Friday, September 16, 2011

Why We Chose Cyber School

A little about us first. I am a 30 something stay at home mommy of two, Bubba (5) and Princess (1). Bruischi works a 8-5 job about an hour from home. Bubba is 5, soon to be 6 and is in first grade. Princess is almost two and is a typical toddler in the "terrible twos" stage of life.

When telling people that we cyber school I get one of three responses. The first, and most common, is "What is that?" The second is a look of "You're nuts." The third, and most infrequent, is "That's great!" Sometimes I feel I need to defend our choice and explain why we chose cyber school. Most of the time people are interested, sometimes their eyes glaze over from lack of interest and sometimes they still look at me like I'm nuts.

We chose cyber schooling for multiple reasons.

 My husband and I had very different schooling growing up. I went to a private school from first through eighth grade and then to public high school. While I immensely enjoyed my schooling, the christian values taught to me at school were not the same as those taught to me at home which left me confused. Bruski went to public school for his entire education. He was diagnosed with ADHD and was labeled a troublemaker. He never shook that label and his education suffered for it. We knew we didn't want to send our kids to public school and private school (religious or secular) was financially out of the question. So, if public and private school were out of the question, what about homeschool?

I tried homeschooling Bubba for preschool but found that I could not stay motivated. I would do really well in September and October but by November and December I'd be skipping days to do other things and by January we'd rarely get any school done at all. The cycle repeated every year. I knew I needed some form of external motivation to homeschool properly and I couldn't find one. Also, financially we could not afford to buy our own curriculum and teaching supplies.

This lead our search to cyber school. I was amazed when I started to do some research! Cyber school is technically public school. My tax dollars gets diverted from my school district and gets sent to my cyber school. (All this is done by the school district.) All work, while being done at home and supervised by me, is also supervised by a teacher at the school. A few times a week we need to scan and submit a workbook page or two to Bubba's teacher. Being a public school, the school is responsible for the curriculum, the teaching supplies and anything else we may need. They provide workbooks, reading books and teacher's guides. They supply the computer, printer and internet service (Yes, they pay for my internet!)  Also, my school provides pencils, crayons, scissors, paper, even tissues! I'm saving money just by cyber schooling by not having to go to the store with those back to school lists every school sends home! I was sold!

Add to that, last year when I was looking to start Bubba in school he was not yet 5. The cut off in our school district is September 1, no exceptions. They would not allow him to enter Kindergarten even though he was already starting to read. If we wanted him to go to school we had to send him to a private preschool. My district does not have public preschool or a K4 program. My cyber school allowed him to enter K4. It is a self paced program and he finished K4 in one month! He started Kindergarten two months before his 5th birthday. This year he is in 1st grade and loving it!

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