Monday, December 14, 2009

K12 Curriculum Review

In this post we will look at the K12 curriculum. There are pros and cons to all programs so it is wise to shop around before signing up for any particular school or purchasing any curriculum products.

K12 is an innovative approach to home based learning. They offer curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grades. You can buy this curriculum on your own and pay privately but it is pretty pricey. The elementary grades average about $1200 per year. You do get almost everything you need but you will have to buy certain things for science projects and typical school supplies. What I am getting is that they do not provide your pencils and notebooks. It's like normal public school in that respect.

Another option with K12 is their Virtual Academy programs. Available in most states this is an extraordinary program and most are publicly funded. This means that in the states available there are programs where you student is actually enrolled in the public school system in your district and then they receive K12 curriculum at no cost to you. You just buy the few homeschool supplies that are needed and you do have to have a computer and Internet connection. You then have a teacher assigned to you through your school district that works with you to help you accomplish the educational goals you have for your student.

The great thing about the Virtual Academy programs is that they allow for some great resources like a teacher to contact and there are extra curricular activities, clubs and more. The support of a teacher is a great bonus because no matter the skills you have as a teacher there will be times where you present information in every way that you know how and a particular student still won't understand a concept. A teacher can just step back and give you a fresh look. It should be noted that the teachers in this program are not there to breathe down your neck and be task masters but you are accountable for attendance and you are required to do standardized testing through your state department of education.

Overall K12 is a great company. The math has had a few complaints because the program does not seem fluid and organized but my understanding is that they are building a new curriculum for their math program at this time because the users have spoken up and K12 listened. There is a lot of online support and the online school interface is easier to use than a simple email program. It is wonderful. If you can get the publicly funded version I highly recommend it but it is well worth the money if you have to pay out of pocket.

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