Highlight of a Virtual School Family: Edgar and Latisha Antillón

Highlight of a Virtual School Family is a series which I will be running for several days.

I value choice in education and parents’ rights to access the best public school option which meets their child’s individual learning needs.  One public school option, virtual schools, has delivered a high quality, personalized education to thousands of students across the nation. Virtual schools need to be accessible to all students in every state and they need to remain a viable option for those they already serve, and serve well.  Read The Different Reasons to see why some choose an online school and then journey with me for the next few days to see what other virtual school families have to say about their virtual school.

Today’s spotlight is on Edgar and Latisha Antillon who I met in 2009 at our very first Colorado Cyberschool’s Day Red Ribbon Week event.  Edgar and Latisha have 3 children enrolled in Colorado Virtual Academy (COVA) in grades K, 2, and 4.  They have been schooling with COVA for 5 years.

Please read as Edgar and Latisha share their thoughts and experiences about their virtual school.

My husband and I researched schools in our area and found that none of them met our standards. We came across Colorado Virtual Academy (COVA) and Connections Academy, and chose COVA.

The schools in our area (Adams 50) had low tests scores and teacher turnover rate was high. We were also looking for a school that had a dress code.

We love COVA. There is always someone available when you have questions whether it is a teacher, administration, technical support or moral support from other parents.

The greatest benefit is that we are all together. I used to work a full-time job as well as my husband, we only saw our children in the morning for a few hours and then in the evening. The babysitter spent more time with our children then we did. When we discovered COVA, we knew it was going to change our finances. I was going to have to quit my job, with that choice goes my income and health coverage. Our children’s education was a priority for us.

Our children are doing great academically. They excel in different subjects. Virtual school allows them to spend extra time with the subjects they enjoy and quality time with the subjects they need help in.

Our children play with the neighborhood children and family friends. My oldest children have pen pals they write back and forth to. Our virtual school has many opportunities to meet with other students.

COVA has many events both academic and for pleasure. There are museums, theaters, musicals, park days, farms, skating and a few parent sponsored events. There are many clubs that COVA has available from reading, Lego, science, robotics, etc.

My children interact with their teachers either; online (Elluminate\Class Connects), in person and by phone. We are required to have one or more contact each month.

We have had great experiences with COVA. If we had any issues we would make the choice to look otherwise. They enjoy attending COVA and look forward to each new school year. We communicate regularly with our children and if they were not happy we would make the necessary changes.

I do feel that each of my children is getting individualized learning time. Each of my children has strengths and weaknesses academically. For example, my oldest daughter does not like handwriting, so her handwriting is not the greatest. I have worked with my teacher about finding creative ways to get the practice she needs. My daughter now has no issue writing and loves cursive writing. Another example, is my youngest child, he was having issues with his pronunciations. I worked with his teacher and found exercises and games to help him. He now is doing great.

Our schoolroom is our living room/dining room. My children help each other when needed. For example, my youngest child, who is in Kindergarten needs help with reading directions or needs an explanation. My other children read him the directions and explain important information to him. One thing that is not traditional is I allow music in the background while we are doing school. My children also respect each other and me and behave while school is in session.

My children are self-starters. They do not need me or my husband to remind them to do school, homework or their chores. They understand what is expected from them.

My children are still fairly young, but they have chosen their careers. They understand that they must work hard, attend college and do their best to reach their career choice. As time goes on, we will have certain discussions when the time comes.

I devote at least 4-6 hours a day to schooling.

I am personally the main learning coach. My husband does assist me from time to time.

All of my teachers are available when I need them. I have contacted them via email or phone regularly.

I view myself as a learning coach/tutor.

My husband and I are active in our local politics. School choice is one of our passions, so we keep up with what is going on. I would be very disappointed if my freedom of school choice was taken away.

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Comments

  1. Edgar and Latisha, thanks so much for sharing today on Lori’s LOLz. I especially like how you describe how your children are doing academically: “Virtual school allows them to spend extra time with the subjects they enjoy and quality time with the subjects they need help in.” That is so well said and I couldn’t agree more, the same holds true for my children. And I also love how you talk about the great experiences you and your family have had with COVA and if it weren’t that way you as parents would look elsewhere. So true. Thanks again for taking the time to share your experiences with us!

  2. My hat is of to Edgar and Latisha and their children for aligning their values and their actions. It’s no wonder that your children are self-starters, hard workers, and have vision for their future — you are modeling all this for them! Bravo.

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