Choices are not always black and white, nor are they always easy, and most important as a parent, a choice for one child is not always the best choice for all your children. Today, I am announcing that we have chose to place Lily in a online charter school for her sixth grade year.
The start of this adventure which really starts August 22, begans last November, specially on our Disney trip. Lily told me that she dreamed that she graduated from High School at fourteen. This was not a one time dream, but has been reoccurring.
Next came the realization that Lily will begin Middle School this fall. Neither Matt nor I every doubt that academically Lily is super prepared and will handle everything thrown her way. However, middle school girls are mean and given the fact that Lily is a full year younger than most, very small, wears glasses and has horrible eczema, I have no doubt that these next couple of year could be emotional and difficult for all of us.
I decided to start researching options that would allow her to excel and even advance quickly academically and work in our current household budget. I did start asking some of my friends who are also educators. Based on our rural location, we found only a couple of options: 1. The one private school in our area- academically would not be as allow her to advance at her own pace . 2. Home Schooling- not the best option currently due to my work schedule 3. Charter School.
I was told about the North Carolina Virtual Academy by a educator. We started doing research. This virtual academy has operated for two years in the state of North Carolina but the company K12 has operated for over 20 years and graduates have been accept to all major colleges in the US. We began the application process for Lily in March. Lily has been involved in many discussions regarding this and decided that she would like to try officially in May. In June after finishing a ton of paperwork and submitting, Lily was officially accepted into the North Carolina Virtual Academy. Today, Matt withdrew her from the public school system.
Lily will be attending this online charter school for her sixth grade year. She will access her teacher and classmate via web camera at least weekly but most likely several times a week. All learning is complete using both online method and traditional methods, in fact only about 60% of her academics will be completed online. Matt, who is considered her learning coach, is responsible for grading and entering grades online, inputting attendance records and ensure that Lily is completing academic work on a regular basis. One of the greatest benefit is the ability to work at her own pace which if she so choses should allow her to accelerate her middle school and high school academics.
We have spent many hours in prayer about this decision and are truly excited about this opportunity for Lily. Zach and Kendall will continue to attend the public elementary school this year. We want to start begin slow and determine if and when they would benefit from the same online school. Lily also is very aware of her option to return to public school next year is this does not turn out to be a good fit and huge benefit for her.