By C. Wiley
I’ve been using the K12 online public school option with my son since kindergarten. K12 (particularly Georgia Cyber Academy)serves kindergarten through tenth grade.
The curriculum is pretty advanced. I was shocked when my son was required to know the seven continents in kindergarten and then went on to discuss the major imports and exports of some of the main countries on each continent–again, in KINDERGARTEN!
I soon learned that if you set the bar high, they’ll reach it every time. The curriculum is STELLAR and sets the bar high for children. My son has always surpassed national averages on his DIBELS and other testing (He’s an average level learner for those that may wonder the weight of that statement.)
I love, love, LOVE that the lessons are complete and scripted. While some knowledge of how to “teach” is nice and will certainly help, Anyone can do this! The format is crisp and clean, easy to navigate, and incredibly easy to understand. You don’t have to worry about missing something because it’s ALL there. Material lists, assessments, extra enrichment, right at your finger tips!
Another thing I love about the program is the flexibility. I can change his schedule, block his schedule, take off our Holy Days (Jewish Holy Days) and I don’t have to answer to anyone to do so.
While there is a general protocol of letting the teacher know, there is never any conflict. As long as you meet the progress requirements (a certain percentage of course work per month–and this is still flexible as long as you’re keeping in touch with the teacher) you have an amazing amount of freedom.
I also like the option of having my student in dual grades. For example, he was well equipped for kindergarten and finished the material early. For the remainder of the year finished his kindergarten science and history and worked on 1st grade Math and ELA. Instead of supplementing and wasting time covering things he knew, we were able to test out of what he knew (lesson by lesson OR you can also do so as an entire subject),receive his 1st grade materials and begin immediately.
The materials are AMAZING! Not having to shell out a ton of money for materials was definitely a selling point for us. We use the public school option so everything is free. He is getting a TOP NOTCH education without top notch tuition fees! Tax dollars at their best!!
For those concerned with socializing, K12 public schools have several opportunities to get out and meet with other families who use the program. From ice cream socials, to petting zoos, to museums, to the CDC, they do it ALL!
As for the cons, I don’t particularly love having to do the CRCT, but it is a good way to see how he’s stacking up compared to his brick and mortar peers. I feel it’s important for him to remain academically competitive for the future so taking the CRCT gives him a leg up.
Also the student/teacher ratio has greatly increased. It used to be 50/1. Now it’s somewhere between 70 or 80/1. This isn’t of much concern to me since I am my child’s main teacher. The ratio is somewhat deceptive since in my home my ratio is 4/1. That is the interaction he gets on a day in day out basis so, take the ratio with a grain of salt.
Overall the program is outstanding. The teachers are wonderful, helpful, and do all they possibly can to ensure that your student excels. The only thing that would make me happier would be for them to add Pre-K!!