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K12 Virtual Academy Online Homeschool Reviews

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Thinking of trying K12 Virtual Academy?  Before you try this option for homeschooling online, check out these reviews of the K12 curriculum from homeschooling parents like you.

Visitor Reviews: K12 Homeschool Curriculum

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K12 Online Public School Is Amazing

I love, love, LOVE that the lessons are complete and scripted. ...[Read more...]

Don't Do It

Don't do it. I have been in the school for 2 years. It burns you out...[Read more...]

K12 Online Public School Is Amazing by C. Wiley

I've been using the K12 online public school option with my son since kindergarten. K12 (particularly Georgia Cyber Academy)serves kindergarten through tenth grade.

The curriculum is pretty advanced. I was shocked when my son was required to know the seven continents in kindergarten and then went on to discuss the major imports and exports of some of the main countries on each continent--again, in KINDERGARTEN!

I soon learned that if you set the bar high, they'll reach it every time. The curriculum is STELLAR and sets the bar high for children. My son has always surpassed national averages on his DIBELS and other testing (He's an average level learner for those that may wonder the weight of that statement.)

I love, love, LOVE that the lessons are complete and scripted. While some knowledge of how to "teach" is nice and will certainly help, Anyone can do this! The format is crisp and clean, easy to navigate, and incredibly easy to understand. You don't have to worry about missing something because it's ALL there. Material lists, assessments, extra enrichment, right at your finger tips!

Another thing I love about the program is the flexibility. I can change his schedule, block his schedule, take off our Holy Days (Jewish Holy Days) and I don't have to answer to anyone to do so.

While there is a general protocol of letting the teacher know, there is never any conflict. As long as you meet the progress requirements (a certain percentage of course work per month--and this is still flexible as long as you're keeping in touch with the teacher) you have an amazing amount of freedom.

I also like the option of having my student in dual grades. For example, he was well equipped for kindergarten and finished the material early. For the remainder of the year finished his kindergarten science and history and worked on 1st grade Math and ELA. Instead of supplementing and wasting time covering things he knew, we were able to test out of what he knew (lesson by lesson OR you can also do so as an entire subject),receive his 1st grade materials and begin immediately.

K12 on the Computer

The materials are AMAZING! Not having to shell out a ton of money for materials was definitely a selling point for us. We use the public school option so everything is free. He is getting a TOP NOTCH education without top notch tuition fees! Tax dollars at their best!!

For those concerned with socializing, K12 public schools have several opportunities to get out and meet with other families who use the program. From ice cream socials, to petting zoos, to museums, to the CDC, they do it ALL!

As for the cons, I don't particularly love having to do the CRCT, but it is a good way to see how he's stacking up compared to his brick and mortar peers. I feel it's important for him to remain academically competitive for the future so taking the CRCT gives him a leg up.

Also the student/teacher ratio has greatly increased. It used to be 50/1. Now it's somewhere between 70 or 80/1. This isn't of much concern to me since I am my child's main teacher. The ratio is somewhat deceptive since in my home my ratio is 4/1. That is the interaction he gets on a day in day out basis so, take the ratio with a grain of salt.

Overall the program is outstanding. The teachers are wonderful, helpful, and do all they possibly can to ensure that your student excels. The only thing that would make me happier would be for them to add Pre-K!!

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K12 is Not a Good Choice, Look Elsewhere
(Jackson, WY)

I have been with K12 for over 5 years now. In the beginning it was great. They used traditional curriculum you would find in schools. Materials sent to you were of high quality.

Now, 5 years later, materials are getting cheap and curriculum is almost all made by K12. I have taught the 1st and 2nd grade through K12 twice now. The course materials have changed for the worse. They seem to change content every year.

Why? Especially now when the curriculum contains errors and gives you tons of extra work and reading as a 'learning coach.' And, the title 'learning coach' is a joke. You are the teacher. Somehow you are given a 'teacher' that does no teaching and is completely clueless as to what your student is working on.

Also, the work load is overwhelming. Even when a student completes a lesson if the lesson is not considered "mastered" they are required to retake the lesson. This forces the student to fall behind in his work. There is NO room for error or adjustment of ANYTHING. You cannot 'skip' a lesson because you will not be able to complete future lessons. Also, their computer system stinks. Countless times my students have been working on a lesson assessment (a test really, only scored by the computer and entered online by the student, almost every lesson and everyday, in itself annoying to the students, its like having a quiz constantly) and their system has an error.

The entire test is lost, the student is forced to retake it (this is unfair and beyond frustrating). Bottom line: low quality, high work load, frustrating, no help, system computer errors, no customization, student burnout!

Do yourself a favor and look elsewhere!

K 12 not a good fit for us by Lisa
(Dearborn Heights, MI)

I am Lori from Michigan.  We used this for 12th grade in 2013.

The Michigan K 12 school that we used was too hands off at the beginning for us to figure it out.  They put our son in classes that were way above his ability without talking to us at all!  They also placed him in Algebra, pre calc and geometry at the same time. He was wanting to finish his high school with an official diploma and this is not the school we should have chosen!  They touted it as very personalized but that was far from our experience. 

Very Happy by Shelley

My son started K12 via CAVA@Kings last year for 7th grade, and it's worked out quite well.  I am happy with the curriculum; I find it challenging and comprehensive. 

His homeroom teacher was amazingly supportive, and only a phone call or email away.  She met with us each quarter, in person, and always kept us informed of what was required and his progress.  This year, 8th grade, has been more of the same.  He has live classes for Algebra 1, Language Arts, Science and History each week (they are optional). 

Yes, there are days when the work load is heavier than others, but my son always rises to the challenge.  I don't understand the reviews that say it is too much work.  As my sons Learning Coach, I decide what activities will best help him to grasp the concepts of each lesson.  If I feel something is busy work, or feel he has a grasp of the material, we move on without completing every single activity. 

I believe homeschool actually forces the learning coach and student to take more responsibility for the education they are receiving.  It is not easy, but then I don't want easy for my son, I want to challenge him.  My son is a self-motivated, independent learner, and as an 8th grader works independently much of the time.  He is set on continuing homeschool through high school, and based on our experience so far, I am fine with that.

K-12 Online in Oregon by Cordawna
(Salem OR)

I moved to Oregon 4 months ago and began the enrollment process for K-12 3 months before school started.  I did my homework and spend nearly 2 hours on the phone asking all of the questions so I would not find myself scrambling at the last minute.  I wished for a system with minimum weekly work requirements but also one where he could move faster and graduate earlier if he desired. After doing all the paperwork needed I had him enrolled in Oregon Virtual Academy thru K 12. 

About a month later I had not gotten a call to set up his classes so I called and after waiting 40 minutes on the phone left a message for the teacher to call me.  She did promptly call back but informed me it was a teacher driven classroom and my son would not be able to move ahead as I was told.  I called K 12 back and they had me enroll my son in the Insight Charter.  I again sent in the paperwork and after a few days called to check on the status.  I again waited 40 minutes for talk to someone and was told that the Charter option was not the one I was looking for and needed to enroll my son in the Insight school of Oregon. 

I began that process and asked to have a supervisor call me but no one ever did.  I called back a few days later and was informed there was no option through them that my son could move through the material more quickly.  By now I had three days till school started and I was in tears.  I asked questions repeatedly and was not given proper information. I again asked for a supervisor to call me but they did not.  I sent an email and asked that my son be withdrawn from all three of the programs and scrambled to find a local option that would work. 

My son is now working through the Salem Keizer school district online and moving at a rapid pace.  I am still getting calls from K12 saying they need paperwork for my son and have left another message for a supervisor to call me but I am not holding my breath!

I Love California Virtual by Jessica
(Bakersfield, CA)

This is my 2nd year being a learning coach with K12/CAVA. We have been with K12 for 1st and 2nd grade. This is an excellent school. All materials are sent to you, including a computer and printer if you qualify. If you do qualify you may even be able to receive partial payment for your internet services. When you join you are given your own access to your school page also called OLS (On Line School). One page for parent and one can be created for student. You're daily plan is located there. It may seem like a lot of work is posted, but you do not have to do every single item on the list. If your child knows the material, you can take the assessment and move on to the next lesson.

Every quarter you will have to send in work samples to your teacher. My son enjoys writing skills, spelling and vocab and also enjoys history. The science classes are pretty cool. My son did NOT enjoy music. The music was actually torture for us. Foreign language is offered for children in 3rd grade and up. I Had an 8th grader enrolled and she did enjoy this class. K12 has teachers available if you need them. You can contact them through email or Kmail, the schools personal email. You will also meet with your child's teacher every quarter or every semester in a public place for testing and to discuss progress and maybe have a short lesson. It usually takes an hour.

If your child needs extra help they have programs like the i-ready program and the teachers also offer one on one live classes for your child.Your child can also gain blue ribbons in Study Island which basically are questions your child answers to show the teacher they mastered a subject, there are also games on Study Island that seem to be fun but you can not earn your blue ribbons with them.

Class Connects, are online classes your child will take with their peers once or twice a week usually math and language arts. There is no room for failure if you use your resources. There is a requirement 4-6 hours but you can do the lessons on your daily plan any time of the day as long as attendance is filled in my midnight. I love this school. Enrolling my child was the best decision I ever made. I have seen so much success and progress with my son since he was enrolled. He has received more help then he ever had in public school. I love this school!

K12 Georgia Cyber Academy: LOVE IT! by Lisa

My son is in 8th grade and we love this school! This is his second year in GCA and I couldn't be more pleased. He had been homeschooled until 7th grade. He has no trouble keeping up with assignments and it's very flexible

Subjects are:

  • Grammar/Lit/Vocab/Comp (but you rotate days)
  • Science
  • Spanish (will count for high school credit)
  • Math
  • PE (60 hrs.)/Health (30 hrs.) You can complete one each semester!
  • Social Studies (GA History was so simple my son completed it in one semester)

You don't have live classes in every subject every day. 

Too Much Work for the Child's Age by Laura

The materials from K12 seem fine...problem is there is just too much of everything!! Too many books, too many subjects, too many learning activities. It is MORE than overwhelming and I have traditionally home schooled before.

I honestly could not recommend it to anyone who has less than 8 hours per day to spend plus nights and weekends to read the teacher materials.

VAK-12 very Stringent
(Virginia, USA)

I agree. Virginia's program has changed much from last year. Just like public school, too much busy work for students and intrusive, micro-manager teachers. Virginia pupils must agree to meet at schools end to take VA SOLs. I suppose they had many failures thus, the many changes. Snotty teachers to boot. Such a shame.

It doesn't have to be too much by Melinda
(Texas, USA)

You do not have to complete every part of every assignment. There is no possible way to do it all. The only thing you need to do is meet the objectives for the lesson. Once you meet the objective (this may be done by prior knowledge), take the short assessment at the end, mark it complete and move on. The objectives need to be met, and students need exposure to many subjects. That way, they can learn what they are passionate about and what they are not interested in (great for choosing a career later) and there will be no gaps in learning when they are in the rigors of high school, college or grad school.

Children's minds are like sponges, they are created to learn. Expose them to rich materials and lots of topics, subjects and information. K12 does an excellent job of this. It stretches us as moms and parents and has our students learning a wealth of information about topics we would possibly never introduce to them.

Same Common Complaint

This seems to be a common complaint for many people especially those who use the virtual academy and do not have the choice to un-assign some of the work to make it more manageable.  It just makes it too much work.

Too Much Even if Some Work Can be Skipped by SarahLentz 

We're at the end of our second week with K12, and we have three kids enrolled (Grades 1, 4 & 6) and one very active two-year-old getting into everything when my back is turned (say, when I'm trying to help one of the older kids with schoolwork). There is TOO MUCH WORK to get through for all three kids--even when we skip lesson work that the kids already know and just do the assessment at the end.

Our oldest doesn't like art, though our girls do. Two art classes each week is at least one too many for him, while my girls (at least the older of the two) look forward to it. There hasn't been a single day when we got through all the lessons for all three kids, and when we try to do so, there's no time for ANYTHING ELSE but school--no playing outside, no running errands, nothing.

I'm burned out, already, though I told my husband (who wants my homeschool to look more like school at home) that I'd stick it out until December 23rd, which is when Christmas break begins. I'm fried. I don't know that we'll last that long. It seems to work all right for our fourth grade daughter, but she finds their physical science and history classes boring, and she's not fond of their math program, either.

Honestly, I don't think their math books do a good job of explaining the math concepts, so I end up explaining them to her myself in a different way. I think we make more progress together in math using the white board at home.

She loves the Spanish PowerSpeak program; her older brother dislikes their German PowerSpeak program and doesn't have time to even get to that, anyway. Our youngest--the first-grader--hates slogging through all the lessons. When I tell her she still has two or three (usually more) lessons to get through before she's done for the day, she's in tears or very nearly there. She hates K12 already and wants to go back to homeschooling the way we did it before--without K12's "help."

I do like the on-line daily & weekly plans, progress tracker and links to helpful/educational websites, but I don't like the content of the lessons, and I honestly think we can do better in that department. I'm looking at homeschooling software that will give us what I like about the K12 OLS but will allow us to use our own content. I know I need help with keeping careful and complete records of their work and of what we've covered.

But K12 is not the answer.

It's Saturday, and I'm having to assign catch-up work to the kids when we'd rather just be enjoying our Saturday together.

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