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Would you ever consider sending your children to a virtual school?

Asked at Checkers, 2300 La. on February 7, 2005

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Photo of Susan Brummett

“Oh yeah, I definitely would. I would like to teach the virtual school. Kids learn differently, and some don’t do as well as others in a traditional classroom setting.”

Photo of Sheena Koehn

“No, not at this point. I would home-school them before I would enroll them in a virtual school, especially if it was run by the public school system.”

Photo of Jean Hall

“I would have to know more about it. I would want to know that it was research-based, and there was some kind of accreditation.”

Photo of Candy Bowlin

“Yes. At least you would know what they are learning at all times.”

Comments

Adam 9 years, 6 months ago

Only if I can go to a virtual job

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acg 9 years, 6 months ago

Oh Adam, my friend, you read my mind!

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Larry 9 years, 6 months ago

Kansas has a state accredited virtual school. Basehor Linwood has ran a virtual school for a number of years now. I have heard stories of students doing very well due to having the opportunity to work at their own pace and graduate early. The neat thing is that they'll have a high school diploma when they finish as opposed to a GED. I have also heard stories of kids who don't do so well because they aren't motivated enough to work on their own. I guess it all depends on the kid/family. A family can control their own kids education via virtual charter school, yet save tons of money by avoiding the purchase of home school curriculums. Although the family would have to meet the virtual schools requirements, they would definite control how certain issues are taught. Just a thought!

To answer the question. I'm okay with the public school system and always have been. I think in a majority of cases, the problem is motivation on the students part. Would I consider virtual school? Yes -if my family and I wanted to travel for a year or had a special situation occur that required such special arrangements. However, I would go to an accredited virtual school first and foremost. Does anyone know if Lawrence's virtual school has obtained accreditation.

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Richard Heckler 9 years, 6 months ago

My answer would be yes:

As long as the parents were given a good deal of flexibility. Not a rigid system. I would not support this as a requirement for homeschooling

The virtual portion could be looked upon as a tool to assist the parent in their effort to homeschool with the understanding that other approaches in teaching are viable in conjunction with this program.

As others have said children may require a variety of methods to get from point A to point B as well as requiring a different pace.

I have no problem with the school using this plan as a means to bring tax dollars to the school district...perfectly legitimate. The district needs the money and some homeschoolers would appreciate a suggestive approach(guidelines). The bottom line is are the parents happy.

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Larry 9 years, 6 months ago

? at the end of that last sentence.

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remember_username 9 years, 6 months ago

Seems like it might be a good way to augment home-schooling or even public schooling. For those that home-school it provides computers and materials. Accreditation will have to be instituted for it to be worth the expense to the state. It also might be a good way for a teacher to supplement their income by contracting lesson plans for a virtual classroom. However, all these benefits may not offset the limited teacher-student interaction that is necessary for an effective education. A virtual classroom is a supplement not a substitute, it will do a good job getting students to memorize facts, but will it teach them to think critically? Where are they going to learn that? In their homes, churches?

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remember_username 9 years, 6 months ago

I only get to see kids at the university level, and so my opinion may be biased. I hope that the public school system is doing its job in teaching critical thinking, as I don't expect students to learn it in their environment. I have to say I'm disappointed in the result observed at the university, but there are so many variables I can't site one single source as the problem. I am not willing to say that public schools are any less effective than home schooling or virtual schooling for that matter. From my limited perspective I think that we need more, and better trained teachers, and they need to be better paid to retain them. (And I'm pushing this at primary and secondary level, not at the university level) Once you cover the cost of that then you can spend funds on experiments with other options.

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Huckleberry 9 years, 6 months ago

A kid learns a lot more than what is taught in class in public schools. They learn about the real world, and how to interact with people with a different background than theirs. I am nowhere near having kids, but when I do, I will send them to public schools where they can learn how to be a beneficial part of society. Not that home schooled kids aren't. I would sacrafice what can be learned through books at a later age for the development of better social skills. I just don't think elementary school kids should be couped up all day, only exposed to their parents' ideals.

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monkeywrench1969 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree school teaches more than the abc and the traditionals. They teach people how to interact with people they like and dislike as well as understanding structures that will eventually lead to the workplace. Although many companies employ people who work out of their homes the majority require you to work with people and different types of personalities.

Virtual schools would limit social interaction with an age group who stay home on the computer, play video games or watch tv rather than riding bikes, playing sports (which instill cooperation even in the indivdual team sports like swimming and track)or interact in realtime face to face discussions/debate (which require logic and fact based information and deteriorate less quickly to flames than most on line chat rooms).

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jonas 9 years, 6 months ago

Huh. . . I thought if you were going to an american public school you were already going to a "virtual" school.

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jonas 9 years, 6 months ago

Larry: This might be one of those times you talked about!

}B-)>

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italianprincess 9 years, 6 months ago

With how jammed packed the classrooms are getting now, I would consider looking into it.

My youngest son's teacher has even complained about the number of students she has this year compared to last year. I feel the children are not getting the bit of individual attention they need at the younger grade level.

Classrooms are packed and the kids, teachers and parents are not happy people. The class size needs to be broken down into smaller classes ( two rooms ) or a full time aid in each classroom.

Oh, whoops.........I forgot- Theres NO MONEY!!!!!!!

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mrcairo 9 years, 6 months ago

My kids are in 7th and 8th grades.

They benefit greatly from being around other kids their ages, and always have. The cultural exchange is important. The peer pressure is important. The decisions on behavior in these environments is important.

So no, I'd never consider it. Besides, I can't help them with their homework as it is !!!

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tell_it_like_it_is 9 years, 6 months ago

All in all I've knowen a couple of people who have home schooled and frankly it was because they didn't want the hassle of getting up and getting their kids off to school. I don't think its a good idea myself they need the interaction of other kids their own age. Now if their in a public school where thongs like bullying gets to far out of hand then I think the parent needs to step in and maybe even change schools. But I don't feel like home school is the way to go.

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tell_it_like_it_is 9 years, 6 months ago

Sorry 'bout that kns should a been things. Got to say it though I kinda wish I'd a been bullied like that too!

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rose 9 years, 6 months ago

I have always been a strong advocate for the public school system, because I honestly think it works well in most situations. I would definitely want families to look to a public school system, or any kind of system that involves social interaction with other kids before a virtual school. However, saying that public school works for everyone would be ludicrous; no one way can be effective in every situation. It depends on the child and the family greatly, and I just hope that this option is never used with just fleeting consideration given to it. In most cases I wouldn't have my child attend a virtual school instead of a public school, but if that was what was absolutely best for my child, I would definitely consider it. I worry greatly about the social aspects, such as learning to be around and interact with others, as well as learning about cultures and lifestyles different than our own home. Therefore, it would have to be a situation where I truly didn't feel my child could attend a regular school.

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four 9 years, 6 months ago

Here's what I think....

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dont_panic 9 years, 6 months ago

I feel sad for those who are so closed minded that they believe that the ONLY place a child can be properly socialized, learn real life skills, and learn about other cultures and lifestyles, is in a public class room. What ever happened to parental responsibility? I homeschool & come from a multi-cultural family. Our 6yr old son has many friends, is well socialized & exposed to a broad spectrum of cultures, is involved with many more extracurricular activities & is far less ignorant than the majority of children his age attending area public schools. To address Huckleberry's concerns about "elementary school kids..only exposed to their parents ideals." Not that its true but, what would be so wrong with that? Both my husband and I have some very different, but very strong views on politics, religion, sexuality, etc. Why is it so easy for parents to allow others to burden their child(ren) with their points of view before burdening them with their own? For example, is talking to your child about such iffy subjects like sex so painful that you would rather have someone else teach them about the birds and the bees? To address tell_its post about people homeschooling because "they didn't want the hassle of getting up and getting their kids off to school." I'm sorry, but, what a load of BS! Homeschooling is far more involved than setting your alarm Mon-Fri to get up at 6 am, toast a PopTart (or grab a McDonalds drive-thru biscuit), dress the kids & either shove them out the door at a moving bus, or drive them to school and quickly drop them off before going to work or grabbing some "me" time. It's a choice WE'VE made on the highly researched information we've gathered NOT to enroll our child in the local public school system. Would I homeschool if there were an affordable private school in the area? Probably not. Would I homeschool if the local public school system were more effective with higher standards & had a more concerned teaching staff? I don't know - maybe. However, it's been my experience that, even when the teaching staff isn't overloaded, the one teaching your child usually doesn't know as much as their expensively framed degrees claim they do. I am not so stupid as to think that homeschooling is for everyone - that's an impossible standard! People have to work & support their survival. Others just can't handle the burden of their child(rens) education on their own - a lot has changed since some graduated themselves .. lessons have gotten harder. Everyone has the responsibility to make the best, & most informed choice they can to fit their family & their lifestyle. I choose not to judge others for the choice they've made for themselves & for their children's education. It would be nice if others, with differing points of view, were to kindly return that same level of respect.

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nene 9 years, 6 months ago

My 3 daughters have been homeschooled, private schooled, virtual schooled (Basehor/Linwood Virtual School) and public schooled. They have had the most amazing education. Of all the options, private school was the experience that they most treasure. It was really the best of both worlds: academic & social. The worst experience has been public school. They have learned to fight for their education (physically & mentally). I've never seen them so exhausted and learning so little.

Because of their alternate schooling experiences my girls have avoided the 'peer socialization' that most public school children grow under. My children are comfortable befriending people younger than themselves, as well as, people at the local retirement home. They also have a vision of their life and what it can be outside of what their peers are doing (drinking, drugs & promiscuity). It wasn't easy making the sacrifices that we did for our children, but we are grateful that we live in a place where we can freely make these choices.

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