Connections Academy - Beware!
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  1. #1
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    Default Connections Academy - Beware!

    Be careful of this school! Lots of technology problems and very little communication between the different departments. My son loses submitted lessons on a daily basis, which means wait on them to restore them, which they cannot do - or redo them! Puts him further and further behind and discourages his grades. Mark Reider is an awesome teacher there - one of the few that is dedicated and works to help in any way. So grateful we had him this year. But we can't get acknowledgement of the problem from anyone else there or any real help getting it fixed. The principal of the Arkansas school is completely out of touch with what is happening, and the IT department is nonexistent, unfortunately. The association of Arkansas Charter Schools says there is nothing they can do to help! This is where our tax dollars are going, Arkansas!!

  2. #2
    Administrator hearthstone_academy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Connections Academy - Beware!

    Time4Learning can't be compared to Connections Academy, because Connections Academy is a school (even though people often mistakenly refer to it as "homeschooling because the school work is done at home"). Homeschooling isn't about where the learning takes place. It's about who is in charge of the child's education. In homeschooling, the parent is in charge.

    Time4Learning is not a school. It is a curriculum parents can use to homeschool their children . . . so the parent remains in charge. There are homeschool laws that must be followed (check your state's Department of Education website), and they are different in every state. No state's homeschool laws require meeting with a teacher periodically, turning in work on any certain schedule, logging on a minimum number of times or at a particular time, or using any certain curriculum like Connections Academy does. When using a school like Connections Academy, someone else in in charge (and the school is responsible for following SCHOOL laws, not homeschool laws).

    Families who ask public school personnel about homeschool are often pointed to Connections Academy. There are two reasons for this. First, school personnel often do not know what "real homeschooling" is. They have simply never had a reason to check into it, and Connections Academy is all they've ever heard of.

    Secondly, some school personnel may be interested in keeping your child on the rolls as a public school student. Connections Academy is online public school, so your child is "counted" as a public school student as far as determining the amount of tax dollars the school gets. That's how they can give the child a free computer. They are actually saving money on Connections Academy students, since they get the same tax money as for regular kids, without the overhead.

    Since many Time4Learning members are ex-Connections Academy students, and because families using the free public-school-at-home options often come here researching other options, I decided to use your post as an opportunity to put all of this information in one place.

    Online public schooling tries to keep the student working for a typical six-hour "school day", so families often burn out quickly. Learning at home is just more time efficient than traditional classroom learning. There is no time used on roll call, traveling between classes, assemblies, and so forth. Perhaps more importantly, when a student has finished one subject he can go right on to the next subject without waiting for the end of a designated class period. If the day's math assignment is a ten-question quiz, a classroom student might spend the rest of their classroom time doodling. A student who is studying at home can get started on social studies instead.

    I hope this helps explain the difference between an online school like Connections Academy and a homeschool curriculum like Time4Learning. I think the main problem with the online public-school-at-home options isn't necessarily due to anyone's incompetence. It is probably due to the developers of the program being "steeped" in public school methodology, and trying to apply that to a home setting. In other words, they mean well.

    Homeschooling works so well because the parent is in charge. Parents are uniquely qualified to teach their own children . . . because they are the child's parent! That's something that's impossible to duplicate.

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

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