The digital age has changed the way we shop, socialize, and find entertainment. It has also transformed the way we parent and educate our children. Our children are learning via tech gadgets, computers TV apps and more. Who would have ever imagined, 20 years ago, that a child could receive their education solely at home through virtual learning? I recently connected with a mom whose children are thriving because of her decision to enroll in the highly rated online school program, Connections Academy. She was kind enough to allow Savvy Sassy Moms a peek into the life of a virtual learning family.
Families who choose Connections Academy as their K-12 educational choice enjoy an online, personalized tuition-free education taught by state-certified teachers. Students attend online LiveLesson® sessions with teachers and classmates, and have access to unique electives and technology tools. Connections Academy is debunking home education myths about socialization by providing students the opportunities to meet in person through clubs and activities. They also provide support to parents of students to ensure they are equipped to adequately assist their children with the curriculum. These are just some of the many reasons Vicki B. and her family chose the program.
Meet a virtual learning family
Vicki, an Ohioan mother of six, has chosen Ohio Connections Academy, an online public school for students in grades K-12 across the state, for her children for over eight years. She sought a cost-effective (it’s tuition free!) yet quality education for her children and desired for them to be challenged. She found all of that and more in Ohio Connections Academy.
A typical day
A typical day for an online school student varies—some students may complete their lessons in the morning leaving the afternoon free for athletics or other extracurriculars, others may work on a partner project with a classmate before heading to community college for some courses, while another student might work out math problems and write an English essay after doing work on the family farm. With online school, students experience flexibility in terms of scheduling and pace—and for Vicki’s 7th grader, getting up every morning at a set time to prepare for his day works best (even though he doesn’t have to leave the house to learn). “He then will log on for him to check message boards and check his webmails from teachers to see what his day will look like.” At 9 a.m. he is ready for his math LiveLesson® session—a real-time online classroom setting with his teacher and fellow classmates—which is just one of three or four sessions he’ll do in an average six-hour day. Sometimes the day is a little longer because he is enrolled in some of the gifted classes offered by Connections Academy. However, because of the flexibility, Vicki’s son and other children are able to do what they enjoy, such as karate, 4-H and horseback riding.
Students and parents connect with teachers
When I asked about their favorite Connections Academy teacher, Mr. Stanford was a screaming favorite. “He is only one of the many that we have gotten to enjoy at Ohio Connections Academy! Honestly, we cannot think of one teacher that we have not enjoyed at Ohio Connections Academy and that is saying a lot! They have all been so helpful and make you feel as if you are the only student they are working with. They are patient and will dedicate whatever time is needed to help your child.”
They socialize, too
Connections Academy offers many opportunities for students to connect with one another and their teachers—both online and in-person—through clubs, activities, field trips and special school events (click to watch this video to experience an Ohio Connections Academy gathering).
Vicki agrees that getting involved and socializing is beneficial for the entire family. If you’re considering joining the virtual learning community, she suggests you, “…Get the full experience by joining in on all the school family events, and the ones that are set up by families from the school. Allow your children to get to know other students in your area. As a parent, do the same.”
Success of online learning
Ohio Connections Academy has allowed Vicki to see her children successfully transition from the virtual learning program to college. She believes their transition was “a blessing” and credited their preparedness and great learning habits to their experience with Ohio Connections Academy. “They were already used to managing their time well, they were great note takers, and had the drive to complete lessons on their own.”
Her experience with the online schooling has allowed her to see its benefits for her young learners all the way to multiple high school grads. “My children have gotten to learn by doing hands-on work and then what I like to call ‘drama-free zone’ learning. They only have to concentrate on what they are learning and not issues going on in a classroom. I am forever grateful that we found Connections Academy. I wanted each and every day that they were in school to be productive. It will be a sad day for us when our youngest graduates from Ohio Connections Academy and we are no longer a part of it. Maybe grandchildren next?”
Want to learn more about virtual learning? Explore Connections Academy and more here.
This post was sponsored. All opinions are my own.
This post was contributed by Teri Watters as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Teri on her blog, mommywifelife.com.