online school NASA

How online high school prepared my sons for NASA

How online school gave two STEM students the flexibility to finish high school courses at an advanced pace, freeing up time to go further with personal interests.

You could say my sons are on an education fast track! At 16 and 17 years old, Matthew and William graduated from high school with 60 college credits apiece and are now enrolled with honors in their first year at McNeese State University. In four years, William and Matthew will have three Bachelor of Science degrees between them. Matthew will graduate in 2020 with two bachelor degrees, in electrical engineering and computer science. William will earn his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering by 2019, and will finish his MBA the following year.

In their first year of college, Matthew and William are involved in some exciting projects, much of which I’ll admit goes a little over my head–literally! Both boys are making time to work on highly-impressive NASA research projects, while adjusting to life on a college campus.

This summer, Matthew worked with the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium (LaSPACE), a NASA partner program. His team designed and launched a device that took pictures and recordings from 100,000 feet in the atmosphere, to track effects from the recent solar eclipse. William is working through a different NASA grant, running simulations of waves impacting specialized plates, to help minimize erosion on the coast of Louisiana.

We as a family credit much of their academic success to their online high school, Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy (LAVCA). The high school and college dual enrollment opportunity at LAVCA gave them a leg up on their future plans, and now they’re working side by side with leaders in their fields.

Why Online School Worked for My Family

The boys have always been academically advanced for their age and attended public and private brick-and-mortar schools for their first few years of school. But when we moved to Georgia in the middle of the 2008-2009 school year, I knew it would be disruptive. I wanted to find a form of learning that would make the transition easier for all of us, and would provide the strong academics we knew the boys were up for. I was interested in homeschooling them but I was nervous to go it alone.

I learned about K12’s challenging curriculum, and loved that the schools have state-certified teachers leading the classes. We enrolled at the K12-powered school in Georgia when they were 7 and 8 years old, and have never looked back.

William and Matthew started going to online school when they were in third and fourth grade. From math to language arts, from homeroom to electives, all of their classes took place online. They connected with teachers and classmates via live online sessions. Using live chats and video, they would engage with their teachers in real time, asking questions, participating in class discussions, and completing assignments from our home.

(Next page: How online school prepared my sons for the future)

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