Friday, April 18, 2008

At home Schooling

We've taken the unusual step and decided that next year we will be home schooling Chloe. It is not what we ever thought that we'd be doing, but our kid is worth it.

We have loved having Chloe at St. Paul's. She has blossomed and was provided with an excellent academic foundation, but we wanted more for her. Chloe is an exceptional reader but struggles with math. Regardless of the school, no teacher can carve aside time to do one on one tutoring for each kid to excel where they are lacking. So let me explain how we decided that something different would be in Chloe's best interest.

I have been enrolling Chloe in different City programs to try and get her more exposed. She is not one to do sports, but I wanted to find something that she would like. During one of my many visits to the Recreation Center I came across a magazine full of camp ideas for the summer. I ran across an ad for the California Virtual Academy and decided to look some information up about it online. I liked what I saw and shared that with Ryan. We attended an orientation, and the rest is history.

California Virtual Academy is a public online charter school. All of the curriculum is done online with daily chats with a Teacher via phone or email. The program is fully accredited and she has a licensed Teacher at her disposal. We really liked the idea that she would be tested and based on her results would be given appropriate lesson plans. So let's say she is reading at Junior High level, she would be doing that work in the 3rd grade vs being stuck with 3rd grade reading. Or if she is at a High School level in math, then she would be doing that work vs 3rd grade math, etc. We just love the idea of Chloe being challenged at what she is proficient at and fostered with subjects that might not be her strong suit. I don't have to plan any lessons, it is all done in a structured manner, all I do is support. It's great!

Now that Chloe is enrolled and going through the testing process she will be sent all of the books, art supplies, etc that she will need for the year. That's another thing, they offer Art and Music as part of the curriculum. How awesome is that! When other schools have these programs cut, Chloe still has access to them.

I know that some of you are thinking, what about socialization? Well, there are field trips that she can go to. Each Teacher in the program is obligated to provide one field trip a month. The cool thing is that there are 4 Teachers in Visalia, so she could go once a week on an outing. We could also opt to join other Teachers outside of Visalia on their field trips throughout California. So if we wanted to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, then we could. No worries about missing school, she can make up her time over the weekend, without being overwhelmed.

We feel that this is a good thing for our amazing child. I'll let you know what she tests at when we get her results. I am so excited!