- Reviewed on Monday, July 27, 2015
- Grades Used: k
- Dates used: 2014
This is my second year starting out with K12 through the public school option. Last year we tried this for Kindergarten, but because of the issues with the public school option in Virginia being regulated by the hosting school...we simply did not enjoy the experience. Because we were able to keep the work books we'd already been using with K12, I really grew to love the CURRICULUM itself and entertained doing independent study for First Grade. I couldn't afford the independent study option this year (sigh, as it really puts the control in your (the parent) control...no more silly class connects or state mandated head aches....you set the schedule you set the assignment load, etc etc etc...skip what you want...Independent Study really is the way to go and you have a very full and enriching curriculum).
I am attempting the public school option again this year (Virginia). I am going in with some seasoned experience now that I've used several curriculums and explored the ups and downs of each. However, if the public school option doesn't work out...I've decided we will approach each subject independently as we can afford and work on a "block" subject approach.
The curriculum really is full and encompassing. I simply add our own Bible study ...this is much more rewarding for me and my family compared to A Beka's curriculum because we have found the need to supplement on all subjects to meet my personal standards/expectations. Other curriculums we have used also seemed lacking and required more supplementing than I felt should be necessary for a "complete" curriculum.
Summary: Public school Option for K12 is out of K12's hands in regards to much of what amounts to the negative reviews. INDEPENDENT STUDY for K12 seems perfect for families who want a full bodied curriculum that gives the student ample opportunity to expand their experience in the core subjects and work at an independent rate, etc. Do not judge K12 as a CURRICULUM if you are only using it through the public school option due to the many intrusions placed in the system by the public school system of each participating state.
- Reviewed on Monday, July 20, 2015
- Grades Used: K, 1st, 2nd and 3rd
- Dates used: 2012-2015
As a stay at home mom of 5, I've always known that I've wanted to homeschool my kids since before they were born. My two oldest kids have both been enrolled with K12 through MVCA. When I first saw a commercial advertising K12 I was excited to try it. It was free and I figured it was worth a try. So I enrolled my oldest who was in 1st grade at the time. The enrollment process went well for me. I didn't have any problems with the enrollment at all.
Our first year with MVCA went great. We had a nice teacher and I was pleased with the progress my daughter had made that year. So I decided to have her continue with K12 the next school year and I also enrolled my son in Kindergarten. That's the year that I feel things started to go downhill. The amount of work they had both of my kids doing was excessive. We had several writing assignments due for both kids that school year plus something called study island, on top of our normal daily lessons. I felt like I couldn't get everything done. If you fall behind they send you a k-mail reminding you to work extra on the weekends to catch up. I had to skip some things in the lessons just to get through that school year. We had daily class connects which weren't mandatory at the time, but were recommended. I tried to make it to as many of those as I could, but it was difficult with both kids because we only had one computer and the class connect times would often overlap each other.
The following school year I wanted to switch to something else but due to money issues I had to continue with K12 again. That year was even worse than the year before. Class connects were no longer recommended, but were required. I only missed a couple class connects that school year and on the few times I missed, I received a k-mail the next day telling me that I couldn't miss anymore because they were mandatory. Don't they realize that some people are busy and can't make it to every single one? I had a new baby that year as well as my other two kids who weren't in school yet. My son wasn't always able to do the class connects by himself so I had to always do the class connects with him. I always felt the class connects took a huge chunk out of our day that we could have spent working on the daily lessons. I felt the work load was again excessive. My daughter had 6 writing assignments and my son had 4 that year. All of this on top of everything else. I felt that was too much, especially for my son who was only in 1st grade that year.
My oldest had a limit of 3 times to complete each assessment. If she didn't pass it after the 3rd time, I had to write a k-mail to her teacher so she could give her another chance to pass. That only happened a few times that school year, but to me it was ridiculous. I understand they want the kids to pass the assessment but I hated having to wait on the teacher, or else fall behind on the lesson. I never had to worry about that the first couple of years with K12, maybe it was something new that year. I don't know.
The beginning of each school year is very glitchy. Don't be surprised if you can't get the website to load or you get kicked off right in the middle of an assessment and have to take it over again. The website shuts down for a least a few hours and you can't do anything but sit around and keep checking on it. This can sometimes cause you to fall behind on the lesson.
Now I'll talk about the subjects. The math is by far the WORST I have ever seen! They don't do enough review. To me, they skip around too much and teach things way too quickly and I feel my kids have actually gone backward instead of forward. The way they teach the math is hard for me to teach. The phonics was always my favorite subject. Both of my kids learned how to read very well. The vocabulary was easy and so was spelling. The history and science were okay. Some things I did skip over. The music was boring to my kids so I let my 4 year old do the music instead. She seemed to like that a lot better. My kids did enjoy the characters.
If you're looking for a homeschool option where you will have control, K12 is not for you. I thought the teachers were nice. I remember feeling nervous our first year but I never felt like I needed the teacher at all. You'll be called the Learning Coach. You will have to do all of the teaching every day and the teacher will pile more work on top of what you're already doing. You can expect to sit at the computer right along with your kids for at least 5-6 hours a day. You have the option of working ahead in the lessons which can be nice since you don't have that option in the public school, but if you fall behind at all they are quick to remind you. Since K12 is a public school, you will be required to participate in the state testing starting in the 3rd grade. You will also be required to participate in all of the online testing they do in the fall and spring. It's just doing public school at home, not a true homeschool. You will not have the same flexibility you would have teaching on your own using a different curriculum. Free isn't always the best thing.
Some families might like K12 but it hasn't been a good fit for us at all. I liked it the first year, but after that I started to dread it. I'm sorry that we stayed with it for as long as we did. We've decided to try something different next school year and my kids and I are looking forward to it.
- Reviewed on Friday, July 17, 2015
- Grades Used: k,1,3
- Dates used: 2000-2001 and 2015
I love K12 with reservations. I love the full color workbooks, the expanded history and geography, the emphasis on writing, the online games and all the supplies. The kids are so excited to receive their books. I love that our time is fluid and that each child has video classes with their teachers and peers. I have skipped some lessons on the various Gods and myths as I don't think my age kids are able to discriminate between fact and fiction. Anything I consider contrary to my belief system I skip. Period.
I like the ability to go at my own pace, when my 2nd grader hit a snag on word problems we were able to devote a month to studying word problems. The teachers are very responsive. Registration is a bear, I'm not disputing that but it is doable. This is my second time using K12, this time with grandkids. The phonic program is great, the manipulative are wonderful, I honestly cannot say enough great things.
- Reviewed on Friday, July 10, 2015
- Grades Used: 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th-8th
- Dates used: 2012-2015
I think the problems that others are talking about in their reviews are not K12 itself, they are stemming from the schools that are using K12 services. We were in Lawrence Virtual School for the first year and half of using K12, and I grew to dislike it. I didn't hate it, but there was the same pressure about state testing as their had been in public school, some of our teachers were quite rude, and I just didn't like our experience. I will say that principal was great, and the communication was fine. We switched to doing K12 independent study, which is not connected with a school, you go at your own pace, you don't have a teacher, so essentially the parent is the teacher, and WE LOVE IT! We can skip what we want, we can take longer if we want, and the curriculum is fantastic. It just depends on if you use the public school option, or if you do independent study. At least from my experience. :-)