My daughter (we will call her Cat for privacy’s sake) will be in the 8th grade this year. We usually have all of our supplies purchased and have gone shopping to get her some new clothes by now. This year, going back to school is going to be different though. She won’t be spending all day sitting in classrooms filled with students in an actual school building. She will studying this time at home.
Public School at Home
We decided this year to sign up for an online Charter School called K12. It is a public school, but she will be doing her class work in her bedroom at home on her computer.
The school explained to us that this is not considered a home school though. It is a public school that just happens to have it’s students online. There will be online class connects, but the students won’t see each other, so for all we know, they could be sitting in their pjs, doing their school work.
Cat will be going to a brick and morter school for choir, then heading back home for the rest of her studies. She has already told me that she plans on changing into her pajamas as soon as she gets home every day.
If she gets tired, she can take a break any time she wants, as long as she’s not in a live class connect session, of course. She can start early in the mornings, or wait until she gets back home in the afternoons, as long as she gets in at least 6 hours of work within each day. If she gets hungry, she can simply take a break and go get a bite to eat.
One thing she loved at the brick and morter school was the yogurt that they had in the cafeteria. Hopefully she will be able to stop by and get one after choir every day. I’m pretty sure they will let her. Her choir class will be finishing around lunchtime. She could probably even sit down and have lunch with some of her friends before coming home. We will have to ask the school about that though.
School supplies are shipped to the students every year. When Cat started unpacking the big box of supplies that she had received, she looked like a little kid opening Christmas gifts. She was most excited about her box of musical instruments. She has always loved music and this year she will be learning how to play some instuments.
In her chemistry set, there were all sorts of little items in there that I (as a mom) thought could easily get lost. I made her put them in a basket and put them on a shelf until she needs them. I may have to surprise her with a lab coat or something, since she didn’t get to shop for school clothes.
Well, I say she didn’t get to shop. We went to the beach and went shopping before and during the trip (Remind me to tell you about the shopping there. We saw some really cute clothes at a new shopping mall at The Park at OWA in Foley, AL.). For the most part though, she will be wearing the clothes that she already had. We may have to go and get her some new pjs though.
As her parent, I will be Cat’s learning coach. I don’t have to be by her side every minute, but I have to be available to help when she needs me. I will still be working a few days per week, so she can do her easy work while I’m gone. She’s old enough that she won’t need my help constantly, like a grade school aged child would.
I’m a little nervous about us getting things done in a timely manner (I have to enter 6 hours of her work daily, 30 hours per week), but I have friends who also do public school at home, so we will have help if we need it. The teachers and staff also said they would be there to help, if needed.
I get to have a cheat sheet too, so I think I’m good there. There are also websites that a lot of the students and parents use to help them out. I don’t think we will have anything to worry about.
The thing I think I like most about this program, is the fact that we can go on vacation while Cat is in school. We don’t have to wait for the holidays, or Spring and Summer Breaks. Before Cat started school, we would go on vacation right before school let out for Summer, or right after school started back up again. It will be nice to be able to go places without all the traffic and hustle and bustle.
We went to Disney World at the end of May one year and didn’t even have to get a Fast Pass for the rides, because there was barely anyone there (compared to Summertime). We went last year during Spring Break and it was super crowded. Even with Fast Passes, we still had to wait in some of the lines. Plus the passes weren’t available for some of the popular rides, because they were already taken. We still had a blast though.
Items Needed for Public School at Home
If you ever decide that you want to try an online Charter School, K-12 is a good one. They are nationwide in the United States. You can use Google to see where you can apply.
Your child will need a computer and headset with microphone, plus a printer. There will be the cost of paper and replacing the ink cartridges as well. Of course, your student will need to have pencils, and maybe some highlighters and a binder or folders to keep their papers in.
If your child is a self starter, this may be a wonderful opportunity for them. They have outings and get to meet eachother and put faces to the names of the classmates that they have been studying with.
This year is going to be great!
Update on K-12
K-12 was for three days this week. My daughter got all of her lessons done on Wednesday and Thursday and had one live class connect session this morning. She now pretty much has a 3 day weekend! She loves being able to work ahead!