Angela Wright homeschooled her oldest son Caleb when he started kindergarten 11 years ago, but she discovered she needed more support with developing the curriculum and a more structured learning environment in order for her children to be successful.
For first grade, Mrs. Wright and her husband, Thomas, enrolled Caleb in a traditional brick-and-mortar school operated by the local school district. When their younger daughter Lydia started kindergarten five years later, they decided to give learning at home another chance — this time through PA Virtual Charter School.
“One of the things that PA Virtual Charter School gives you is that extra layer of accountability that you don’t have in a homeschool environment so you are not alone.” Mrs. Wright said. “PA Virtual takes all of the stressful decision-making out of the equation because it provides the curriculum and all of the school supplies and computer equipment.”
Caleb also became a PA Virtual Charter School student in seventh grade when their local school district combined high schools, which created lengthy bus rides for students in the rural, 362-square-mile school district. Caleb has just begun 11th grade and Lydia started sixth grade.
Over the years, The Wrights have joined PA Virtual on several educational field trips, including to the Daniel Boone Homestead near Birdsboro in Berks County, the Civil War battlefields in Gettysburg and the Whitaker Center for Science & the Arts in Harrisburg. They also have enjoyed recreational activities at an amusement park, learned wilderness orienteering and attended back-to-school picnics and year-end social events.
Outside of school, Caleb practices archery and target shooting through the local 4-H, and he is a junior volunteer firefighter who trains with the Decatur Volunteer Fire Company. He also volunteers with Child Evangelism Fellowship and at the YMCA’s rock-climbing wall.
“Having your children at home for school is not as overwhelming as it may seem because you get a lot of help and support from PA Virtual,” Mrs. Wright said. “All of the teachers are right at your fingertips to consult with so all of the responsibility is not on the parents’ shoulders like in a homeschooling environment. With PA Virtual, you are not in it alone.”