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Minor Learning Disability Leads Mom to Major School Choice

A stay-at-home mom in Washington began researching school options because one of her sons had a learning disability. Now, she has both of her kids in an online school for far more reasons.

Sally says: “One of the rewards of being a parent of an online student is you are right there when the student makes a discovery, when they have that ‘aha’ moment.”

There have been a lot of those moments for Sally, since both of her boys – Austin, 12, and Andrew, 7, are enrolled in Washington Virtual Academy, K12’s online public school in Washington State.

Sally and her husband James decided early on that Austin (pictured above) needed an alternative to the brick and mortar school.  One reason was a mild learning disability, and the other was the realization that he needed a slower pace in some areas and a faster pace in others – something very difficult to achieve in a regular school.

Choosing a School

At first, they considered homeschooling, but realized it would be complicated and expensive.  After attending an information session for the public K12 Network school, they saw it as a great option to try “for a year,” and have stayed with it for several years now.

Though technically a sixth grader, Austin’s program is individualized so, for instance, he’s working at a 7th grade level in math.  As Austin says, “The flexibility is beautiful for me…it’s a great confidence boost.”  As for his favorite subject, that’s easy:  “History, because it’s about what happened before I was me.”

Brother Andrew’s favorite subject right now is science, and because his family keeps chickens, he’s especially excited that in science they’re learning about the egg cells of chicken eggs.  “Learning with K12 makes me smart!” Andrew says, beaming.

As for social development, there are plenty of opportunities for the boys, between Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, swimming and guitar lessons, and regular school-sponsored field trips.

Student Success, Parent Satisfaction

Sally continues to be tremendously impressed with the school.  “It’s an exceptional education…the curriculum is top-notch…they have the best teachers, they’re just amazing and passionate and really tuned in to the kids…our boys can follow their passions and become better learners.”

Of course, all this success with school doesn’t come without serious parent involvement.  Sally explains, “There needs to be a full-on family commitment when you take on this form of learning.  But it is so rewarding, even with the additional challenges and time commitment that you have to make.”

As for those rewards, her husband adds, “We get to watch them grow up and succeed.  And to have them succeed in school and in life is the most important thing a parent can partake in.”

To find a school, enroll or learn more, please visit www.k12.com.

 

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Michael Solow

Michael Solow

Michael Solow has worked as a teacher, journalist, and commercial writer/creative director. Michael has also taught high school English and junior high math, gaining his teaching certification from Vassar College and a master's degree in the teaching of writing and literature from George Mason University. His writing has been published in the New York Times, the San Francisco Review of Books, TheMorningNews.org, and the Hemingway Review. He is the proud dad of two grown daughters and the happy husband of an elementary school librarian.

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