Sarah is a Learning Coach for her three kids, who are students at Michigan Connections Academy (MICA). She likes that MICA allows her children to tailor their schedule to fit their learning style. Sarah shares her family’s story below.
'We are your typical family with three kids and numerous pets. Why do I say this? Well, to point out the fact that we have no special training that would make us stellar Learning Coaches—no special secret superhero ‘educational’ qualifications that would make educating the kids via a virtual school easier. My husband is an accountant, and I wear many hats as a small business owner in the arts and crafting community.
Our children were enrolled in a private school in the past, and they did very well. After the economy tanked, however, and with no other alternative for our children, we enrolled them in our local public school. Rather than going into specifics, the switch resulted in three kids, who previously loved learning, begging not to have to go to school. The joy of learning vanished. The kids were on a bus at the crack of dawn and dumped on the curb nine hours later with no time for ‘pet projects,’ the kind of projects that foster lifelong innovation. We were painfully aware that our children were not being equipped. I had heard about MICA and enrolled our children immediately.
I love MICA because it fosters the self-determination in each of us to learn by equipping families with the tools to succeed.
Choosing MICA was a no-brainer for us for many reasons. Although the class sizes are comparable to those at a traditional school, your child gets undivided attention from his or her teacher. No flying paper airplanes, fights to break up, screaming distractions from other children in the classroom—just one-on-one, undivided interaction. Lessons can also be completed at any time of day. We like this because learning has never fit nicely into a time slot; it’s spontaneous, absorbing, and full of tangents. MICA allows learning to be structured in the way your child is wired.
Education disseminated online opens the doors and windows of a classroom. All of a sudden, there are no walls. The truth of the matter is that children need to know how to collaborate, learn how to express their ideas in a medium accessible to a global community, and be prepared to face a future that embodies technology. In the interest of socialization, we realized as a family that our children needed to know how to relate to a broader range of people, diverse in backgrounds, ages, and interests. MICA is a safe environment for children to learn about others, and it prepares them for a future that requires a new set of social skills. In addition, because their school is transportable, our children enrich their studies in a way that children trapped in a traditional classroom cannot. Our children’s education is hands-on and is only limited by their own imaginations and initiative.
We also really like that sick days, family emergencies, work scheduling around snow days, school lockdowns, and various plagues that spread around classrooms are not applicable at MICA.
Traditional schools have cut funding for music, the arts, and foreign languages. MICA not only offers all three of these electives, but it also has innovative programs designed to challenge active learners, a broad range of extracurricular clubs, and teachers that get giddy hearing about the side projects their students decide to invest in on their own.
Long story short, MICA is a buffet, and we are fat and happy.