Minda Corso

Virtual school a great school choice for us

In Digital Learning, School Choice on November 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm

By: Mike Thomas

My daughter is in history class while I’m sitting across the room from her writing this blog. We are in Orlando. Her teacher is in Tampa.

I have no idea where her classmates are.

Caroline is in Florida Virtual School. We opted for this class because the history class at her school wasn’t working out. And so two weeks ago we decided to switch to FVS.

How is it working out?

Well, other parents can’t get their kids off the computer because they’re immersed in Facebook or some other mind-wasting web site. I can’t get my kid off the computer because she’s following George Washington across the Delaware River.

Her first evening, she cranked out a six-page report on manatees, submitted it and recorded her first A.

One of the concerns about virtual schools is getting students to do the work without a taskmaster at the front of the class.

That’s certainly not the case here.

Caroline loves the content, enjoys the freedom of going to class whenever she wants, and can go at her own pace, unencumbered by classmates who don’t carry their share of the load in small group projects. Her guidance counselor was great and facilitated the move.

Starting class in November could have been a risk because if she doesn’t finish by the end of the school year it could hinder her moving on to high school. Her counselor warned me the class would be more rigorous.

No problem. Caroline may well wrap this up by March.

Did I mention my kid is smarter than me?

As to the quality of the education, all I can go by is her telling me that she’s learning a lot more than she was in her old class.

Let me add, however, that this is just history. She very much enjoys her other classes at school, such as geometry, Spanish and particularly band.

I’m not thinking a virtual band class would work. At least today’s technology. Give it five years.

Now that we know the quality of FVS classes and how well the model fits Caroline, this experience opens up options in high school.

Choice is a wonderful thing.

Mike Thomas (@MikeThomasTweet) can be reached at Mike@excelined.org. 

  1. We do have a Guitar class elective, which is similar to band, as well as a drama club! ~Lynn, FLVS Instructor

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with FLVS. I am a new instructor (Creative Photography) learning to teach in a virtual world. It’s student’s like Caroline that make me smile, craving to learn more. -Alex

  3. Spanish 1 is another great course at FLVS.

  4. Proud to be a FVS instructor! Lori

  5. I’m glad to hear that your daughter is enjoying her course! Our Music of the World course would be a wonderful compliment to her band program after she is in high school. I have many high school band students in my class. It covers material that band directors may not have time to teach. The students really love it!

  6. As a parent of an FLVS student, I am so thankful that Florida has this wonderful option for our kids! Quality teachers and great courses to help my daughter learn and grow. Thank you, Florida Virtual School.

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