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sunnyakela

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Reply with quote  #1 
Has anyone here pulled their child from public (US) HS and gone to online schools? Any tips or recommendations? Any problems when they transfer back to public HS? My daughter is a sophomore who completed half her classes last year. I think that having her classes online might be less stressful. The downside is that she would probably lose her spot in the school and would have to go to a different school for her Junior and Senior years. Thanks!
braveMom

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi sunnyakela,
We had to enroll our dd in an online high school for latter half of her Junior year and whole of Senior year. After doing the latter half of Junior year online, her public school did not have any issues accepting her into Senior year. She did attend public school (1 week in school and about a month home-bound) for few weeks but public school could not do home bound anymore and we had to look for an online school for her Senior year.
School was a huge stressor for her at that time. We thought that the flexibility would be great as she can take it easy on her bad days. Also, she was taking much less advanced classes to ease the pressure and we wanted to remove as much external pressure as possible. But there were 2 cons during her Senior year -1) she would feel guilty that she's not able to attend school (another reason for her ED thoughts to brand her as a failure) 2)without the structure, she would not get to her classes and procrastinated to the point that she wrote her last exam less than a week before her college started. And that procrastination did not help her anxiety and recovery, although she did make progress with her recovery. But the main motivation for her recovery and graduation was college as she was admitted into her dream school. Her depression and anxiety were through the roof that year. She still has lot of anxiety but her depression has gotten better. 
All the teachers and admin staff of her online school were great and rushed to get her transcripts on time so she could attend college. If you need any info on the school, let me know. We are based in Texas and we made sure she went to a Texas online school so she would qualify for in-state college tuition.

Tali97

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Reply with quote  #3 
My son did online high school in Canada. I found that the schools can run on different models. The model where he was given 18 months to finish the work at his own pace did not work for him as he procrastinated and then stressed. The school that he did well with was run on the semester system similar to the local school boards. This school had online classes once or twice a week where the kids were expected to log on to the class and participate, however, if they could not make it to class the class was recorded and should be watched by the student. The school also had weekly assignments so the kids, teachers, and parents knew that they were on track to pass the class. The others kids were supportive of each other as well as the teachers. 
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sunnyakela

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Reply with quote  #4 
I grew up in TX and have a son who is in school in Houston. Thanks for the tip about in-state tuition. That wouldn't have occurred to me. It is looking more and more like she will have to go to college somewhere near us.

Do you mind telling me what school you chose and why you liked it? Is it better for them to take all their classes from one school? She takes a language class that I think is only offered at OSU.

I would like her to have less pressure to keep up with her peers, but I am worried about the lack of structure. Also, with her depression, she seems to be safer at school than she is at home. I don't know if I can watch her adequately all day every day.

Thanks for the response!


hbeatsaUSA

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Reply with quote  #5 
My d also did online school for freshman and sophomore years, though she ultimately graduated from a traditional school. We had success using an "all inclusive" virtual high school, meaning that she took all of her classes through one institution and, had she finished her education through there, would have recieved a diploma from them. This was appealing to me as I wanted to have her enrolled in an accredited institution, rather than be "homeschooled." We specifically used the University of Nebraska at Lincoln Independent Study High School. Though we had to pay tuition (it was about $3000USD per year, if I remember correctly), it ended up being an excellent choice as her credits transferred to her traditional private high school with no problems. Other people I know have had success with Connections Academy, K12 (which has a free public school option in most states), Laurel Springs School, Stanford, and Florida Virtual Schools (which apparently can be used by non-Florida-residents). 
As far as whether or not it's the right choice for your family, that's a hard call. For my daughter, it was wonderful as she is highly self motivated and truly enjoys school. She did not feel challenged in her middle school, but was able to work ahead and take more advanced classes through UNL. I do not work outside the home, so I was able to stay with her during the days (especially during home refeeding and periods after she had left various treatment centers). We had a routine ... each morning she would get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, and then sit down in our dining room to do schoolwork. I would sit with her and do my own work or stay in the next room with the door open. As she got better, I was able to back off on the supervision some. I really fought to keep her socialized with people other than her anorexic friends. She was in an IOP program most evenings, but stayed in a community art class and active in our faith community. Ultimately, she was not feeling satisfied with online school, so we enrolled her in a prep school in our area for junior and senior years. She had an excellent experience there with small classes and professors who truly cared about her wellbeing.
Best of luck making this choice-it is not an easy one! Perhaps ask your daughter what she would like to do? Success in virtual school can be hard if she is not willing to "buy in" and commit to doing the work. 

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braveMom

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Reply with quote  #6 
hi sunnyakela, My d did half of her Junior year from Lauren Springs High School and went back to her public school Senior year for few weeks. All her credits were accepted and the public school also sent transcripts to the colleges she applied in September during her Senior year. The transcripts had no mention of Lauren Springs. But my d could not go to school for more than a week in Sep and actually had setback a week before she started school because of her anxiety about going back to school. The school let her do home bound for a month and we finally decided to complete her Senior year through Texas Tech online high school as the school could not give her home bound. Both Lauren Springs and Texas Tech were self paced and let you complete assignments and tests as fast or as slow as you can which was a disaster for my d. My d did great with home bound as the teachers came at a set time and she worked for the couple of hours they were around whether she liked or not. But she was very depressed and could not do her online classes. She procrastinated that led to more anxiety and depression. It was August first week and she still had to complete at least 3 classes before she could go to college end of August. It was amazing how she worked day and night that month to complete those classes as she was very motivated to go to college. That also gave me confidence that she will be able to somewhat handle college. The counselor at Texas Tech was a very sweet lady and did all she could to rush her transcripts and get the exams graded timely. She was always there to help and was very approachable.
sunnyakela

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thank you both for the ideas on where to start. My daughter would like to stay at her current school, but her anxiety and OCD make it miserable. If she makes a 95 on a test, then she must make a 96 on the next one or she considers it an F. We had an episode of SI over what she claimed was a failed test that she admitted later was a "C". She also has a lot of discomfort over social interactions and doesn't want to tell people why she is in and out of school. Trying to keep up with everything while in various treatment centers last year was difficult.

She has homebound status for the first 6 weeks of school. After four weeks, they will want her to cut back to half time. Since she already did that last year, this will probably prevent her from graduating on time. Her dad and I are fine with that, but she is not. If we can convince her to take this year online at her own pace, maybe we can cut back on some of the anxiety. Although she has little interest in outside activities because of her depression, she seems to be motivated to study.

She has access to computers where she is right now, so I'll pull up some of these websites when I am there and see if she is interested.

Thanks again.
Torie

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Reply with quote  #8 
I think most people - even including healthy adults - lack the self-discipline for online study unless there is some kind of accountability / monitoring plan.  If my d were going to try this, I'd want a clear plan in advance - maybe a daily schedule with specific timeline for study.  Not so much that she would need to complete the course by a certain date, but that she would need to spend x minutes per day on each subject.

Just my two cents. xx

-Torie

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