About Connections Academy
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This was our 1st year homeschooling. At first it was a rocky start for me as the learning coach, new to homeschooling my child but with the daily class check-ins & 1 on 1 check-ins regularly with my daughter's assigned teacher & all the learning coach tools available, I was able to get the hang of it. The teacher has been a tremendous help with assisting us in settling in to homeschool. My daughter has had some struggles with learning to read in school. I was worried that it would affect her learning all together. However, with the help of her teacher, we discussed my concerns about this & she was able to put her in a small reading group where she taught her some extra reading techniques & she set her up with extra online reading sites that give her activities to do to practice even more.
From the test to see her level at the start until now she has improved her reading so much within the 1st 6 months. So, I was able to see how well we were doing with homeschool. If we felt like we were struggling with a particular section of a subject, we were able to ask the teacher for assistance & she was able to send things to help or direct us to a site that we could use to learn a little better. I did read some of the other reviews and see other parents are saying they had to do the teaching & there were teachers. It is my understanding that this is a homeschool that is just done online instead. When you homeschool your child, you are the teacher. So, if you're looking more along the lines of distance learning & not homeschool this might not be what you are looking for.
This homeschool program does at least have teachers that meet with your children, get involved & are very helpful when you are struggling to teach your child & they have things to help you as well. The lessons have many tools available to walk you through teaching each assignment, so you don't have to know everything. There are a lot of quizzes but the % of each lesson with a small quiz does not weigh heavy in the overall % of the grade like the actual tests for the units. They are there to help you see if your child understands the lesson you just went through with them or if they need a little more instruction on that section. The learning on your own time is also accurate. I cannot sit down every day to teach my child on set days & times because I am a full-time working mom.
As long as we are doing the hours she is supposed to be doing & working through the assignments throughout the week there are no problems. My child has been behind on lessons a couple times but as long as we showed that we were working on them even if 1 took longer to grasp & we caught up as we were able, they don't mark her behind for that. She has not been marked as, "Not on track," once because we were doing the assignments, putting in the hours & talking through it with the teacher, who checks in to see if we're good or if she can help with anything.
I am very impressed & the only thing I am struggling with is the decision of, if I let her go back to brick & mortar school now that she has had her vaccine, like we originally planned or keep her in MNCA because learning at her own pace has given her the ability to excel better than she was with a teacher that has 29 other kids & can't always take the time to do 1 on 1 & help when she struggled. She is now wanting to stay in homeschool as well, since she has seen how well she can do with more 1 on 1 teaching. I would & have already, recommended this to others & I know of at least 1 that decided to join MNCA & is also having a great experience here.
Hi Christina. Thank you for your feedback! We're glad your daughter has been able to get additional support from her teacher, and we thank you for recommending us to other families. We know it can be a challenge sometimes for busy parents to get into a groove to best support their child, but it sounds like you were able to figure out what works for you both. We hope we get the opportunity to work with you again next year. Have a great summer! ~Bri
This is still very true and I wanted to share it here.... I still think home school is different, (weird is the word that pops in my headfirst actually) kids are weird, parents say weird things like "use your walking feet" or "inside voices" etc. If you walk by my house in the middle of the day, you'll hear something along the lines of “I'm begging you to just sit and do some school” or "shut it." or "Keep running, you can cry to yourself when you get hurt." etc. So many different outcomes and experiences. Overall, it's overwhelming as anything most days. It is NOT easy. BUT It was MY CHOICE. (And my husband's, right.) I hated our public school more than I liked my sanity, time, brain, sleep, patience, All of it. So, I choose. I was lucky enough to have that choice. (ok I'll thank my husband for giving me that option.) I DID.
NOW, you can't work because kids can't go to school, can't go to childcare, you can't talk closely to your neighbors. You can't go to your mom's, sister's, brother's, mothers-in-law, (OK fine maybe that wouldn't be your choice anyway, no one's that weird. Home school or not.) You can't walk within 6ft of any person anywhere. So, remember that when you're pumping gas even. Can't go to events of any kind. Can't go to the dentist (yup, didn't think of that one till it was needed, not OK.) Can't buy the higher demand or more common food/items you want, etc. Can’t can't can't.... In just a few weeks. You can't leave your home without a face mask. If you must go out at all. Your choices aren't yours.
YOU. Yes, all of you gave me that choice and you will never understand how much it means. I didn't, I brushed it off like nothing. It has been one of the most rewarding things I have done so far. It IS also the Hardest. My son is in 7th grade and daughter in 1st. Having them in public preschools and elementary schools since both were 2years old. This year we CHOOSE to keep them home. I picked REACH because it followed the same "guidelines" as public school. I mean who knew if I could pull it off. I wanted to be able to ship them right back to our public school if I couldn't.
With how crazy prepared REACH was, I honestly had/have NO issues. Getting kids into a new routine of course was/is always a little challenge. The Teachers however made that easier. The advice, patience, attention, commitment, overall care is amazing. You will never understand how each teacher affected each student in this school no matter how many times we share the appreciation. I mean the Step-by-Step Learning Coach Tips at the bottom of each page in each lesson for my first grader. The Learning Coach sessions and fellow parents’ comments/questions on the Message board are so helpful. Some of what I read are issues I have, like in every single way, but would never ask. Again helpful. There are so many more things I can say. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.first year mom.
Hi Christina. Thank you for your review and your honest feedback. We really appreciate it. Many families come to our review sites to get an honest review of our program and a better idea of what to expect so they can make the right choice for their family, and they will appreciate the time you committed to sharing your experience. We're glad our teachers have been able to support you over the last 2 or so years and make you feel better about your decision to keep your children at home. ~Bri
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My children are about to complete their first year with Connections Academy, and I have literally nothing too bad to say about the school. This has been such an easy transition for them and it reinforced how we can prioritize education and family bonds at the same time. The pandemic allowed us to experience the online possibility, and I knew with the state of our country sending them back into the schools would not be a healthy choice. Our neighbor recommended this school and I am so grateful to have had that interaction with her, because this has been a breath of fresh air that we as a family needed. My kids are learning more with more challenging curriculum, they have options for extracurricular activities, field trips, elective courses, and a flexible schedule that allows them to develop proactive time management skills.
As kids of color, they do not have the outside noise that in-person school presented. There is no gesturing for the attention of the teacher or hopes of fair treatment. This is such an uplifting environment, and levels the playing field so they can simply focus on excelling and learning. My children are both in the Gifted program and they have found the course work to be challenging which I could not say about the in-person education. As a parent, I have a sense of pride that I took the initiative to look into the school and stepped out on faith and enrolled them. I have more insight in their day-to-day activities, their weekly coursework, and this school has given control back to me as a parent to instill my morals and belief systems into my kids.
The word 'connection' goes beyond education-- it has allowed our family connection to strengthen during such a critical time in their development into young adults. I look at the news and am overwhelmed by the reporting of depression, drugs, suicide in young adults--going back in-person has not proven to help the youth. These kids need their parents love, attention, and connection in a world where they need to be seen and heard-- or they will find it in other things that could be detrimental long term.
I am a very proud Connections Academy mom! I encourage anyone that is not satisfied with the experience they are currently having with the in-person public education system to give this school a shot. The staff is always easy to work with and technical support is on-top of any issue I ran into. In the beginning, the change can feel scary but just trust the process and watch the learning coach short videos for guidance. The long term impact this experience will have on our kids and family unit is priceless--I am filled with gratitude and would like to thank all that have decided to teach with this school because you are making a real difference.
Hi Alexandra. Thank you for your review and for taking that leap of faith and enrolling your students! We are so glad to hear that our program has worked well for your family and we hope to see you again next year. Have a great summer! ~Bri
I heard about Connections YEARS ago when my boys were little but at the time worked full time outside the home, so it wouldn't work for me, but I was intrigued with the idea. As my younger son was about to enter middle school, we were unable to get him into the location that worked best for our schedules, plus he'd been having issues with being bullied in public school, and I had started to look at Connections as an option since he's older and more independent now. We signed him up to start in the fall of 2020 - then COVID hit. The school reopened enrollment for Spring 2020 and we thought let's give it a try! NIGHT AND DAY compared to the B&M offerings for remote learning. Loved the variety of classes and the ease of logging on when it worked for us. My older son (high school) saw how much easier things were for his brother and opted to join him.
It is not perfect for everyone. It does take a LOT more work on the parent's part (as a Learning Coach) and I honestly am not sure I could hack it if I had younger children. But for my two teen sons, it allows so much flexibility for extracurricular activities, no "homework", they can sleep in, stay up late working, get caught up on weekends, whatever. Almost all of the teachers have been amazing, very quick to reply to concerns or questions, open to one-on-one meetings or phone calls if a topic is tougher, really great and positive responses.
Live Lessons are recorded so they can opt out if they don't feel they need the extra input or listen to a difficult/complicated part repeatedly as needed, without affecting the teacher or the rest of the class. The school encourages corrections to regain credit on larger assignments or tests, which in turn encourages them to go back and get a better understanding if they had trouble with a concept. Some subjects are hard doing in this way - foreign language for example is tough unless someone in the home can support this. Not impossible, but definitely a harder row to hoe.
I've been very happy with this option for our family, and would encourage anyone to reach out to talk to them to see if it might work for your family. They were very pleasant during my repeated telephone inquiries early on, and worked to make sure we were comfortable with the process. In our area, this is a free public school option, so no out of pocket costs were incurred, and the school supplied a laptop, science and art supplies, and books that were needed, though almost all books were also available online.
Hi Tawny. Thank you so much for sharing your story! We're glad you're having a good experience with us, and we hope to see you again next year! ~Bri
We are so glad we made the choice to switch to Connections Academy. I have access to ALL content and can view ALL Live Lessons. One thing I appreciated most was concerning an evolution unit. Beforehand, the teacher reached out explaining how it would be taught (strictly scientific and not by opinion). She also let parents know she was sensitive to the fact that the content may not be what the student and their families believe. Every student was given the opportunity to answer questions scientifically as taught and with a rebuttal for their own beliefs. We have 2 older children who have already graduated high school and I can tell you, I have NEVER had a brick and mortar teacher inform us of the content being taught let alone allowing the children to state their case.
If you are looking to monitor the content that is being taught to your child, Connections Academy is for you. As for teachers, I have never had a problem with teachers responding. I have even been contacted by the teacher herself, just to check in. Some reviews were almost a deterrent for us. When you read them remember that you will be your child’s learning coach. You will be required to make sure lessons etc are being done. That is the sacrifice that you will make for your child not sitting in a standard classroom, being taught content that you may never know for 8 hrs a day. If you are not doing these things and understand the commitment, you would probably feel the way that some parents felt when they left the negative comment.
If you are willing and able to make the commitment, CA is right for you. For those negative reviews about any hands on experiments, lesson add on etc, you may be required, you have the freedom to change them up. The main thing is that the lesson is completed and the material is understood. Not all students learn the same and CA understands that, working with you not against you. We are so glad we made the choice to switch to Connections Academy.
Hi Kim. Thank you for your insight. The beauty of our program is that it allows parents to be more involved and focus on the things that are important to them. As students get older, students typically need less parent involvement, but the ability to monitor your child's progress is still there. Thank you for your commitment to your student's success. We really value our Learning Coaches and recognize that great things happen when Learning Coaches, teachers, and students work together. ~Bri
Hands down the best school we have worked with. If we ever have a question, the staff answers in a timely manner and with kindness and compassion. The lessons are just challenging enough to keep my students attention. Highly recommend!
My 8th grader has severe ADHD and learning challenges. He was struggling in the classroom and failing all classes. SCCA allows him to work at his pace and have the supports that were already established in his IEP. I am able to review the assignments and work with the teacher to adjust it for him. If he doesn't need all the practice, we can skip some practice work. If he needs more practice, they provide extra resources. If he isn't ready for a test, we can take a few extra days to prepare. The special education teachers have been wonderful at taking extra time to assist him one on one with anything that he needs extra help with. We can work at the times that he is most focused and work on his time frame. At Connections Academy he is able to have the one-on-one support that isn't possible in a classroom of 20+ kids. I have to put in my share of time and effort, but I knew that going in and it's worth it for my child to be successful and learn.
I have homeschooled two of my children through Connections for the past six years. If I had to choose between K-12 and Connections, then I would go with them each time. Yes, I have homeschooled another child of mine through K-12... He was a special needs child... They never gave him his assignments on time, when I called teachers, I never got calls back. Then I would get threats of truancy. With Connections my youngest is special needs and they help out greatly. They webmail, or call back quickly. I have recommended to several people that have enrolled with you and love you. Thanks for all you do for us.
This was our first time at Florida Connections academy, being a learning coach is a big responsibility but I was very pleased at the fact that I am there for my 10 year old daughter. She has a learning difficulty and it helps her to understand a lot more when she is home. I recommend Florida connections academy to any parent that have children who have a difficult time learning. Teachers and staff are Amazing, they listen and help with anything you have questions with.
We will be with Florida connections academy for the 2022-2023 school. She is excited for 5th grade. She says she is going to miss her teachers very much. She loves the teachers and staff that has helped her this year. She says she absolutely loves Florida connections academy. I also love the fact that Florida connections academy works with a busy schedule and you can also make your schedule as it fits with you and the children. Florida connections academy is the best school I know.
This was our first year "homeschooling" and we chose to go with INCA because we wanted them to still be part of an accredited public school. I never pictured us schooling from home before, but we were just no longer happy with the environment and "cookie cutter" style our in-person public school provided. Not every child is made the same, or learns the same way or at the same speed as everyone else. Issues with bullying and safety also became a concern. We were hesitant at first, but the staff and teachers put as at ease at every turn. We learned the platform quickly and my kids excelled with the program. Being able to work ahead when they knew something well and spend more time on a subject when needed gave them confidence. My kids were able to take honors classes as well, which was important for us to see them challenged in areas we knew they could be.
The flexible schedule allowed us to do more trips and activities as a family. We created our own field trips throughout the year. I love that they do not have to be on zooms all day. I love how attendance is handled. My son wants to graduate a year early and as this year ended and he was picking his Freshman classes, his counselor was amazing in guiding us to what he would have to do to make that goal happen. We are so happy with INCA and we recommend the school to anyone considering leaving the brick and mortar behind.
Connections Academy author review by ConsumerAffairs Research Team
Connections Academy is a virtual education organization that provides a free public online school for grades K-12, as well as a tuition-based online private school. Connections Academy is a division of Connections Education LLC.
In-person and online informational events: Connections Academy offers both online and in-person events for prospective students and their families to have their questions answered.
Personalized Performance Learning: Connections Academy provides a personalized educational experience using its Personalized Performance Learning approach. The school begins by reviewing the student’s background and learning style. It then conducts periodical testing to track progress over time and uses assessments to identify a student’s core strengths and weaknesses.
Career technical education: This program is designed for students — especially high school students — who would like to gain more targeted education towards a career in many fields; including, accounting, education, programming and business.
Diverse course options: Connections Academy can meet the needs of a diverse range of students with traditional courses, Honors and AP courses, and the ability to take college and NCAA approved courses while in high school.
Student experience catalog: Through a wide variety of extracurricular activities, Connections Academy provides one of the most advanced socialization programs in the online school industry.
Connections Academy Company Information
- Company Name:
- Connections Academy
- Year Founded:
- 1001 Fleet Street, 5th Floor
- Postal Code:
- United States
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