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Why I Chose PA Virtual: The Wright Family

Lewistown, PA

Large group of people with their thumbs up.Angela Wright homeschooled her oldest son Caleb when he started kindergarten 11 years ago, but she discovered she needed more support with developing the curriculum and a more structured learning environment in order for her children to be successful.

For first grade, Mrs. Wright and her husband, Thomas, enrolled Caleb in a traditional brick-and-mortar school operated by the local school district. When their younger daughter Lydia started kindergarten five years later, they decided to give learning at home another chance — this time through PA Virtual Charter School.

“One of the things that PA Virtual Charter School gives you is that extra layer of accountability that you don’t have in a homeschool environment so you are not alone.” Mrs. Wright said. “PA Virtual takes all of the stressful decision-making out of the equation because it provides the curriculum and all of the school supplies and computer equipment.”

Caleb also became a PA Virtual Charter School student in seventh grade when their local school district combined high schools, which created lengthy bus rides for students in the rural, 362-square-mile school district. Caleb has just begun 11th grade and Lydia started sixth grade.

Over the years, The Wrights have joined PA Virtual on several educational field trips, including to the Daniel Boone Homestead near Birdsboro in Berks County, the Civil War battlefields in Gettysburg and the Whitaker Center for Science & the Arts in Harrisburg. They also have enjoyed recreational activities at an amusement park, learned wilderness orienteering and attended back-to-school picnics and year-end social events.

Outside of school, Caleb practices archery and target shooting through the local 4-H, and he is a junior volunteer firefighter who trains with the Decatur Volunteer Fire Company. He also volunteers with Child Evangelism Fellowship and at the YMCA’s rock-climbing wall.

“Having your children at home for school is not as overwhelming as it may seem because you get a lot of help and support from PA Virtual,” Mrs. Wright said. “All of the teachers are right at your fingertips to consult with so all of the responsibility is not on the parents’ shoulders like in a homeschooling environment. With PA Virtual, you are not in it alone.”

For information about enrolling in PA Virtual Charter School call toll free at 866-728-2751 or email [email protected].

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Posted on: September 25, 2015 by M. Dubbs in

About Cyber Education, Insider Perspectives

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Back to School Advice

from PA Virtual Students

All across the internet there are tons of websites that will give you advice on how to create routines for a successful school year– but when you attend cyber school, some of that advice might not apply.

Now that students are starting to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for them, we spoke with Ginger Hahn and Maggie Shive, two 12th grade PA Virtual students for their take on finding your own groove. Here’s what they have to say!

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How do you make your virtual classroom feel like a community?

Allentown resident Maggie, recommends staying engaged in your classes by participating often and having conversations with your fellow students often.

“Get to know your classmates. Many people believe that cyber schools don’t have the same social component that brick and mortar schools do, but that’s not true at all. The difference is that YOU have to put the effort into meeting new people.”

Ginger Hahn of Collegeville agrees.

“Don’t be afraid to use the microphone during classes,” she says. “Your teacher and fellow classmates love to hear your voice and using the microphone is also much faster than trying to type your answer into the chat box or on the whiteboard.”

What tips do you have for students who
may have trouble staying focused or organized?

Creating good time management skills are key for cyber students; since many enroll in schools like PA Virtual so they can learn at their own pace.

However, this also means that sometimes, it can be easy to procrastinate. Staying organized and taking breaks between classes and work hours is another tip that Ginger recommends: “Managing my schedule with apps like OneNote and taking frequent breaks helps me stay focused and makes sure I don’t get burned out on one project

Maggie has been a cyber student her whole life – but still understands how sometimes things can be confusing in an online setting. She believes that if a student is struggling it is best to just ask questions.

“One of my favorite things about PA Virtual is how helpful the teachers and other staff are. If I ever have a question about anything, I know they’ll be able to help me out.”

What is one thing you wish you knew (or had)
before starting cyber school?

The most valuable tool Ginger has discovered during her time at PA Virtual – investing in a stylus pad. “With the stylus pad, I am able to write out answers on a virtual whiteboard instead of typing them. This is incredibly handy for math and science classes, where there are lots of formulas and helps me take good notes to reference later.”

What is one last piece of general advice – on any topic?

Ginger: “My classmates who skipped breakfast or woke up too late to eat it end up starving for lunch and lack energy to focus on their classes. Whether you go to a traditional school, or cyber school; it’s so simple to prevent this before-lunchtime crash; just take time to eat breakfast!”

Maggie: “When people ask where you go to school, always be prepared to explain what cyber schooling is. As a senior, cyber school is now much more common than it was when I started (I was six!) but it never hurts to have an explanation ready.”

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Posted on: September 22, 2015 by M. Dubbs in

About Cyber Education, Insider Perspectives

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