From Traditional B & M to Online School: How Do I Know I’m Making the Right Move?

Making the move from a traditional public school, which is probably most familiar to you, to a public online school where you are bringing your children home to learn is such an exciting time, but it can also be a stressful and uncertain time.  We as parents always want the best possible education for our children, but moving form a setting which you are very acquainted with to a setting which has been around for only a decade or so, can be daunting. 

If you’re looking to move your child from his/her current educational situation that probably means something is not working and it may be time for a change.

In 2004, I transferred my daughter from a traditional public elementary school that we were open enrolled in to a public online school.  I was very excited to make the move, especially after researching the K12 website, attending a COVA info session, and talking to a COVA mom whose children were enrolled in the school we were considering.  I was thrilled, I knew this was the right decision; I just couldn’t wait to start school with my daughter.  BUT, I was also scared. Thoughts were racing through my mind, like what if this doesn’t work and what if I just can’t do this. My thoughts and what ifs were all over the place.

I knew one thing for absolute certain and that’s that the situation she was in was not working.

I also knew that something had to change.

I realized that if the online school turned out to be less effective than the school she attended, I could try to get her back in to that school or try traditional homeschool while we were waitlisted at a charter school. I still had options.

Our very first day of kindergarten in COVA was amazing!  I don’t know who was more hooked, my daughter or me.  I knew right then that I made the right decision.  It was a decision that came with lots of change and challenges, but it’s a decision that I just couldn’t be more pleased with.   

The challenges that the following weeks and months brought were mostly time management, organization, and learning how to navigate the OLS.  The following year came with a whole new set of challenges when I brought both of my boys home to school, but every challenge we faced was met with a workable solution and continuous support.    

The support system in an online school is vital to the success of your student and the greatest support in an online school comes from your teacher, advisor, and/or guidance counselor.  The partnership that develops between Parent, Student, and Teacher is invaluable.  It’s important to communicate with your support team and communicate often, and technology has made it easy to find a way to communicate that works best for you.  Your teacher will probably offer an e-mail address and phone number, but don’t forget to ask if there’s an IM address or a place for threaded discussion. Blogs are another great place where thoughts are shared and online schools blog about lots of great topics, so be sure to check out some great blogs, like K12’s blog, Connections Academy blog, and Branson School Online blog.

I’m grateful we have this innovative public school option available.

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Comments

  1. I enjoy reading your story and your reasoning and your results. I, too, am grateful that in CO we have such a variety of choices.

  2. You couldn’t be more right about the support! The buddy system is a big help too! I talked with Mack’s teacher today and she agreed with so much of what you’ve told me.
    If I can get the time management issues under control, we’re going to be golden!

    Had it not been for your blog, I wouldn’t have even known about this option. Thanks so much for the support and encouragement as we get the hang of things!

    • Hey LL, I’m so glad things are starting to come together for you and your boys. I’m so passionate about sharing this public school option with the world. Anytime you need the support of a parent, I’m here. :)

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