Our first days in Massachusetts’ new virtual public school

Christmas in December!

Look what arrived on Monday:

Inside these boxes is our new curriculum. We are officially now part of MAVA, the new virtual public school in Massachusetts.

(well, at least the girls are. My son, D, is still a free-flowing, hippy homeschooling kindergartner)

We’ve plunged right in which is why you haven’t seen anything new on this blog all week. Holy crow, there is a lot to figure out, though I’ve had enough people say TAKE IT SLOW that I get it.

Take it slow.

But, ZOMG, look at all of this? I’m part giddy with excitement and faint from fear.

But thank goodness for my friend Miriam who is a few months ahead in this journey and has answered my desperate, need-an-answer-right-now questions like, CAN WE WRITE IN THESE BOOKS?!?!?!?!?! (her voice-of-reason answer? yes, most of the materials are consumable and here is where you could’ve found out the answer for yourself before you wrung your hands for an hour).

The best was last night when I told her about my hatred of Study Island, a standardized test-prep program, where new math concepts were being thrown at my girls in multiple-question format and threatening to sink our floundering ship. She looked concerned and asked, did they watch the lesson first?

Lesson? There is a lesson? Somehow, without a smirk or an eyeroll, she dragged me over to our friend’s computer and pulled up the program to show me where “Lesson” clearly was stated next to the test area.

So, that has been my week in a nutshell: Moments of Oh My God I Can’t Find Anything How Can They Expect Me To Do This I Don’t Have All The Materials followed by oh. it’s right there.

We’ve also “met” our teacher on the phone and in virtual classrooms, and we all like her. She is thankfully also the same teacher that my friends have, so the kids can “wave” to each other when they are in the same class.

I’ll try to chronicle some of our new homeschooling journey here even though some people may not exactly call this homeschooling. But, to me, this doesn’t feel all that different from what we’ve been doing for the past four years except we have more of a schedule now and some online classes to attend (though almost everything is flexible). I’ll let you know if at some point I really feel like we have entered Public School Land.

Maybe it’s when we get the School Lunch requirements. Heh.


  1. Wow. That is a lot of books! I have no idea how you do all that you do, but I stand in complete and utter admiration. Good luck with the new curriculum…and don't be too hard on yourself as you're all getting adjusted.

  2. Perfect! This is life lived w/ the fairlyoddmother: "Oh My God I Can't Find Anything How Can They Expect Me To Do This I Don't Have All The Materials followed by oh. it's right there."

    It's really charming (no really!)

  3. Wow, that is a lot of books! I'm sure there is a learning curve to figure out where the material is located. Can't wait to follow your journey as you go along. Good luck to you all!! 🙂

  4. Golden Bryant says

    I am following along with anticipation. This may be in our future next year. Do you know of other blogs that are documenting their process?

  5. Fairly Odd Mother says

    Golden Bryant: I don't know anyone else doing this but, man, would I love to read them too. Maybe they'd help me find a better daily flow than, "you! get over here and finish this, wait a minute, I'll be right there, stop hitting your sister, where did that paper go?, no not snack time now, {slam head on table and wait for noise to stop}."

  6. Nan | WrathOfMom says

    Santa's elves bring curriculum!? ZOUNDS! And your shelves are colour coordinated!

    Your kids are in your house and they are learning school lessons, ergo you are a homeschooler. Even if you have to answer to The Man.

  7. We've been using K12, through the Idaho Virtual Academy, for nearly five years now. It will be interesting for me to read how you adjust to all of that, since it's kind of second nature to us. The only word of advice I'll give is what I wish someone had told us when we started: Don't feel like you have to start and finish every single lesson. It's okay to skip over things. Beware of the "busy work" as well. If your child understands a lesson, move on.

    We've completed the K12 curriculum for grades 3 through 6. If you have any questions about the curriculum for those years, let me know.

  8. Like your husband said, "Where is that CD? Wha– someone STOLE IT! Oh, I can't believe someone would steal… oh, here is it!"

    Enjoy your latest adventure. I wish it was a reality tv program.

  9. I'm looking forward to reading about your new adventure.

  10. Chicky Chicky Baby says

    I took one look at all that stuff and said "Eek". No, really. Eek.

    Good luck! You'll do great!

  11. Jessica {Team Rasler} says

    This is so interesting! I'm going to enjoy following along to see what this whole thing is all about. (I'm a public school teacher in Washington State as well as a mother of two little ones, so I'm doubly curious!)

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