive online components. My daughter has chosen to enroll in a k12 Virtual Academy for 9th grade this year. So she will be homeschooling through the public school system, according to HSLDA, that's homeschool option #3 in California.
If you'd like to ask your question about k12 on a list with hundreds of families who use the curriculum, both through a public school and independently, you might want to join one of the yahoogroups:
is the largest one, with over 2000 members.
if your talking about my k12 that is virtual academy it is the most awesome home school program around it is great free computer all lesson done for you and on computer i have never heard of any one not liking it in fact public school teacher are leaving and coming to this program it is from California and all over the world they even have a waiting list it makes home schooling parents job easy ans there kids benefit greatly so when you say not happy just whom and what are you talking about do not knock this program it is awesome for everyone hey a k12 lover awesome hello from azva
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