This year, I decided to do something different and I brought a virtual school class, an online public school class through FLVS.net, into our home. Mostly I did it because I’ve heard over the years that colleges around here can be difficult about granting credit for foreign language classes that weren’t taken through an accredited school program such as FLVS.net or a local community college. Our budget doesn’t have a lot of room for paying for classes, but FLVS classes are free since we’ve already paid for Florida public schools in our taxes. So, I thought I’d have the kids do one class each through virtual school: Spanish. We’ve done bits of Spanish at home over the years, so I thought it wouldn’t be too bad. And one child had used it previously for Driver’s Ed.; so I thought we were going in with some understanding of how the system worked.
About three weeks ago, they started and I’m wondering if I made the right choice. We’ll likely stick with it but I hate what that one class is doing to our home. From what I can see, the level of work is not a problem, but the time involved and actually getting assignments turned in are. I don’t mean that my children aren’t doing the work. They are. But I’ve seen them re-do assignments over and over and over, more times than I could keep track of, trying to get their voice to record on a third-party website. I’ve seen them spend a lot of time on an assignment only to have the page shut down and lose their answers as they tried to use the key stroke combination to input a special character for Spanish. I’ve seen them spend hours on an assignment, only to be told that they’d worked on it too soon and because they hadn’t spoken to the teacher first, none of the assignment saved. More than that, I’ve seen it take over our lives as they try to catch up after we all came down sick. We snap at each other more because of the pressure to get it done, even as someone took 3 hours on an exam because for the first hour or two, he was trying to figure out how to access the exam.
I hope we’ll get it under control soon. Before it takes too heavy a toll.