Charlotte likes pretty things, and she loves the beach, sushi, coffee and seashells.
Why I Started Using Acellus
I wasn't working when I started homeschooling my children, but I was going to school full-time. They use to be in public school, but their experience was horrible. The neighborhood we lived in wasn’t great, and the school reflected that. Kids at the school would stab each other with pencils. They would pick up chairs and hurl them at other students. They would try to throw kids off, violently, from the jungle gyms. I tried volunteering for some class events, and the teacher spent more time breaking up fist fights, trying to discipline and sending kids to detention than she did teaching.
I worked 40 to 60 hours a week at that time, and leaving them off at school (even though I walked them to their classes) left me with an extreme feeling of guilt and despair. My daughter’s teacher refused to tutor her in math unless I got her an ADHD diagnosis and medication (um, no.) My son was way above his class level. When I volunteered at the school, the children couldn’t do basic math and couldn’t read. All that I described happened while my kids were in first and third grade. Imagine that. The kids came home asking what the “F” word was because they saw it written on the wall in the kid’s bathroom at school. The school only went up to fifth grade, so again, imagine how guilty I felt for sending them there while I worked.
This is where Acellus came in.
Why I Love Acellus
Acellus is amazing. You can call me lazy, and that’s fine. I had to submit to my mom taking care of the kids while I worked. I worked during the day and she worked at night.
- Acellus can be done on a phone, tablet or computer.
- You can sign your kids up for up to six classes that they can work on at their own place.
- Acellus offers special worksheets that you can print and have the kids use to go along with their work, although, I am fine with my kids just doing the tablet work.
- Acellus allows you to print transcripts.
- Acellus lets you see how many hours the child spent in a certain class for that day or for the entire year.
- The site lets you see grades and scores for daily reports or for the semester.
- Acellus lets you monitor what’s going on even if you’re at work. I have an app called Stars that I use to communicate with the kids. If I say, “Hey, son, you forgot to do your language arts,” he immediately gets on it, or he communicates an issue he’s having, and I promise to help him as soon as I get home.
Courses and Supplemental Materials
My daughter needed to do a lot of remedial work. I had her in third grade classes for math even though she was in fourth grade. My daughter was also interested in coding and health, so I signed her up for those classes, as well. Right now, both my children are at their own grade levels. My son is in all third grade classes. My daughter is in all fifth grade classes. I bought supplemental material to help them with their studies. They do separate math workbooks and science journals, and I have rounded out their curriculum with language arts workbooks, as well. I also have them read books on an application called Epic so they don’t have to carry too many books around.
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The Downfalls of Acellus
The price constantly changes.
Sometimes I am paying $50 a month for both students, and other times I’m only paying $20. You can pay for the full year if you have the funds, but again, it may fluctuate depending on what’s going on ‘behind the scenes’.
Sometimes the Acellus prompts have typos.
My daughter pointed out that instead of the word ‘device’, the word was spelled ‘devise’. On the Facebook forums you can see where parents complaining about certain misspellings or wrong answers. It’s not very common, but it does happen. I don’t feel that it is an end of the world situation. I would prefer a few mistakes here and there in the program over my son getting stabbed violently with a pencil and taken to the nurse at a public school.
If you aren't paying attention then Acellus may make it easy for your kid to cheat.
I noticed that my daughter tried tricking the system until she got the right answer. She would input: A (wrong) B (wrong) C (wrong) D (right answer). She did that a few times for a certain social studies lesson, and I took note of it. We talked about it, and since she has high-functioning autism, I have to be gentle with how I approach her with these kinds of things. My son tried cheating by writing nonsense words when he was supposed to be listening to a word and typing it in. I saw his several nonsense attempts and called him out on it. So while cheating may be easy, a parent who is paying attention will take notice.
Acellus experiences technological issues, but that has only occurred once in a great while.
My Children Love Acellus
My children are absolutely loving Acellus. Here are a few reasons why:
- They enjoy the informative videos.
- They enjoy taking control of their own learning by deciding what classes to do first and deciding how long to take on a certain subject.
- They like that I, as their teacher, can work with them one-on-one on anything they have issues with.
I feel like my kids ultimately enjoy the freedom of learning at home instead of trying to survive a rather hostile school environment. My daughter’s autism magnified her anxiety at school. She felt like she was behind and that she was ‘dumb’. My son is able to learn at his grade level and take extra classes with Acellus that challenge him. Sometimes, he shares some tidbits that he learned in Acellus, which makes me feel like a proud mom.
Yes, Acellus is tablet-based, but children these days are surrounded by the world of technology, and they love it! Having a tablet-based educational curriculum with a system that grades itself and is self-paced is optimum for them at this time.
© 2018 Charlotte Doyle