K12 Free Online Public School Program
Last month, at the beginning of September, our daughter officially started her first day of first grade through free online public school on K12.com. At first, the experience was a bit overwhelming. It took some time to get used to the website’s user interface and navigation, but after about a week or two, we had it mostly figured out and were starting to progress through the material more rapidly.
For parents who are busy, this program may take some adjustment at first, since you’ll have prep before your first several lessons in order to get used to the learning style and requirements. It’s really not that different from any public school experience through, since the lessons are more or less the same format.
Kids who join the K12 free online public school programs will also have access to a coach who parents and students can check in with periodically and who can offer help and support if you get stuck on a certain lesson or when learning to navigate the site.
So far, mija has loved the experience of free online public school.
She has loved meeting her teacher/coach, Paula.
She has loved opening up all of her colorful boxes of school supplies.
She has loved working through math, language arts, science and history lessons. Science and history are by far her favorites because she loves testing out new projects and exploring.
Math and language arts have required the most work on my part as a parent. As these lessons are longer and take more effort to guide your child and sometimes have to be repeated for your child to fully grasp the important concepts being discussed.
The nice thing though, is that K12.com provides virtually everything that you will need for all of your child’s courses. I’ve only needed paper, pencils, scissors, glue sticks and a few other minor items.
Alternately, parents may find themselves slightly overwhelmed by the amount of books and items that come in the mail at the beginning of the school year. There is a lot to take in all at once and a lot of stuff to find storage space for.
We ended up putting all of our daughter’s school supplies on a dedicated bookshelf that is easily accessible during lessons.
We chose to commit to online public school because we wanted our daughter to be educated without the political and social influences that are a part of the traditional public school system — issues that kids are exposed to at a young age, like gender bias, racism, classism, etc. We want our daughter to be educated about these biases by us, rather than through their experiences in the public school system.
My husband and I are also both work-at-home parents, so having our daughter stay at home with us and educating her ourselves just made sense. This way we can ensure that she is getting the best education, have more control over how we supplement her education to include multicultural lessons and political/social discussions, and eliminate exposure to bias and bullying that could be potentially damaging to her.
Your reasons for homeschooling may be different. Every parent and child has a unique set of needs and experiences. But if having your child stay at home is ideal for your family at any point, I think the K12 free online public school program is a great alternative to the traditional public school experience.
Overall, you’ll have more flexibility in how and when you choose to complete the program lessons. The flexibility and control has given us a sense of security in our daughter’s education that has been invaluable.