Monday, March 16, 2009

What I Learned About Cyber-Schooling

I know I haven't been around much lately. I was starting to feel the guilt from so much time on the computer when my youngest wanted to play Candyland with me and I didn't have time because I was blogging. Soon she'll be grown up and won't want to play games with me anymore. This fall she'll be in school full time. I'll never get this time back again. I already feel like I don't have enough time to get everything done in the day, let alone play with her. I'm going to spend much less time blogging. But sometimes I have something to say.

Cyber School. My 15-year old started high school this year, my old high school. Let me tell you it is NOT the same as when I went there. It's one of the better schools in the area, but I guess most schools now are very different. In one week time, she had her cell phone stolen, her hood off her jacket stolen, and two girls threatened her for "looking" at them in class. About a week after these things happened she wasn't feeling well and decided to take a day off. We had a great day. We talked about how much time is wasted in school, and how bad school can be sometimes. We decided to look into cyber schooling so she could spend more time at home. Fifteen is an impressionable age, and I feel between school and activities, she needed more time at home with her family. How else can you teach them if you don't have any time with them?

It seems that everyone I mention cyber schooling to is either positive or negative about it. "Wow! That sounds great!", or "Oh... Well, how do you see your friends? I would miss my friends. I would never do my work at home on my own." For us, we found it to be a very positive experience:

  • Cyber schooling is your right being a tax payer, just like your decision to home school.
  • It's very easy to get involved in it. We met with the counselor at school on a Friday, and started the next Monday.
  • We were given a free brand new laptop and printer. We get reimbursed for our internet service. Our only expense is the paper.
  • My daughter is only taking health class to start, but has online help from 8-11PM. She can also use her laptop for her classes at school and even use the online teachers for help with her at-school classes.
  • You can sign up for online any time throughout the year. We signed up at the beginning of the semester and she is already more than half-way done with the class. At school, they are only about 1/4 of the way done. She can work any time, as much as she wants. She only needs to make sure she spends at least the amount of time they do in school on it. BUT, when she's done with the class, she's done! It will be free time for her.
  • What ever grade she gets in cyber school is the grade that will be put on her report card.
  • She can take whatever class she wants, at any time. The school is very flexible. She can come in late in the morning or leave early from school. My daughter leaves 1 1/2 hours early every other day. If she has an activity after school that day, she can stay at school and work on a computer there. She's done that a few times and gets about three assignments done and all her homework for her other classes.
  • Gym class is the easiest. She'll be doing that next year. All she needs to do is log in 60 hours of physical activity within the year. That includes bowling, ski club, track, swimming, ice skating, roller skating, working out at the gym.

One of the counselors at school was very negative about it. He said she needs to be very disciplined and could get behind and most kids quit. Well my daughter is not every kid. She's a very fast worker. She actually loves school, so part time cyber schooling is the perfect mix for her. She can even get a job if she wants now. I just had a gut feeling that this was the best thing for my daughter. The cyber school even told us that some colleges require you to take an online class before they will accept you!

There a lot of information online about it. Your school may even offer it. Ours did, but barely anyone knows about it because they're not allowed to advertise it. Maybe yours does too! If you are at all interested, check it out.

Monday, March 9, 2009

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