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Cindy Harmon-Jones

TCAH Learning Coach Cindy and her son

Cindy lives in College Station, Texas with her family. For Cindy’s family, the decision was not one of whether or not to school from home. Rather, the decision was about adding structure and accountability into their current homeschooling routine. The choice for her daughter, Sylvia, to attend Texas Connections Academy @ Houston (TCAH) was an excellent one. According to Cindy, “We still have flexibility; we can fit school around our lives, instead of the other way around.” Here is her story:

“Our family homeschooled from the very beginning of Sylvia’s education, and we had always loved it. However, as Sylvia got to junior-high age, she started feeling like she wanted more structure and better documentation for her schooling. At the same time, I had gone back to graduate school, and it was hard for me to plan and keep up with Sylvia’s lessons, given my own increased workload.

We learned about Connections Academy only about a week before the pilot program opened in December 2008. I was somewhat hesitant to do it. I worried that we would have to give up the freedom and flexibility we had had as homeschoolers, but we checked out the information online, talked to one of the counselors, and plunged in.

Connections Academy has worked really well for our family. We still have flexibility; we can fit school around our lives, instead of the other way around. Sylvia is busy participating in a children’s theater group, as well as voice, ballet, and piano lessons. We have time to do these activities without feeling like we’re rushing from one place to another all day. We’re able to spend as much time as we need on lessons that the kids find challenging, and to move quickly through material that they find easy. As I’ve gotten busier, it is so helpful to have the lessons all planned out and the documentation taken care of.

Sylvia has type I diabetes (also known as juvenile diabetes), a chronic disease that is very difficult for children to manage while attending a brick-and-mortar school. Being at home has helped her to keep her condition under much better control than most kids who have diabetes can. Her endocrinologist is extremely impressed by Sylvia’s maturity and seriousness with regard to managing her condition. I strongly believe that schooling through Connections Academy has helped her to develop this sense of responsibility and independence that will benefit her health over the long term.

Perhaps even more important, schooling through Connections Academy allows us time to spend together as a family. And Connections Academy allows me to spend lots of time with my kids.”

Connections Academy allows us to spend more time together as a family; we can fit school around our lives, instead of the other way around. In addition, Sylvia has type I diabetes and doing school at home has helped her to keep her condition under much better control.
— Cindy