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Our ‘Brand’ of School

I am one of those ‘crazy people.’
I admit it.
I like to let my freak flag fly.
I homeschool my children.
Yup, it’s true.
There are many reasons why we decided that homeschooling works best for us…maybe I will get into that in another post.
But for now I will let you in on a little secret, I don’t do it by myself.
I have help…lots of it!

When I first started out with my daughter in Kindergarten, I would spend hours researching curriculum materials, purchasing this, that and the other and just plain burned myself out taking hours to plan out what usually only took about a half hour to complete.
I lasted a few months and then I was seriously considering public school for all the wrong reasons.
Then I found out about online charter schools.
Specifically online ‘public’ charter schools.
More specifically Connections Academy.
This has been a God send.
They send you EVERYTHING you need.
Curriculum, art supplies, science supplies, work books, text books…and even a loaner computer if you need it.
You have a fully accredited school teacher that checks in on your student about every other week and is there for any questions.
They have online chats with the teacher, where the student can read to them or the teacher can go over math problems or whatever the case.
It is a fully accredited school, so you don’t have to worry about state requirements for home schooling or anything else…they take care of it.
Plus the education is top notch. The curriculum is high quality and challenging.
They have elective courses and clubs such as languages, life skills and debate club-and plenty of field trips for kids in the area to meet up if you want to participate in those.
Oh and did I mention it’s FREE?
We just got our school supplies via UPS-pretty much everything on the bookshelf below except for the pencil boxes are provided.

This is just some of the art supplies, science supplies, math helps, etc…that we got between my second grader and kindergartner.It’s not all online either. Basically the curriculum is online if that’s what you are more comfortable with, but they also send full on text books too so the kids actually have a book to reference. Most of these hard back books you just return at the end of the year…they send you the pre-paid UPS return label. So easy.

They also send all of the workbooks they need for English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Handwriting etc…

For kindergarten, they send a huge stack of fun little paperback books to go along with the themes and the kids get to keep these, so that is extra fun.Then there are the ‘Learning Coach’ books, those are for me.

This is the best part for me, although they have a ‘teacher,’ it is me who is with them day in day out helping them with their schoolwork.
At this point, my second grader can get all of her work completed without me if I need her to.
That was super helpful when I had just given birth to Oliver last year, but she gets a much better education when I am following along in these books.
They are like the homeschooling for dummies, no lie.For each subject they spell it all out for you! Basically telling you what to say if that’s what you need. You don’t have to ask yourself if your kids are actually learning anything as a home schooled child, you can see it happening.

I know that Connections is not only in Oregon, so if this sounds like something you would be interested in, check out their website and see if it’s available where you live. If not, there is probably another that is.
For us, it’s been fantastic! I love that I still get to be in charge of their education, and if we need to we can go slower or faster than the rest of the class.
Bekah was way ahead in language arts, science and social studies last year, but was still being challenged with math. Half way through the school year, her teacher and I decided to put her in 2nd grade, but keep her math in 1st grade. She started being challenged again, and finished up the year doing really well. She will finish up her 2nd grade year in December with those subjects, and from there her teacher and I can discuss if we want her to start on 3rd grade curriculum or go another route.
Sure we have to report online what we are doing, take quizzes and tests, and hand in portfolio assignments-but that helps us stay on task with that level of accountability. It’s still home school though, and if we want to take a week off in the middle of October to go to Disneyland-we can either take it with us since it’s all online, or we can just mark on our calendar that we will be gone then and go. Our vacation days are still on our time table, not someone else’s.
If you have any questions about the school or anything else about home schooling I would love to hear them!
Do you homeschool your children? Is it something you’ve been thinking about?
Does anyone else out there use Connections Academy?
If so, have you been as impressed as we have?
I have no affiliation with Connections Academy other than my kids attending, I was not paid or asked to write this post. These opinions are 100% my own.

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Tiffany is a stay at home mom to four ridiculously cute kids and wife to one smoking hot Mc Dreamy lookalike. She loves photography, chocolate chip cookies and sunshine. She is the founder of Making the World Cuter, a site committed to doing just what the title states; Making the world cuter, one kid, photograph, outfit, yummy treat or crafty thing at a time.

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Comments

  1. sierralangford says

    Hi there, I did Connections Academy with my three older kids for about two years.  I agree that the depth of material provided is extensive and impressive.  My kids liked the books, not so much the quizzes after every lesson.  After the second year, we all decided to do our own homeschool thing, which we did last year.  Unfortunately, I’m not much of a pusher, so they had lots of amazing projects and things to share about the topics they enjoyed studying up on, but had a very hard time focusing on their less favored subjects.  We decided to do public school this year, mostly because my two middle school children got into a really fantastic charter school in our area of Oregon.  We will re-evaluate the schooling situation for next year when we get there.  I think the main thing is to stay connected with the kids wherever they are and whatever they end up doing.  I’m looking forward to them reaching out to other people more, and practicing all the inter-personal skills we have talked about over the years.  It’s great that your kids enjoy Connections Academy.  It is a tremendous resource for folks like us who want to keep our little ones close for as long as we can, but still want an accredited education for them.

    • says

       @sierralangford Thanks for your comments. We are still going strong with Connections! My first grader is a little more high maintenance, so I am starting to question how long we will do it. I am committing to this year and we’ll see how it goes. I love that there are so many options and that we can choose our education for our children.
      Have a great week!
      -Tiffany