Homeschool & Accredited Classes
Grades 8 - 12 | with Tanya Wadhwani
AN (un)Typical Day
Parents often ask me what my program looks like. What do the kids do? What do they learn? How does it work?
I wish there was one way to answer that question; every year is different. Every new year the student group determines the way we learn and the way I teach. What I can share is what stays constant- offering an educational opportunity in which students feel at the center of their education. I want to encourage their passions, strengthen individual skills, solidify grade appropriate content while enabling students to be critical thinkers.
Though I started Kauai Academics as a middle school program, parents wanted to continue through high school. I have since partnered with Christa McAuliffe Academy School of Arts and Sciences, a fully accredited online school, where students earn accredited courses. Most students are enrolled full time with the online school, but I tailor their classes to reflect our unique setting. Some students are part-time online, and I create the rest of their curriculum.
Students meet in my home in Hanalei every weekday. Families choose their child’s in-class hours and create a unique schedule; but most students attend Monday - Friday, 9am - 1pm, ending at 2pm twice a week. Curriculum is paced similarly to a traditional school. Classes are divided into semesters. Due dates and A - F grading scales are observed. Grade reports are sent to parents bi-monthly.
I accept 7-9 full time students grades 8 - 12. Each day, I create an agenda through Google Drive for each subject and students complete the work during school hours, or from home if they do reduced group hours. We do a combination of direct instruction and independent & peer learning. I teach all subjects and am the teacher of record for almost all online classes; however, online students can take any class with any teacher at CMASAS. All curriculum meets Oregon state standards (the online's school's state of residency), but I have flexibility in how we experience the day.
My students and I incorporate different elements in our day not found in most traditional settings. I believe in multi-grade learning. Students learn how to be mentors and they learn that their strengths are not necessarily decided by their ages. Though math, science, and history are differentiated by skill level, we do a lot of the same assignments for language arts. My students know there is no inequality between a grade 8 & 12 student responding to the same journal topic or writing the same type of essay. Their individual product is based on their individual skill level.
We often spend part of our day talking story about current events, politics, and social issues. Students are allowed to ask as many questions as needed. They build their understanding of the world through conversations. Or through talking while cooking. Or asking me something seemingly off-topic but relevant to their world. Or through cheering a classmate who is surfing in a competition that’s being televised in live time. My students and I are a family. They treat each other like siblings and are affectionate in ways I’ve never seen in a traditional high school classroom.
Families can choose Kauai Academics for various reasons: geographical location, level of academic rigor (my classes are not easy!), a smaller learning environment for students with learning differences, and flexibility for pre-professional or junior athletes. I work very hard to create an academically challenging experience combined with a homeschool feel. Many of my students stay with me for years and some find one or two is perfect. I understand the limitations of my program and encourage all families to consider and reconsider what is best for their children as they progress. Students are prepared to transfer to another high school - whether it be online or a traditional high school.
If you are considering Kauai Academics, I urge you to visit Christa McAuliffe Academy School of Arts and Sciences to learn more about what our partner school has to offer.