Over the course of the last week, TNVA students have been receiving their school packages. In some households, this is greeted with groaning and complaints. “But it’s still summer.” “We don’t have to go back yet, do we?” Virtual schooled kids aren’t so very different from regular students in that regard. Of course, there are a rare few who genuinely enjoy learning. They’re eager to get back to school and start working again. They open their school supply boxes just like they open presents at Christmas, excited to see what the next school year is going to bring. What books will they get to read? What supplies will they get to play with?
Middle school parents, at least, will certainly be noticing some differences in the packages of the boxes this year. Many of the sixth grade supplies are very different from last year; and it would appear that this year, many of the commonly-used supplies, such as workbooks, are no longer part of the standard curriculum.
All of the workbook pages have always been available online. It’s possible for parents to print new copies or kids to complete them on the computer, if they’re savvy enough to know how to manipulate it into a typing-friendly format. However, there were a lot of advantages to having the workbooks available offline, as well. There were entire classes that could be completed without ever needing to log into the computer for more than a few minutes. The students could be sent away from the computer for a little while, or could work on a subject in the car or at a location without internet access without much preparation.
It will be interesting to see how the Tennessee Virtual Academy implements their new programs and curriculum, particularly for children who may have already started many of their lessons last year. As the year progresses, it will obviously be yet another year of “seeing what works;” but many TNVA students will likely benefit from additional resources that did come along with the supply packs.