Unable to continue homeschooling her daughters because of health problems, Gina enrolled them into traditional public school, only to see one child fade and another be rewarded based on personality, not academic achievement. Now that her girls are students at Michigan Connections Academy, however, Gina is thrilled with their self-discipline skills and impressive academic advances, due in part to their accessible, attentive teachers.
Our daughters were homeschooled for about two years. After I was diagnosed with bladder cancer, I became fearful that my illness might prevent me from continually meeting their needs; it seemed that there was no other choice but to put them back into traditional public schools. During the process, I was told that most homeschoolers return to the system a grade level behind. I insisted that this was not the case, and therefore the schools reluctantly placed our girls in their appropriate grade levels. After a short time, the teachers were surprised to find that our daughters were actually academically ahead of many of their peers. This came as no surprise to us, nor did the results of our daughters’ having been reenrolled in the traditional school system.
During the two and a half years with our local schools, our girls began to again struggle both academically and socially. The environment caused our youngest to fade into the background, and, while the older of the two seemed to be “flourishing,” her work quality was not. The seemingly good grades were based on her being a “good girl” and well-liked by the teachers, rather than on her academic abilities. Both of our daughters were capable of far more than what was being required of them. My cancer was in remission, and clearly it was time to reevaluate our girls’ educational placement.
At the end of the 2009–10 school year, I found out that Connections Academy would be offered to Michigan residents, so we immediately began the enrollment process. While the girls were initially disappointed and somewhat hesitant to school from home again, their attitudes changed quickly as their school year began! Our daughters, then only 9 and 12-years-old, became excited about learning!
MICA provides an environment that makes learning enjoyable for its students. There are wonderful teachers who are easy to contact and available for one-on-one attention as needed, LiveLesson® classes, daily lessons, portfolio assignments that are challenging yet fun to do, science labs, field trips, and so much more. Each year our daughters have been with MICA, they have improved academically. Our youngest is enrolled in the Gifted and Talented Language Arts and Literature Study, and now, instead of struggling in math, she counts it as one of her favorite classes. Our oldest was invited to think about joining the National Honor Society next year.
If asked, our daughters acknowledge the progress they’ve made in MICA as compared to in the local school district. Also, they show a lot of pride about their school. While we are very proud of our girls’ academic progress, we also feel strongly about what is perhaps the most beneficial thing of all: they’ve learned self-discipline that no brick-and-mortar school could have taught them!