Standard Examiner (Ogden): Utah Online Charter School

I just read an article written by the Standard Examiner about this online school, Utah Connections Academy. My two sisters were part of this school. I will summarize their experiences myself. This will be from my perspective, and from what they told me. I will call them Sister A and Sister B, to protect their names and privacy.

Sister A had been thinking about homeschooling for years, but did not know where to begin. She did not want to make lesson plans. She wanted all lesson plans to be written and prepared for her already. Sister B had felt that through many talks from General Conference, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Holy Ghost was whispering to her, that she needed to homeschool her kids. Sister A found out about Utah Connections Academy and told Sister B all about it. Both joined their kids up.

Sister A received her box of materials for the school year and set up her homeschool room. She took our parents and me on a tour of her homeschool room, and was very excited to begin on the homeschool journey. Sister B registered later, so she received her supplies later.

We went out to eat together and mostly, I listened to them talk about this school. They were very excited that not only did they not have to worry about lesson plans. They also did not have to worry about socialization, because field trips were aplenty, paid for, and fun, for the academy.

They discussed how to log in, doing their first online reviews of lessons, and participating in virtual class sessions with the virtual teachers. Even though it had been only a week, they also discussed being behind and needing to catch up.

Three days into it, Sister B sent her kids back to public school. Ater two weeks of trying trying it, not feeling that catching up was ever going to happen, feeling overwhelmed, and knowing there was a better way, Sister A quit and became a full-on, no-Charter-School, homeschool mom.

What happened?

The school was asking the moms to teach each kid a different lesson for each subject each day, count and track hours for every subject, and teach a certain number of hours per subject per day. It was impossible. The school was not allowing them to do what homeschools have to do to survive.

Homeschool is a different beast, than public or charter school. In homeschool, the homeschool mom must teach one lesson to all her kids at the same time, and let the older kids do more work. She cannot teach “school at home” in a formal schedule, and track a certain impossible number of hours per day on each “subject.” Homeschooling requires that mom teach without tracking hours or subjects. Homeschooling is a lot more relaxing, and has to be, for the mama and the kids to survive.

All this change from public school? How can they learn, then? Learn they do. Please read my other blog posts about homeschooling, by using “search” to find out more about what interests you, or click on a subject link on the right side of the page. Thanks!