ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: K12 Virtual Academy & Giveaway

Thursday, August 19, 2010

K12 Virtual Academy & Giveaway

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who entered and congratulations comment #3, as chosen by, you are our winner! Mozi Esme said...
I've looked into the virtual schools in our area and am intrigued - though my girl isn't old enough yet. My concern is she'll be like 3rd grade level by the time she can enroll!
What is a Virtual Academy?
I never pictured myself as a “schooling at home” mom.

I was a big yellow bus believer! I even threw a party for myself when, after 20 years, I sent the last of my six children to school! The balloons were not all popped from my party when my husband, a state legislator, invited me to see some of the new education options now available in our state.

I went along just to be with him, so when I heard the words, “schooling at home,” I scoffed, “Not for me!” But something happened inside my mind and heart as I listened to what could now be offered to my children--at home. My mind drifted to my 12 year-old daughter who had been holding back in class, afraid to be labeled a “brain” or a geek.

I was told that the Virtual Academy option could open up doors for her and let her excel at her own pace. I remember the sigh that escaped when I knew this was something I wanted to try in my home.

My family has been enrolled since 2002. I am now the parent of a Virtual School graduate, and though it has not been an easy road, I cannot speak highly enough of the Virtual Academy option for schooling children.

A Virtual Academy is an online public school with most of the bells and whistles of a traditional school, but with all the comforts of home because that is where the student is—at home.
The Virtual Academy became my choice when I learned that this online school could provide my children with:

1. The top quality K12 curriculum
2. A state-certified teacher assigned to my family
3. All the supplies I would need to put together the highest quality education available
4. All this would be paid for by my tax dollars.

The Virtual Academy has remained my choice for more than eight years because I discovered that the curriculum can be individualized to the needs of each of my children. I no longer wonder where they are in their education or if they are grasping the material. I know...

~Online tools show where to begin and suggest a plan for each day.
~The teacher brings the lessons and the online learning all together with regular contact, live lessons, and help with individual needs.
~Office hours are conducted online so that a family can virtually drop in to visit about a lesson or receive more instruction.
~During the day, I work directly with my child, as the child’s learning coach.

The child knows that education is important to me, and something to value. This encourages deeper dives into subjects that hold our interests. K12 provides resources for just such research in many of the lessons. There is a lot of multiple generation learning going on here.

The K12 curriculum builds lessons that include flash technology, brilliant photography, and exciting interactive programming to give variety to each lesson and peak the interests of students. I was stunned when my second grader watched the news and informed me that the Middle East conflict was taking place on the Fertile Crescent. And when one of them wanted to go for a drive so they could see a cold front and a warm front meet in the sky so they could explain how it worked. What inspires the child, inspires the Learning Coach, as well.

The Virtual Academy hosts regular meet-and-greets, as well as local activities for families to get to know one another and to network support. Activities are optional, but families tend to come and enjoy visiting museums, libraries, movie houses, parks and local historical sites. Parents pool their time and talents to offer additional support as Virtual Academy Boosters. These events are parent-run activities that vary from region to region, but include co-ops, clubs, gym days, bowling leagues and field trips.

My virtual academy hosts spelling bees, geography bees, science fairs and literacy fairs. My children have had pen pals, dance partners, and lego robot races. In enrolling my children in this program, I have found “virtually” everything my children need to have a top-notch educational experience right at home

This article, written by Heidi Higgins, is a sponsored post on behalf of K12 and was originally posted on ThinkTank12.


We've got a copy of the book, "The Human Odyssey: Prehistory Through the Middle Ages" edited by Mary Beth Klee, John Crib, and John Holdren (all K12 employees), to give to our readers.

It's more than a history book--it's more of a storybook of history, complete with images, diagrams, maps, and charts in full color. This volume begins the odyssey of the development of civilization over a twelve-thousand year span from the Ice Ages to the Middle Ages. A great addition to any home school classroom or home library.

Here's how to win:
Please leave a comment here simply saying how you'll use the text or what you think about the Virtual Academy. That's it! (Please include your email address so we can reach you if you win.)

Winner will be chosen by This giveaway ends at midnight on 08/27/10.


  1. That sounds great! We still haven't completely made a decision on homeschooling because our daughter won't start K for another year but I do pre school at home with her. But- we are pretty sure we will homeschool the junior high years so the Virtual academy is really great to know about!

  2. WOW! the Virtual Academy does sound like an interesting option for our family- this is my second year of homeschooling, and I am always open to new methods!

  3. I've looked into the virtual schools in our area and am intrigued - though my girl isn't old enough yet. My concern is she'll be like 3rd grade level by the time she can enroll!

    I'd love to add this book to our homeschool library.

    Janemaritz at yahoo dot com

  4. I'd love to have that book in my homeschool library! My little guy is only 4, but I'm all about stocking up for the future. And, to be totally husband and I love history, so I'm sure it'd get a lot of use before the little guy gets to it!

  5. I'd love to live where k-12 was a viable option for us, it seems like a fantastic alternative. I'm homeschooling 1 of my 5 again this year, I love it. :)

  6. Sounds like it would be a good reference book for Jeopardy questions.