Why we chose it
A few years ago, when my oldest was in the 5th grade we were overwhelmed with school related complications. My son was struggling to complete his work on time and even when he would complete it, somehow it just wasn’t making it all the way to school. He had a major lack of focus and motivation, not to mention the bullies and plethora of other daily struggles involved in his daily school routine.
Enough was enough. Sometime towards the end of his 5th grade year, my son looked me straight in the eye and asked if I would homeschool him. Honestly, it was something I had played around with in the deep dark corners of my mind from time to time, but not something I ever truly considered. We sat down and had a real conversation, I looked into the options, and we made a decision.
I’ve never been entirely confident in my ability to teach, so online school seemed like a promising option for us. I talked with some friends who had their own children enrolled, looked into the school, and we went for it.
what worked – what didn’t
We did online schooling through the K12 program for 2 full years. The first year I only had my oldest enrolled, adding on my younger son the second year. There were things we loved about the program, but also a handful of things that simply didn’t work for us.
Something I found wonderful about the K12 program, was definitely the price. It didn’t cost too much, and all the materials were shipped straight to our home. I didn’t have to go out and purchase a bunch of extras! My children both got laptops, which enabled them to participate in lectures and write their essays. It was great!
A huge negative for us however, was time. It was extremely difficult for me to figure out a schedule that would function with this program. Not only did we have to fit in core lessons and assignments, we also had to make room for class connect sessions, and hopefully some fun along the way. It took me a really long time to get there, but I eventually figured out a somewhat decent routine.
My middle son thrives on schedule and made it work. However, he still found himself getting stressed or overwhelmed from the course load on occasion. My oldest, never could find the perfect flow. Having online lectures for a child that can’t focus, just simply doesn’t work. I would catch him reading or playing games instead. He also had a difficult time keeping up with the work load, but that has always been a specific issue for him no matter the curriculum or school of choice.
Workload and time aside, we truly loved the teacher involvement part. Having another person to communicate with from time to time, became extremely helpful when we would get stuck on something. Both my boys ended up getting wonderful teachers that worked with me and communicated wonderfully the first 2 years. Unfortunately, that took a bad turn in the first half of our 3rd year, which ultimately lead to our decision to leave the K12 program.
why we stopped
After 2 solid years of having wonderful teacher experiences in the K12 program, my younger son got assigned to a new teacher. His previous teacher had left the school to teach elsewhere, and she was going to be missed. However, we didn’t realize just how much at first.
My son’s new teacher had issues communicating. She was kind and sweet, but did some things that unfortunately held my son back. Tears were shed and I had this huge realization that even though we were “homeschooling”, we weren’t doing it on our terms.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think k12 can be a wonderful program! However, I know without a doubt that it isn’t the right program for us. I want to have a say in what my children learn, how they learn it, when, and where! With k12, yes you can sometimes choose when and where, but the what and how get chosen for you. You have to attend classes, use the materials they send, and do things in a similar fashion to a regular brick and mortar type school.
We chose to leave simply because it wasn’t for us. I had this huge light-bulb moment, where I realized I wanted something totally different for my kids. Something more. Did it mean more involvement in my part? Of course! Did I have to increase my curriculum budget? Heck yes! Was it worth it? Totally!
Our New Path
While the k12 program can definitely have many wonderful benefits, there are multiple things to consider. If you like the idea of teacher involvement and a school system, it might be a great fit for you. However, if you want to run things your own way. Choosing the when, where, what and how. You might want to consider a totally different option.
Online schooling was a step we needed to take on our journey. It got us where we are today and I’m incredibly thankful for the things we learned along the way. This new path has lead us to some amazing new curriculum choices and I am incredibly excited to touch more on the specifics in the near future. If you are a home school mom, always on the look out for new and exciting curriculum solutions, I highly encourage you to sign up for my newsletter below!
Finding Your Path
It’s important that as a homeschool family, you do what is best for you!! If your family needs a change, I encourage you to do some research. Figure out your options and find your perfect fit. For us, the perfect fit is a semi scheduled, in between homeschooled and unschooled approach. We mix it up, learning through conversation, nature, baking, and text books. When someone is overwhelmed, we stop and restart another time. We just simply do us and I encourage you to just simply do you!
Please feel free to share your homeschool story! I love connecting with other homeschool moms. If you found this article helpful, I encourage you to pin on pinterest for other homeschool moms to see!