- Reviewed on Sunday, November 3, 2013
- Grades Used: 11th
- Dates used: 2013
We are having a terrible experience with Keystone. My 4.0 honor student son is taking English III and it has been a nightmare. The instructions in the assignments are inconsistent with rubrics, the assignments expectations are unclear, and there are so many spelling and grammar errors in the online stories, essays etc., it is unbelievable. When we have contacted the teacher for clarifications she has been extremely condescending. The only response we ever get from her is "this is an upper level class" insinuating my son is not intelligent enough. She has never answered a direct question, so much so I emailed the curriculum director and asked if there really WAS a teacher ... I truly began to think the responses were computer generated. The director was not helpful and only defended the teachers (non)responses. We are half way through this course and it is the first time my son has ever dreaded school. Can't wait to get it over with and move on! How do we find good online courses?? Any suggestions? Thanks.
- Reviewed on Friday, June 21, 2013
- Grades Used: 9th
- Dates used: 2012-2013
I agree completely with Pascale.
". . . that looks more and more like a cheap instructional substitution slapped together in the cheapest way possible and monitored by teachers that are obviously using the platforms to boost up their income from regular sources without actually having to teach."
We found that some teachers are virtually useless because they refuse to respond or may not know how to do anything -- they are not really teaching. You're child is teaching him or herself.
Furthermore, the school officials do not respond. I was advised to call the head of curriculum. She was out of the office and then never returned my call. Never. I wonder why? Obviously doesn't care.
My child is completely bored with it. You're better off with a math tutor and a writing tutor and maybe a biology tutor too. Most students benefit from interaction with actual teachers.
- Reviewed on Tuesday, June 4, 2013
- Grades Used: 11th
- Dates used: 2009 and again 2012
I feel that Keystone educational support for individually tailored instruction is extremely poor even though the program is advertising as self-paced. The advertised flexibility only refers to time management with no efforts toward tailoring instructions towards their key customers (high ability, aspergers, autism, etc.). The website also states that it is tailored to students that ‘want more teacher interaction,’ a statement that has little to do with reality.
I noticed that some other parents that posted here were also getting the condescending treatment and cold shoulder when asking for help.
Looking at the various classes my daughter took, I fail to see an overlaying philosophy of learning (unless one considers busy work as a worthwhile teaching method) ; lessons are randomly tailored based on individual teachers’ preferences. Some classes expect an unrealistic amount of writing assessments. I believe that a few good essays on content that has been practiced and evaluated based on a meaningful rubric might be better suitable.
At this point, I must state that I am dissatisfied with the Keystone philosophy that looks more and more like a cheap instructional substitution slapped together in the cheapest way possible and monitored by teachers that are obviously using the platforms to boost up their income from regular sources without actually having to teach.
Keystone offers a full highschool certificate, and that is all you get and pay for. Most home schooling parents will do a better and faster job developing a meaningful curriculum.
- Reviewed on Thursday, March 28, 2013
- Grades Used: 10th
- Dates used: 2012-2013
I would absolutely recommend Keystone as an option. I am glad I stumbled across their website more than a year ago.
I am a single mom and I work full time outside the household to pay bills. I have 2 students that I home school because the public education system where I am did not meet the needs of either child.
- my son is gifted and in our old school district was enrolled in gifted programs to accellerate his learning
- my daughter struggles and needs extra attention for test anxiety and dyslexia
My son prefers to do his classes through the on-line channel and my daughter prefers the correspondance style. So I will speak to both.
While I agree that classes like English and Social Studies are writing intensive, I actually appreciate the fact that they are helping set my children up for success when they hit college. Most college classes will require essays, so having them get their practice in during their high school years will not make it a struggle when they have tight deadlines in college.
One thing I will point out, the correspondance classes has a lot fewer assignments that have to be turned into the teacher. For example, both my kids took Algebra I. My daughter with correspondance had 8 assignments (tests only) that had to be turned in. My son on the other hand, only had to take the 2nd half of the class and had over 30 assignments to turn in. The difference was all the practice assignments counted toward the grade on-line, but not correspondance.
As far as the staff is concerned, they have been extremely helpful and always responded timely to any request we have had. They have responded to questions my children have had when they have emailed the staff.
This style of education also makes it extremely convenient to do things in a non-traditional format, because I can't sit with them to do homework until after dinner. They can work on the things they find easy and save the hard stuff for the time we have together.
The downside: compared to public school, this is expensive, but to me worth every penny. I didn't look at traditional homeschooling options, so I don't know how it compares to that, so it may be right in line.