Online education options and tuition-free opportunities for middle and high school age kids are exploding! Our (almost) 13 and 15 year-olds are thrilled to be getting their own net books (for free!) and doing some or most of their core schooling online. This is made possible for us through 2 different schools, My-Tech High and Williamsburg Academy.
I just want to say that technology and the internet are becoming vital forms of communication. I use them personally to get valuable messages and knowledge out to the world. I believe that if we teach our children to be leaders, they will need to be familiar with these forms of communication to get their positive messages out to the world and more effectively fulfill their personal missions. That’s why I feel these classes are valuable for my children, especially since they get to take them in a supervised and supplemented environment: OUR HOME.
I know there are many online opportunities cropping up, but here’s some information on the programs we are doing.
Hi-Tech High: A Technology-Based Online School For Middle & High Schoolers
Hi-Tech High helps families with tech-savvy teens around the world to connect with innovative Public Schools and programs to access online, world-class technology and entrepreneurship courses – 100% tuition-free! They accept students age 10-18, so our 12 year-old is enrolling in a couple classes and doing the rest of her schooling with our own family curriculum.
My-Tech offers classes in Computer Literacy, Game Design, Personal Finance, Flash Game Development, Audio Engineering, CAD/Engineering Design, Digital Arts, Graphic Design, Flash Animation, Intro to Robotics, Web Design, Intro to Entreprenuership, Marketing, Computer Programming and more.
Here are the states or regions they service as of August, 2011:
|California, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado||Join their wait list|
|Utah||Read program options|
|China, Russia, France, Brazil (tuition required)||Join the 10-month Immersion Program|
Hi-Tech High has partnered with our local charter school, Gateway Preparatory Academy. Their $300 computer credit is only for the full home school students, not the on-site ones (they would need to take 2 tech and 2 core classes to qualify). So even though our daughter is not attending “GPA,” she is enrolled there and can now take the Hi-Tech High classes for free. She’s taking Intro to Entrepreneurship, Flash Animation, French and ALEKS Math.
Hi-Tech High also coordinates internships and other amazing opportunities for tech-skilled teens.
Williamsburg: A Classical, Online High School
A couple years ago we paid $1000 for Nathan to go a semester to Williamsburg, a private school led by James Ure and Nels Jensen, that we LOVED! Now this school is online. It’s still private, but they partner with charter schools so there is no cost to the students who live in Utah, Alaska, Washington and much of California. We can personally recommend Williamsburg as a super high quality program. They have students in over 25 states and a few countries.
The way this works is Williamsburg refers interested students (usually homeschoolers) to a charter school partner. Charter schools often need more students to get more funding. So the student enrolls with the charter school, the charter school gets funding for that student. Williamsburg bills the charter school for the classes taken by the student, and the charter school keeps whatever is left over. Win, win, win! The students never even have to set foot on the charter school’s campus.
Williamsburg offers a full spectrum of classes, including some very popular leadership classes. They are classically based with rigorous standards and a strong emphasis on leadership. They view their faculty as mentors rather than professors. And they have an incredible outdoor program called Elevation! Nathan (14), is excited to participate in Elevation next week!
Williamsburg basically built their whole program for motivated high school students that want to home school. They currently have partners in Utah, Alaska, California and Washington. They are working on partnerships in Arizona and Idaho and are pursuing other states as well. They accept students ages 14 through 18 (and make exceptions for advanced students who are younger).
To see Williamsburg charter school partners in your state, click on the links above or go to www.wacademy.org and click on “Tuition,” and drop down to Charter & District partnerships.
Registration is still open, although a few classes have filled up.
The Best of Both Worlds
Our son Nathan is running cross country with the local high school and getting credit for it through Williamsburg. He is also taking a class on religion through our local high school. We just had to go talk to the principal. So we feel we are getting the best of both worlds, and you can too!
I am so thrilled that these opportunities are becoming more widely available! We as parents no longer have to subject our teens (or ourselves) to a negative social atmosphere or learning system if we’re not comfortable with it.
If more parents in our country decide to take greater responsibility for their children’s education, we will all enjoy increased freedom and variety of opportunities for our families.
What alternative educational opportunities have you noticed in your community or online?