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I am really surprised by some of these reviews, especially the ones about enrollment difficulties. I literally enrolled my child at Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy (OVCA) in ONE DAY. I thought I was starting the enrollment early (because I was given erroneous enrollment info). I called 9/5 to ask about some documents and the representative said, "As it's the last day to enroll, I suggest you do document X instead of document Y." I was surprised but apparently, the first rep with whom I spoke the week before had misunderstood that the high school fall enrollment ended a week before the K-8 enrollment.
No problem. Easy peasy. All essential documents (about 4 including student application, proof of residency, guardian driver's license) uploaded that day. "Provisionally" approved the same day. Got enrollment notification the next day. Then the day after that assigned classes. So the enrollment was a breeze. And it should be because K12 is a private company and they want students to enroll so they can get tuition payments.
Our experience after about three weeks of school has been pretty good. But I will first state the negatives. First, the platform is horribly slow. It is also needlessly confusing. It took me and my son three weeks to figure out how to consistently access previous class recordings. Part of the problem is that each teacher uses her class page differently. So one link might contain some info that other teachers might not include. There needs to be a more uniform info presentation across the school.
Second, my son is a sort-of high achieving student. He excels in things that interest him. He really sucks at things that don't. So going in as a 9th grader, he had already mastered algebra and geometry. The great thing about OVCA is that the school allowed him to test out of those two classes. The bad thing is that I then learned that the school does not offer calculus, physics, Spanish IV and AP courses as I had been led to believe according to the school's course catalog. The catalog does note that classes may not be offered but I was disappointed.
So depending on your state, the K12 online public school might or might not offer the full selection of classes that you might think a large high school would. That has been the largest drawback so far. But the school has told me that he might be able to take some of these classes at the local college as a concurrently enrolled student. I am not sure how that'll work and I am not sure he'll be able to take non-core classes at a local college (e.g. computer programming, advanced Spanish). So that's the less-than-great stuff.
Now the advantages. If your child is a lackadaisical student and indifferent to his grades, K12 is a good option for the involved parent. You have total access to all his grades so you can spot right away if he's slipping up somewhere. Last night, for example, I noticed that his 100% in English had slipped to 98%. Not a big deal. But I wanted to know what happened. It turned out he did not grasp the parts of a sentence. The live class connect session didn't address the subject adequately for him and the online lesson (which is given before quizzes) was also too brief. And my son is too lazy to dig around the web himself. So then I sat down with him (before he made his third and final attempt at the quiz) and explained it. Then he aced it. So if you have the time and the resources, you can really help to ensure that your kid is learning what he is supposed to know when he is supposed to be learning it.
I can't understand the complaints about the live class connect sessions. My son has four honors classes and two regular classes and he has maybe two 45-minute class connects per day and usually none on Friday. He has other recorded lessons he has to watch at his leisure but the demand on his time to be somewhere specific is quite low.
That brings me to his assignments, quizzes and tests. It varies somewhat by teacher but he knows all his assignments at least a week in advance (usually the entire semester) and they are due by midnight on Sunday of the week that they are assigned. Some of his teachers allow him to turn in anything up to the last day of the semester. So that is a lot of flexibility. He also gets to retake the quizzes three times (though the questions usually change each time) so that he can go back and figure out what he didn't learn thoroughly. The tests, however, are one-shot. So if you or your child cares, you can really try to ensure that he learns his material.
Now, I am not yet 100% on remote learning. First, I just don't think the class discussions are quite as good as when you're physically present in class. If nothing else because it is just faster for most people to speak their mind than to type it out. And it's difficult for the teacher to gauge whether students really understand when they're not there to talk back and forth. And for our school in particular, I feel that there are just too few honors students to really develop a thorough advanced curriculum. But a large state, say Texas, might be different. And quite a few of the students, at least at OVCA, are off-the-beaten-path learners who are coming back to finish high school as young adults. So that is a different dynamic from that of traditional brick-and-mortar schools. But it isn't necessarily a negative dynamic.
There are some very good teachers at OVCA and I do think they try hard to accommodate your unique child. And I do always believe that school is what you put into it. So for the right family and the right student who are willing to put some elbow grease into it, K12 could be a very positive experience. I certainly wouldn't be afraid to give it a go for one semester or year.
Best Education Around. Your child will need lots of help from Mom and Dad because K12 is challenging. If you want the absolute highest quality learning materials, K12 is the way to go. If you want your kid to be ready for college, K12 is the way to go. If you are not willing to bust your rear end helping your kid, then forget about it. Your child will need to attend the classes and do the readings. There is no easy way around it. Should you decide to send your child to K12, make sure that his/her reading skills are top notch. Turn off the television and visit the library constantly to get your child up to speed for K12. I had my son read 4 hours a day during summer vacation.
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I removed my daughter from her brick and mortar school. She is autistic and has anxiety. The school setting was worsening her anxiety. K12 was recommended to me so, I signed her up. This has been the best decision. My daughter had a phobia with math that no longer exists. The teachers are fantastic and I haven't had any problems with communication. I will say there is a lot of work involved. I get satisfaction knowing my child is absorbing what she is learning and if she doesn't get something, I can work with her until she gets it. I have sat in on many classes when she went to a brick and mortar and witnessed kids not getting it and they were left puzzled. This was due to the teacher/child volume. The teacher just cannot cater to each student. I'm glad we chose K-12-AZVA, My daughter is getting a quality education.
A child in public school, will likely spends 80% of their time attempting to fit in and be accepted. At home with an online program like K12, they can spend 80% of the time learning. In my opinion, it's likely that the negative reviews are those not willing or are unable to invest the time. Being a parent is the hardest job you will have. But, it will also be the most rewarding. Invest in your children, that means you spend quality time with them and on their education. K12 is challenging and sometime repetitive. But, I have seen the results. For a child with Autism to be in the top 1% in all area (STAR 360) is remarkable. I promise, I am a real dad and speaking from my heart. I love my son and K12. If you are reading this, then I am sure we are on the same page.
Once you understand how it works and following it. You will see results and you and your child will be excited. Let's face it, their education is YOUR most important task. Practicing discipline with schooling is far better than later in life learning it from some part of the judicial system. Here is how it works. There are a set of books for the "learning coach." These guides will help you understand, what will be covered and tested online (with answers to the practice material). There is a companion set for the child. Generally, only a quick review is needed for you and there is always helpful hints. The student has an online account to track their work and test their understanding of the material. All lessons are an interactive learning experience before a quiz.
Progress is tracked for you and the teacher to see. There are daily "class connects" an online electronic chalkboard that the teachers use to teach a topic and interact with the students. There is audio but the camera is only of the teacher and the material being covered. They are generally 30 minutes in length. They are made available to view later as a video file (providing the ultimate in flexibility). There are supplemental readings and science experiences. However, these are key element in education. I will admit, you will need a few minutes to track down the right book, page etc. But, it is totally worth it. It breaks up the monotony or mechanics of teaching and provides zest to the experience.
K12 curriculum can be the core subjects (Math, Writing, Literature, Spelling, Vocabulary, History and Science) or you can customize to meet the needs of more advanced students. Furthermore, it's flexible. If there is something that is challenging you or the student. Step away, seek someone else's point of view and return to it at a later time. The teachers are amazing, helpful and available to you. These are the kind of teachers you will remember the rest of your life. These are the Ms. Sweet, Ms. Smith and Mrs. Johnson that you remember from your school days.
Look, I am writing this because schools are not safe (weapons, bullies, etc), teachers in "brick and mortar" schools are overwhelmed and your kids are distracted. They don't stand a chance at the education they deserve. But, mostly because, in my experience, K12 deserve far better reviews, recognition and accolades then what I have seen here.
I'm reading all these reviews and though some are great some of these reviews are ridiculous. My 8 year old just finished 2nd grade here (kindergarten and 1st in another cyber school that I decided wasn't challenging enough, so we went with K12) and my boy passed with flying colors! How, why?! Because we worked hard and when you put hard work out you'll get great results which is something you need to learn early on in life if you want to be successful at anything you do. We do asynchronous classes, at our own pace, and it can be a lot but if we can get straight A's there is no reason that you can't either, or you are doing something wrong. Tutoring is available if your child is failing and yes, you may be on the computer longer than you want to if you don't understand the work but if you want to understand it then you need to study or of course you'll fail. It's simple to understand.
No, this isn't a social platform so don't expect to make friends that easily. There are groups online outside of K12 for homeschoolers alike to meet and make friends. There is also Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Complaining about the lack of social interaction in a cyber school is useless, what do you really expect them to do to help you make friends via their online school? Really, suggest things to them and I'm sure they'll listen. K12 has been one of the best decisions we ever made for our child. He is shining like the bright star that he is and we couldn't be happier or more grateful for what K12 has made possible for us. It's honestly not possible for him to get a better education than he's getting right now and this is free of cost, that's amazing!
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Guy actually hung up on me after he explained I couldn't use my electricity bill as proof of residency since my utility company put a shut off notice at the top of the bill. Guess poor kids don't get an education.
The enrollment process was seamlessly easy. We enrolled our youngest two boys in the program last year and they have accepted and excelled at it! VAVA is a great program in Virginia that has done more for my boys in 6 months then the brick and mortar schools ever did. We have one adhd/autism child and he got more from this school then his brick and mortar ever offered. Not only has he excelled but his grades are better, his support is better, and he is happier than he ever had been!
We took our child out of public school for many reasons, but the final straw was the bad crowd she started hanging around scared us for her future. K12 was the obvious choice. Enrollment was a piece of cake and the supplies and equipment they sent was VERY impressive and surprising and for those two aspects I give 5 out of 5, but that's where the good news ends.
At first we were unable to provide as much time as she required due to our busy schedule and she was failing every class, eventually I got to dedicate a few weeks to be with her and assist in all aspects and I was VERY disappointed in what I saw! In about half the classes 90% of class time is wasted as the teacher spends it getting on to other students who are being disruptive, there is a chat box where students flood it with foolishness and topics unrelated to the class subject matter so when a student does ask a question it gets buried in comments about video games or complaints, or multiple students just chatting with one another and so my daughter never could get clarification so was stuck and struggled to learn anything further.
About 1/4 the time either the teacher showed up late to his or her own class, didn't show at all, or claimed to be having technical issues with their mic or software so they either had to end class early or skip that material temporarily which made things difficult in the learning process as you can imagine. The grades displayed in the app are rarely accurate and I found myself disciplining my daughter for things that were not even her fault like taking away her phone because she failed a test when she didn't, and there would be notices of missed or late assignments showing but after speaking with her teacher I discovered that the information was incorrect and that she hadn't missed anything and not even the teacher knew why it kept showing up or how to correct it.
The textbooks are full of information regarding the subject matter but contain no practice examples for the student to do in order to really learn. What happened to the old math textbooks that gave you a few worked out examples and on the next page provided you with 20 or more blank examples that you could do for practice and then check the back of the book for the answers to see how well you did? BRING THOSE BACK PLEASE!
One of the most concerning things was the frequency of classes, right in the middle of a semester with no holidays or schedule breaks of any kind there would be periods where she would only have math once a week and multiple days she would only have 1 or two classes a day...unacceptable! I think perhaps the most disturbing thing of all is that they allow the students to take and retake quizzes and assignments 3 or more times regardless of the grade or when it is due. I'm all for learning the material more so than consequences for not learning it, however when you give a young student that much power then they have no reason to even study, they can just guess at the answers until they get them all correct and have an "A", I do not think this is a very wise signal that we are sending them, in the real world you get one chance, if you are EXTREMELY lucky you might get two, but never 3, 4, and 5 chances at the same thing.
I think this just gives the student a false sense of security regarding their knowledge because this method focuses more on the grade than learning the material and I strongly disagree. I received an email several weeks ago from a woman who claimed to be the one to go to for any questions or concerns, she even provided me with a number that I could text her so I sent most of this to her and did not get a response, then replied to her email still nothing.
After sitting with my daughter for almost a month straight attending every class she had, going through the motions 100% as if I was back in school myself I was able to help set her on some better habits and teach her how to take notes and study, instill in her the importance of listening and reading, she is now making A's in every class and on the surface you'd think that is great, unfortunately I've come to a sad realization that she has only learned how to better manipulate K12's system because now she goes in and takes tests and assignments over and over just to get the A and all the benefits that come with a straight A student. I fear that she will end up an honor student all the way through high school and when she gets into college will be completely unprepared for anything that is thrown at her. If you truly care about your child's education and not just their safety or your convenience, do not send them to K12, you have been warned.
My daughter is currently in enrolled in VaVa and has been for 2 years and really enjoyed Kindergarten because she had a great teacher that didn't play favorite or put the child on the spot. But since she's in 1st grade it seems like her teacher plays favorite and only points out certain students are doing well instead of the whole class which isn't right. The main reason I placed her in K12 was because of the nonsense that goes on in public schools but now I'm seeing some of the same things. My daughter enjoyed the class connects before but now she doesn't. Dont get me wrong. I the classes only last for 30 mins but her teacher teaches for maybe 5 mins and then sends them breakout rooms instead of her teaching a lesson. So I'm seriously thinking about now enrolling her next year if this same teacher is going to be a 2nd grade teacher as well.
Our daughter has attended k12 online school for 5 years now. This will be the last! K12 Florida section for Hogg school children is careless and terrible. Administration does not care about failing test scores or failing grades. Perfectly happy that only 30 percent of student get passing grades in core subject areas. This is Absurd and appalling! When your student is struggling in a class they do not care and shown no concern.
One math teacher for all 9th grade students and she is too busy to be bothered to help a child struggling. Principal is careless and does not promptly if ever return emails or calls about concerns you have with your child. Some of the teachers are terrific-but a carefree administration combined with teachers who are too busy to help your child if they struggle is wrong. No such thing as resources or tutors to help students who struggle in on area or another is ignorant. They simply just seem to care about a check on payday and not really concerned on educating youth.
K12 expert review by ConsumerAffairs
Founded in 1999, K12 Inc. is a for-profit education corporation. As of 2017, it is the largest online school company, operating 58 separate virtual schools with nearly 77,000 students enrolled in the 2011-12 school year. K12 owns free online public schools, tuition-based online private schools, and online supplemental courses, and is accredited by AdvancED, the largest homeschool accrediting agency. Interested caregivers can use the search feature on K12’s main page to find what offerings are available in their home states.
Award winning: K12 has won numerous awards including several from Creative Child Magazine, a ComputED Gazette Eddie Award and the Mom's Choice Award for Online Resources for Children.
Large selection of courses and levels: Students can choose from a large catalog of courses spanning all levels including remedial, advanced placement, STEM, Honors and Dual Credit courses. Additionally, the school offers interactive activities and mobile apps for all grade levels.
Student support: K12 offers many forms of support to help its students be successful, including enrollment counselors, state-certified teachers, a dedicated advisor, school counselors and tech support.
Individualized learning plan: Each student’s counselor will outline their academic objectives, future goals, and take inventory of their strengths and weaknesses in order to build a curriculum that leads to maximum success.
Community activities: K12 is a large organization. Many regions of the country have meetups for community activities, parent organizations and field trips.
Best for: homeschooling families, student performers, working adults and military families.
K12 Company Information
- Company Name:
- Year Founded:
- Formerly Named:
- K12 Inc.
- 2300 Corporate Park Drive
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (866) 968-7512