Student Success Stories: Hearing Aided with Online Education
Online learning, sometimes referred to as homeschool, has led to student success for thousands of families. This series, Student Success Stories, features highlights from What’s your Story?, a site that’s home to real stories from real students about how their lives have changed because of individualized, online education through K12 programs.
Sarah started thinking about an alternative to typical public school when her son, Nathan, was diagnosed with a peanut allergy at the age of 2. By the age of 3, they found out that Nathan had some form of hearing loss. By 4, they learned that he was profoundly deaf. At the age of 6, he was completely deaf and using American sign language. An alternative was no longer an option, it was a requirement. She feared that his language barrier would prevent progress in a brick-and-mortar school environment.
Sarah had been teaching her son to sign since he was 3, and he picked it up fast. Then, they worked on basic math, which he also learned at an astounding speed despite his disability. She became confident learning at home was the best choice and enrolled her son in K12’s California Virtual Academies.
Halfway through kindergarten, Nathan received his first cochlear implant. He started talking and was beginning to read. About a year later, Nathan got his second cochlear implant, and was able to catch up to his peers academically.
This year, Nathan went from 1-3 word phrases to 5-12 word sentences. He’s asking questions about everything. He’s responding to everyone without lip reading or ASL prompting. He’s now at a hearing age of 2 years, which means he should be at the level of a 2 year old for hearing and speech, but he’s proving everyone wrong. His hard work, determination and desire to learn have surpassed all expectations.
“K12 has given him the opportunity to thrive and continue his best subjects at an age appropriate level while still working to catch up in the areas he was behind in,” Sarah says. She adds that they’re also, “able to pause daily lessons to go to therapy and not have to miss out.”
“Without CAVA and the ability to flex our course work to his ability, he would not be advancing at the rate he is,” she says. “With K12 and going at his pace he loves school. The look on his face every year when new materials arrive is just priceless.”
Brittany Marklin is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff and a community manager for K12. She coordinates all K12 student contests and connects with families who pursue online education. She attended George Mason University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing, with a minor in tourism and events management. Brittany spent her first five years at K12 on the social media team where she aided with content and strategy for multiple channels, and helped construct K12’s user-generated content site, “What’s Your Story?” When she’s not working, Brittany loves spending time with her husband and daughter in North Carolina.