I promised an update on the kids' online classes. This is the first year we've used this option, and if I had it to do over again I might have started with just half the number of courses we're currently doing. Because, truth be told, it's as much or more work for the parents as it is for the kids until the steep learning curve is scaled. And working with two different online schools has been very challenging, since each one has totally different types of procedures for turning in work and testing. As a matter of fact, even the two courses we're using from ONE school have very different procedures. And the requirements, the expectations, and the deadlines are rigorous, more so than anything I've ever required at home. When they say "6 p.m. ET," they MEAN it, and there's a penalty to the grade for every day something is late. And if it's a minute late, it's a day late! Oh, I've been tough on assignments here and there, and I've enforced a few deadlines, but the day in-day out pace is tougher than what Nathan is facing in his first year of college. Good preparation, yes...but it's at times left both me and the Papa breathless trying to make sure all the bases are covered.
So, my recommendation for those of you who have asked is to approach with caution. If you're not sure that your household can stand the pace (if you're nursing a baby and have two toddlers for instance!) then stick one foot in the water with ONE course. If that works, then add one or two more the following year. But I'm very "high" on the overall effect with my three students who are taking them. It's brought a real sense of accomplishment to get the first few weeks under our belt, and I see it paying dividends in their non-online work as well.
We are currently using The Potter's School and Oxford Tutorials, in case you'd like to check them out. The first is a huge school, with something like 1600 students this year, and hundreds of courses offered. The second is much, much smaller with just one professor and a few courses and a much more laid-back approach. Still rigorous and challenging, but not as much of the "running a marathon" feel. I highly recommend both schools.