Our First Day of School, by Kami - MetroFamily Magazine
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Our First Day of School, by Kami

by Kami McManus

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

The day had finally arrived! The first day of school! I, of course, had spent the week before trying my best to figure out how the assignments were organized, how to use the online programs (OLS), how to schedule the subjects so we could get enough done to meet the progress goals, and the list goes on.

There is a serious learning curve to being a “learning coach” aka “LC” (K12’s name for the parent, guardian or whoever is overseeing the students’ education. It is a requirement to commit to being a learning coach to do this program). Our first day went pretty smoothly, but we  soon discovered there was a lot that we did not know! The OLS did not automatically divide the assignments out to meet the progress goals and it did not even make sure that the assignments were scheduled to be done by the official last day of school either!  Thanks to all the other awesome LC’s we figured out how to adjust our schedule within the OLS to make sure we have 6 hours’ worth of work and to meet the progress goals.

We ran into a few glitches here and there with the assignments and the online programs, but mostly it was just a matter of learning how to navigate the system. Once we figured that out, it went pretty smoothly. All in all, I would say that our first day of school went very well. We accomplished all our tasks for that day and in the time we had allotted. So I give us an “A+” for the day.

The coolest part of this whole process for me, was seeing our son learn! Being right there as the “light bulb” came on! It was especially neat to see his little sister show an interest in what he was doing! He was very good about letting her sit by him and showing her how to do some of the online parts of his assignments!

Many people assume that “online schools” are completely online. Not true. At least not at this level anyway. The truth is the majority of his work is done by hand with pencil and paper! Most of the line stuff is just a visual way to see the same material or reinforce something in the lessons. It has been very interesting to see how it all breaks down. The “teacher’s guide” for each subject actually offers several different ways and several different activities for each lesson. The idea is to give you more than one way of teaching it, since not everyone learns the same way. Some people need to see and do it. Some need to read about it. Some need a very detailed step by step process. K12 gives us lots of ways to learn and lots of extra supplemental information to help us teach our children in a way that suits them best.

The downside is that there is A LOT of information to sort through. As with most things, no one way is the right way for everyone. So I found myself extremely overwhelmed. Since this is our first year, I can only guess that the “system” assumes that you already have an idea how most of this works. Which of course, we have no idea! There were plenty of tears shed by both our son and myself, as we tried to get the hang of this. Again, my fellow L.C.’s came to the rescue, explaining why there were so many variations of the same lesson, why there were so many supplemental websites and so on. At first I honestly thought I was supposed to teach all the various methods.

We made it through our first quarter, and we are still alive to tell the tale! Next time I will tell you about how my husband and I were introduced to “new math”.

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