Why I Use a Virtual School–The Back Story

I love homeschooling. We started out with my oldest in Kindergarten. As the other kids grew and changed, we adapted. My oldest learned to concentrate on math when younger siblings were crying, destroying the house, and mom’s attention was scattered.  It was great.

And then we hit high school.

Let me explain something right here. I adore high school material. I am much more of an older kid person than I am an infant or toddler person. Teaching basic skills bores me to tears and I eagerly anticipated teaching, explaining, exploring, and discussing deeper topics like chemistry, biology, world history, and literature.

But when my oldest hit high school, I had four children, all of them needing me desperately. My youngest was at Kindergarten level. And yes, I know Kindergarten is easy and not time consuming at all. But he still needed me. I also had an elementary student and a middle schooler. Every day became more difficult. I wanted to teach them all. But nobody was getting a good education. Someone was always drawing the short straw.

Some moms of homeschooled high schoolers said things like, “They can teach themselves.” or “If someone really wants to learn something, they will.”

Two statements that I entirely agree with.

The problem is that my 15 year old, really didn’t care all that much about learning what the school system and I expected her to learn. She really didn’t want to read Shakespeare, learn Geometry, or read about events of the Russian Revolution. She knew that school was a “have to.” There was no option. But she wanted school to get done each day in the most efficient way. She was not good at teaching herself most subjects. She wanted immediate feedback on her work, so she could be assured that she was done and could move on to more interesting-to-her things with a clear conscience.

What did she hate? She hated having to wait 45 minutes to get a misunderstanding about algebra cleared up. She hated not getting her papers graded until she was already involved in something else and having to come back to finish something that was incorrect or incomplete. She hated that mom had to read over math instructions for 15 or 20 minutes before I could explain a difficult topic, because it had been awhile since I’d done it.

Of course, these things happen in every school system. But, we wanted our homeschool to be MORE streamlined than brick and mortar school. If she had to spend all day long waiting on a question to be answered, a paper to be graded, a misunderstanding cleared up, what was the advantage of homeschooling?

So, I thought hard about our problems. We tried homeschooling her freshman year and it worked okay. I bought a computer based math program and that helped. But I still felt that my daughter was capable of more than I was giving her. I wanted her challenged in school. I wanted her to be able to get the scholarships I knew she was capable of getting.

And I discovered the county virtual school.

And after some tests, talking to the administrator of the program, and asking a ton of questions, I enrolled her for her tenth grade year. She graduated from the program in 2016

And I am forever grateful for this opportunity. It wasn’t perfect.

It wasn’t the way I pictured my homeschool looking all those years ago.

But she was learning. I was able to focus on my younger kids and give them what they needed. I was able to enjoy life without always feeling that I was failing.

And now my second daughter is using the county virtual school.

And it’s working for our family again.

Homeschooling looks different at different stages of life. A truly successful homeschool mom will find something that works for her kids, even if it’s not her ideal.

 

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Rebeca Jones
    Oct 03, 2017 @ 23:19:34

    Good for you for going with what works for your family. That’s what homeschooling is all about, yes? My oldest did her last two years of high school at our local community college. My son got a diploma through an alternative public school that was online. My last two are going through the same online school, though we do a lot of their subjects with our own curriculum, getting approval and working with ‘the system’. I’m finally able to give these last two my full attention…no littles underfoot! It’s all good, and I love how individual we homeschoolers can make it! 😁

    Reply

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