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A day in the life of online school for Gabbie and Josh with Elmater (mom and Learning Coach).

Photo of Gabbie


Grade 3rd
Favorite Subjects
Math, Vocabulary
Art, Dance
Photo of Josh


Grade 8th
Favorite Subjects
History, Science
Science Fairs

Why K12?

Elmater wanted an option that would challenge her advanced students academically. Online school powered by K12 allows for Gabbie and Josh to work at their own pace. This gives Gabbie more time to work on her writing and Josh more time to work on his science experiments and award-winning science fair presentations.

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Live Classes and

Schoolwork for Gabbie and Josh is a mix of scheduled, live classes called Class Connect sessions, self-guided offline assignments, and extra educational activities their mom and Learning Coach, Elmater, helps arrange for them.

For example, a typical day may have Josh starting with a live math class led by his state-certified teacher, followed later in the day by have self-guided lessons for history (he’s learning about early civilizations) and World War II reading for Language Arts. If he gets stuck, his mom is there to help him as well as his sister as she goes through her work for the day.

A typical day for Gabbie may start with vocabulary practice and a writing exercise and then include live math and science classes later. She, Josh, or Elmater can ask the teacher questions in the live classes, via email, or during weekly office hours.

A benefit of schools powered by K12 is that the educational materials—a computer, textbooks, supplies for offline activities, and more—are provided.

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Family Schedule

Learning Coaches typically spend between 4 to 6 hours each day with 3rd grade and other elementary school students like Gabbie, providing guidance and oversight. Middle schoolers like Josh tend to be more independent so the time expectation changes to 1 to 3 hours per day and is more verification that students are on track.

Elmater spends more one-to-one time with Gabbie since she’s an energetic 3rd grader who needs more reminders to take breaks and refocus. With Josh being in 8th grade, more of the hands-on component has shifted to him so her role is more to make sure things get done. She says this is good training for both of them—for him to start becoming an even more independent learner and person.

Student Schedule


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The number of classes students take varies per grade level and individual. For example, students in 8th grade like Josh typically take between 5–6 subjects each semester, with maybe 2–4 of those requiring scheduled, live classes. For elementary school students like Gabbie, it may be between 4–6 subjects, with 2–4 of those requiring live classes.

The other subjects are completed via self-guided assignments and skills labs in the K12 interactive online learning system.

In addition to core academic subjects like English, math, science, and social studies, K12-powered schools have a great selection of electives, including career exploration in some middle schools.

Classes schedules may vary considerably based on the individual student and their needs, state, and any special programs.

Advanced Academics

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The ability to personalize each student’s learning allows advanced children to move through schoolwork more quickly and take classes at their academic level.

Josh says he’s continuously challenged in his online school now, especially with math where his teacher gives him extra assignments to push him. One of the main impacts Elmater has noticed since switching to online school is the boost in academic confidence for both her children now that they are at a school that matches their potential.

Teacher Support and Communication

Teachers at online schools powered by K12 are state-certified and dedicated to their students and their Learning Coaches.

Teachers are available via email and phone for extra support, and Elmater even has her own live Class Connect office hours with her children’s teachers.

Josh’s favorite teacher is one of his former science teachers, who helped him develop his award-winning science fair project on solar panels. The teacher still keeps in touch, offering motivation and assistance even though Josh isn’t in their class anymore.

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Social Time

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Gabbie and Josh have the benefit of a neighborhood where lots of the kids are friends.

Josh has friends over to play basketball outside. Gabbie and her friends take walks together and play games. Their mom says, sometimes it feels like the whole community is hanging out in their backyard. They each have their physical activities too. Josh is a swimmer, Gabbie does ballet and hip-hop dance, and they both play golf.

More Q & A with the Family

What do your breaks look like during the day?

Elmater: I like the school class schedule because it is flexible enough to take the breaks my children need throughout the day. That helps teach them that, yes, frustrations happen, and you can take a minute to regroup, but the work still needs to get done by the end of the day or end of the week. It helps them learn how to self-regulate and get back on task. That’s an essential set of skills they weren’t learning in their old schools.

Gabbie: Well, I like to do a lot of different things for breaks. I like to dance. Sometimes I want to make tea with mom or play piano with Josh. Other times I want to be outside, so we’ll go for a walk or sit on the front porch.

Josh: We have a basketball hoop outside and when I get frustrated by something in class, I like to go out after and play for a bit. It helps me relax so I can think about the concept or problem differently. Sometimes my friends will come over to play basketball, which is fun.

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Learning with K12

K12 powers a wide variety of educational options. including tuition-free public schools and tuition-based private schools. See what’s available in your area.

These are the stories of real students attending K12-powered schools and their families. Content is a combination of direct quotes and summaries from in-person interviews. Their stories each reflect their experiences at their respective schools. Actual experience can vary by student and school. These pages are designed to reflect a typical day in the life of a student attending an online K12-powered school. Individual class schedules and requirements will vary by state, school, and the individual needs of each student.