The Irvine Family

The Irvine Family

Four students, one school

In 2021, Allison and Sean Irvine of Squaw Lake enrolled their four children — Tate, Coy, Paisley, and Mylee — in Falcon View Connections Academy. They learned of the school through a family member who had enrolled their children during the pandemic. When her children started at Falcon View Connections Academy, Allison found it to be a learning environment that offered a flexible schedule with teachers who were accessible and approachable. She also discovered it offered them much more. 

About the Family

Says Allison, “All four kids are enrolled and active in 4-H. Tate and Coy are on their local high school trap team and are avid hunters and fishermen. Paisley is active in the Minnesota High School rodeo, the National Little Britches Rodeo Association, and Wojo’s Rodeo circuit, and loves anything to do with her cows and horses. Mylee is also active in the National Little Britches Rodeo Association and Wojo’s Rodeo circuit, is horse crazy, and loves to cuddle with her cat Frasier.”

Although each child has a dedicated workspace in their bedroom to do their homework, they find it more comforting to sit on the couch in the living room or at the kitchen counter — typically they all end up doing their schoolwork in the same room. 

Why the Family Chose Falcon View Connections Academy

According to Allison, “At Falcon View Connections Academy, our kids are not competing with different learning levels or with disruptive behaviors like they did in the brick-and-mortar classroom environment.”

Allison and Sean are their children’s Learning Coaches, which Allison appreciates since this enables them to play a more active role in their kids’ education and success. “I love being able to oversee and participate in the content being taught — and if I’m not able to understand it, there are many resources and teachers available to assist,” she said. 

During COVID, when the children had to learn remotely, Allison said they discovered there was much more time in the day to do activities the kids naturally enjoyed. With the flexible nature of the school’s virtual classroom, Allison said they have the time to create many other learning opportunities once their schoolwork is done. 

The family farm, for example, offers the children what Allison calls their “playground” space or their “physical education” class. The kids have learned how to change oil, help with the animals, participate in preparing meals and baking, and take on building or sewing projects.  

The flexibility of this school’s schedule is a bonus since the kids can work at their own pace without feeling overwhelmed and rushed.

— Allison

The Family’s Online School Experience

Says Allison, “Going to an online school gives us the option of making nature a bigger part of the classroom. We can provide a deeper learning experience, with life lessons that aren’t available in a typical school. Our kids are very active with outdoor life, and the classroom setting seemed to confine them or consume a large portion of their day.” Allison and Sean also encourage their kids to take part in programs outside school, so they still have a social life with their peers. 

Allison’s advice to parents with multiple children enrolled in Falcon View Connections Academy is to understand that each child has a different level of focus, and to adapt their surroundings and learning times so they can learn when their attention is best. Allison said they also found it important to set ground rules and expectations. “Time management is important, and procrastination can be easy for kids, but if they have guidelines and expectations, they do better managing and prioritizing their time,” she said. 

The Irvine Family