Should I Choose Homeschool/Virtual School for My Child?
When is a Brick and Mortar School Not For Your Child?
As a person who has taught in public schools and now still teaches international students online, I know that not every child learns the same way. I also know that not every school is set up to be able to create a specific program for every individual child.
There is an assumption that only educators are the best people to make decisions and give us advice about our children's education. Of course we need professional educators, and their knowledge to help parents make good choices and know the options that are available.Ultimately it's up to us as parents to make the best choice that we can for our children.
When the traditional school's plan isn't working for your child, after doing your due diligence and making sure you have used all the alternatives traditional schools offer, it's time to consider other options like virtual schools or a homeschool curriculum. I say to do your research and use all the resources because it's a big decision to make and usually comes with some financial sacrifices if a parent must be the teacher or learning coach for the child and forgo working for a period of time.
I have always been interested in homeschooling, but never thought I would actually do it. I had a friend who did it with her children, and my initial thought was it seemed a little unorganized and not structured. I love some type of structure when it comes to education.
Years later, when I was finally a mother after years of trying. I adopted a special little angel. Being an educator, I knew she was bright and also probably had some other issues that we would need to deal with. Once she started pre-K and Kindergarten, her teachers believed she had ADHD and we needed to get her tested. We went through that process with the teacher, doctor, and psychologist and discovered that she definitely had ADHD and also tested with an extremely high IQ.
My husband and I always had to teach her at home to keep her stimulated because she enjoyed learning about anything and everything.
She would finish her work quickly at school and when looking at her assignments we would always see drawings on the back of her school work because she finished the work fast and then was left with boredom. Her 1st grade teacher suggested that she be skipped. So we set up an appointment with the school principal, and assistant principal and that meeting did not go well. This was a Christian private school, and we were immediately told that they do not skip. They went on to explain the usual reasons, socialization issues with older kids, and she won't be able to drive when her friends in class are driving when she gets older,etc. Yes they actually gave that as a reason!
So looking for other solutions, I suggested that the teacher give her extra work when she finished quickly so she could keep being challenged in the class. That suggestion was also denied. Basically we were told to just stick with the program, and this is will be the best for my daughter. Well, my daughter, who I waited forever for, would not just settle for a mediocre academic experience!
This is when I knew I had to do something that I wasn't prepared to do, but my daughter deserved more. I left the meeting announcing to the principal and the assistant principal that I will teach her myself being that I don't have any alternatives. At the time that I said this, I didn't have any idea how I was going to do this. What the heck was I going to do now!
Being the persistent person that I am, I started my research. I looked into different programs. The one thing I remembered was that friend from years ago that homeschooled her kids with little structure, and I knew I didn't want that at all. I needed a program that had more support for me, a good curriculum, and a way to measure my daughter's academic ability. I lived on the internet and on the phone calling and inquiring about different programs. If you are considering this, make sure to look at many options. Don't just assume that because you might know someone who is doing homeschooling or virtual school that their program is a good fit for you and your child.
I decided on a public charter virtual school that uses the K12 curriculum. I encourage you during your search, to look into their program as a possibility.
This program was perfect for me and my daughter.
So to go back to my question, firstly you are your child's advocate. If you think that you are not getting the answers and solutions that you need for your child then you should begin considering the many other options available.
We all have heard the saying "Think outside the box!". It's a common phrase, but it takes courage and persistence to actually do this. Ask yourself is it time for you to find a different alternative for your child that isn't the mainstream way which works for many children, but maybe not for yours. If so, you know your answer.