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Saturday, May 17, 2008

k12's Top 10, Part 3

8. I will always know just what my kids are doing. Even if they work far ahead of the regular lesson.

I'm a firm believer that kids should work at their own pace. Sometimes, this means kids progress slower than others. Other kids whiz through everything. No problem for me here, specially when k12 is in our lives.

All k12 lesson plans are accessible by students. Should Bigfoot and Beadgirl finish early, they can move onto the next set of lessons. However, there are times they need more time to fully learn a concept. Taking the time is great. I'd rather they learn completely than hurriedly. Kids need to learn at their own pace, not at the schedule of a teacher or set program.

We faced that many times in school. I found I was paying tuition for a private school to control Bigfoot's learning schedule. This particular school was using ABeka; a fabulous program I even used as a kid through first grade. ABeka provides a comprehensive curriculum. Everything under the sun gets covered with a Christian viewpoint.

This is a very good program at what it does. If you know how to apply creativity to the program, ABeka is fantastic. If you only stick to the material, everything will get repeated to the digging of the grave. I do not give high recommendations for ABeka to parents of children with Edison-like brains. Nothing stands still very long. Bigfoot was bored at school. I didn't realize just how bored he was until we took him out of school. He understands things quickly and doesn't do well with over-redundant repetition.

For the past two years, we've used Everyday Math. This was the same material used in our local public school system. Everyday Math is an excellent program for gifted kids. So long as they understand basic math concepts. Kids do some pretty advanced stuff in Everyday Math, such as statistics and calculus. Have the time, I wouldn't have a clue what was going on. Eventually, I found myself spending more time on Google trying to learn about what he was supposed to be doing.

There were some days over the last two years, I'd not even know what point he was at in the lesson plan. I could hand him his math book last year, and in one hour, he'd have a full unit finished. Sometimes, I couldn't tell where he was in the lesson plan.

My lesson plan worries are gone. Now, I log onto the k12 website. I can see everything each of the kids did for the day. I can tell if Beadgirl needs help in her Social Studies, or if she's doing just fine. Using k12 allows me the ability to see where both kids are in the lesson plan and what they are learning. I'll always be there for help when they need it.

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