Abigail Goes to Virtual School

Since Abigail has now reached 5 years in the world, and is more than ready for Kindergarten, we began evaluating schooling options for her several months ago. There’s a public elementary school a block from our house, and since we’ve been home schooling Emily, we have everything pretty well ordered for that option as well. When we were about to make a decision, we unexpectedly received a mailing describing the Texas Virtual Charter School, a program initiated by William Bennett, who we knew from his The Book of Virtues. We weren’t as familiar with his work in education, but were excited by the description of the school, which seemed to combine some of our favorite aspects of home schooling with many advantages of public schooling.

In the Virtual Charter School program, the state-funded school provides supplies, curriculum, and a computer, all of which are mailed to the student at her home. Additionally, though the parents are repsonsible for the lion’s share of the direct instruction, there is also a teacher on call who can answer questions and provide help with the teaching. We’re fortunate to be able to have Kathy at home with the kids, so this sounded like a great fit to us. We’ve signed up Abigail, and she’s gotten more excited with every box of supplies that has arrived at our house. (In fact, Emily is starting to show signs of wanting to do the VCS as well, but it will be a year or two before they have classes in her grade level.) We’re excited and optimistic to see how this combination of parental involvement and state structure plays out over this school year.