Online schools not just for college

By Tanieya Lewis - bio | email

Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - The family den doubles as a classroom in the Reeb household. It's where their 11-year-old uses the computer to attend the Connections Academy -- an online charter school.

"I just wake up and kind of come in here, and wait for my mom and dad to come," said 11-year-old Jack Reeb.

He started e-school in the third grade when his traditional school didn't work out. "There was a lot of interruptions. I was just sitting around waiting to move on," said Reeb.

Now he can get one-on-one attention from his dad, Eric Reeb, who has become his learning coach. "With the e-school there's a whole lot even for us to learn to do: how to manage the program to get him to the right class on time, or to figure out where the lesson was. So the first year was kind of mind baffling a little bit. But it works out great because you have so many people to help you," said Eric.

Waiting online are real, certified teachers, like Serena Cash. "When the students log in, I have their names. So I know exactly who was there, from the beginning to ending of class," said Cash.

Now in fifth grade, Jack likes e-school because he can learn at his own pace.

Real world rules still apply to the virtual world. He has to attend live learning sessions each week, plus pass the state's standardized tests to advance to the next grade..

While jack excels online, the family bond grows stronger by the lesson. "I used to be on the road a lot when he was in regular school, so I'd missed a lot of him growing up. So now it's brought us a lot closer together. We do a lot of stuff together," said Eric.