COVA (Colorado Virtual Academy)

Prisca

Pain Killer
Has anyone at TOL used an online program called COVA (Colorado Virtual Academy)? I had asked a few people about it and was told it was somewhat "invasive" and that they call you to keep tabs on your child's progress. At first a balked at the idea, but after much consideration, I decided to go ahead and try it.

My main concern was (and is) that the program does receive public funding. I've always tried to avoid anything that would benefit the public school system. I feel hypocritical using the program, despite the fact that I am a tax paying citizen. What are your thoughts on this?

So far, I do like the program. Nearly everything is done online, so I don't have a pile of books for my son to lose (he's good at that). We did receive a science kit for his physics class, as well as a Spanish/English dictionary, and a couple of books for American Literature. If he completes the required number of attendance hours with a GPA above 60%, we will be reimbursed for our internet service ($150 per semester). Had we not owned our own computer, COVA would have supplied one.

On the downside, my son has had trouble completing all of the work expected of him. He is a very busy kid, though, so I don't think it's the fault of the program as much as it is his hectic lifestyle (he works, teaches Sunday school, attends youth group, and plays in a band). And I must admit, I'm not great at getting him to prioritize. It remains to be seen if he will be able to finish all of his courses.

In any case, I'd like to hear from others to see what you think about this program or others like it. Is it wrong to use a program that is run through the public school system? Have you had experience with COVA? What do you think about online learning from home?
 

QueenAtHome

New member
I used COVA when we first started to officially school the kids. At that time COVA was just starting the high school option.

If I recall the high school requires you to contact the teacher once a week and to submit your work to them via online.

When we did it, the kids (my 2 oldest) were in early elementary. I felt that some of the lessons were humanistic and so I found myself having to supplement lessons.

It felt like we were having to rush through lessons. They tell you that you can adjust the schedule however you want (ex: do all of history one semester) so long as it is done by the end of the year, but sure do bring up the fact that you have only completed 30% of the course when it is halfway through the year.:singer:

It also felt like there was a lot of testing involved. I think because it is technically a state charter school and thus has to succumb to all the test that a ps has to take. I might be a bit bias in this area because the nearest testing place was an hour away, and they didn't reimburse our travel.

Also, my son had trouble with his fine motor skills so we didn't have him do the handwriting lessons. He also just didn't understand the whole phonics thing. (more on that struggle here http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=917568&postcount=1 ) He now is a fine reader, just didn't jump on board until a little later. But because of him not getting it, they required us to do the diebel test weekly (at home) and the teacher called weekly for the results. It was just unnecessary stress for a little guy.

I found that my children were not placed in the right level on things. My dd is an excellent reader. She can breeze through books in a week and could easily read a adult liiterature. But the comprehension is a different matter. They had her at her reading level, but not her comprehension level. So, she didn't understnad many of the reveiw questions. They also were expecting her to write up 5 paragraph papers. (She was in 2nd grade).

I also felt that there was a lot of busy work and not enough dive in and explore.

I also am not one for rote learning and really was shown that one day when our internet was down and so I made up some questions requiring the lessons. My daughter headed over to the computer and said, "Why don't you just ask me these ones." She didn't care about the lesson, she just wanted to get the lesson done so she could check it off.

For us it just became too much stress and the kids din't seem to be enjoying the fun of learning.

Also, HSLDA will not cover you because it is technically a government school and as such the goverment has say into what you can and can't teach and how you can do it. http://nche.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200206260.asp

So that is our experience with it.
 

Prisca

Pain Killer
Thanks, hoosiermommy! Great information. I'm down to my last homeschool student and he's in his final two years of school. Believe it or not, the last one is the most difficult. When everyone is working on school at the same time, it isn't such a big deal. It's much harder now that he's the only one still working on school.

So far, at his level (11th grade), we haven't run into anything that has really gone against our beliefs. I imagine that if he were taking history or some of the other sciences, we would feel differently.

As I mentioned before, he is behind in his classes and his adviser did ask him to fill out an "action plan." She also asked that he join her in online counseling sessions once a week. I didn't object because he's older and it wouldn't hurt him to be accountable to someone besides me at this point. If he was a little guy, I would have had a big problem with this.

I like that the format is identical to online college courses our girls have taken in the past. He's getting a taste of what it will be like if he decides to go that route. Still, it sounds like this isn't a good program for younger kids. I'm glad you let us know for future (grandchildren, lol) reference.
 
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