Jennifer Karns is a Learning Coach for her three children, Christopher, Lauren, and Samantha, who are students at International Connections Academy (iNaCA). She is overjoyed that iNaCA has helped accommodate all of her family’s needs. Jennifer shares her story below.
“Before we considered online school as an option, we found a traditional private school about 40 minutes away from our home. We had a very good feeling about the school from the beginning and decided to transfer the kids fairly quickly. The private school was a great alternative to the public school that my children previously attended, however, in 6th grade, our oldest daughter developed chronic migraines and they continue to this day. Her migraine triggers included light and sound, two things she was unable to truly get away from in a bricks-and-mortar school.
At the start of the second year with the traditional private school, there were some changes that no longer suited our family. Most notably, the class size was very small, so they decided to combine two grades into one class. For other reasons, we decided to put our home on the market and move. I felt online school would keep the curriculum consistent and flexible while we figured out our next steps. These were the initial reasons we chose to look into online school. The idea that the kids could get a quality online education and have a flexible schedule was a new, yet scary concept for us.
After talking it over with my husband, we almost gave up on the idea of online school in favor of completely homeschooling. Lucky for us, my husband decided to spend one more night searching the web for alternatives. The next morning he told me about International Connections Academy (iNaCA). It had many of the features we were looking for in an online school such as accreditation, a good list of college acceptances, a challenging curriculum, and certified teachers.
In January 2015, we decided to set up a classroom at home in our dining room and enroll in online school with iNaCA. In the beginning, there was a learning curve for all of us. We had online orientation lessons to get to know how Connexus works –the learning management system that tracks curriculum and grades. As my children’s Learning Coach, I wanted to know what my responsibilities were. Thankfully, there are lots of resources available to help ease the transition to online school.
Traveling to see family, and for educational experiences, has become another large part of our kid’s education. Enrollment in iNaCA allows us the flexibility to travel during any time of the school year. We have traveled a lot more since switching to online school, and we are so happy with what we’ve also been able to teach our children outside of the classroom.
The teachers at iNaCA are helpful and easy to talk to. The kids get to know their teachers through weekly phone calls and emails, and also attend LiveLesson® sessions each week. The teachers have virtual office hours, and make themselves available for any questions that come up during the school day for the most part. My oldest daughter, Samantha, appreciates how her teachers have taken the time to get to know her by always asking about her migraine status during phone conversations. It means a lot to my daughter that her teacher makes this effort. Calling the teachers was something I also had to get comfortable with. I think now, after several semesters, I feel much more confident as a Learning Coach and I am not worried about calling them anymore.
I know my kids are doing well because it is reflected in their grades and their improvement in writing skills and use of vocabulary. I have seen growth in their maturity because of the things they are responsible for. They are able to take their time with lessons, and also take time off when they feel overwhelmed. The kids have also been able to take courses that challenge them outside of the usual track for a bricks-and-mortar school because of the variety of courses offered.”
We have grown incredibly as a family since enrolling our children at International Connections Academy. It has been a positive experience for all of us.