There are lots of needs children and older students have that public school teachers have a difficult time addressing. Whether it is struggling with a particular way of understanding math or physical issues that make it painful to participate in a large classroom, having a one-on-one relationship with a teacher and the flexibility to participate in class in a way and at a time that is best for the student are just a few benefits of the Odyssey Charter schools in Nevada.
In my previous post I introduced you to Odyssey, and told you about the curriculum and how they work mostly on-line with a teacher visiting the home once a week. They are part of the public school district but students are at home, taking online classes instead of attending a large school 5 days a week.
Candice has two children, Jayde and Jonas, that were enrolled in Odyssey. Jayde just graduated and Jonas is going to be a junior this year. Both of her children asked to enroll in Odyssey for different reasons. Jonas was the first to join Odyssey, back when he was in 8th grade. At that time he went through quite a few huge growth spurts that caused horrible migraines. Because of those he was missing a lot of school. Enrolling in Odyssey gave him the flexibility he needed with his health issues. He could take breaks if his head aches came on and go right back to them once they left.
After hearing about her brother enrolling Jayde asking her mom if she could enroll too. At the time she was in 10th grade and attending a catholic private school. She asked to stay home and go to Odyssey because of the girls at her current school.
“She didn’t like the school,” Candice said. “She said it was like the movie Mean Girls, so she asked if she could go to Odyssey instead.”
Both her son and her daughter were very involved in their previous schools athletically, and Candice said being in Odyssey did not affect them socially at all.
“Jayde missed cheerleading, but she still went to all the dances and proms at the other schools,” she said. “and Jonas is on the All-American team for tennis and baseball, so he has made some deep friendships with the teams he travels with.”
One thing that Candice values the most about Odyssey is how involved the parents are in their children’s education.
“The kids are safe because you are involved,” she said.
Robert and Amy have 5 children in Odyssey – one just graduated in May – and they feel the same way about the need for parents to be involved in the education of their children.
“I am very pleased with the parent involvement in Odyssey,” Robert said, “You can’t get out of it. That to me is a plus for Odyssey.”
Before enrolling in Odyssey they homeschooled their children and have found a lot of benefits to the charter school and said there is not much difference from homeschooling, except the students gain more computer knowledge and the staff of Odyssey are a valuable resource.
Amy said she was thrilled with the success she has seen her son Jonathan achieve through Odyssey.
“When he made honor roll, it helped him feel like he can do anything. It brought him to a new level,” she said. “the teacher (from Odyssey) helped him achieve that goal. She gave him that encouragement.”
Robert went on to add that he too was very impressed with the staff at Odyssey.
“They go above and beyond. Their knowledge and expertise is incredible,” he said. “They really care if the kids are doing well. If you are struggling just send them an email and they respond as soon as they can, sometimes right away. I give them an A plus.”
Just like Candice involved her two children in sports where they made deep friendships, Robert and Amy are involved in other things outside of Odyssey, including their church which they attend three or four times a week. Neither family said they felt like their children were lacking anything socially from attending classes online as opposed to the traditional setting.
Candice summed it up well, “If you keep your kids involved, they should be happy.”