Virtual learning has become a way of life for many students across SWLA and the world. I knew going into it this would be a huge adjustment for my children. However, I didn't want them to wear a mask for eight hours a day, so virtual learning was the best option for us.

To be honest, I wasn't too confident in the CPSO throwing together a virtual learning program in a few months. I wanted to enroll our children, Elijah (13) and Khloe (10), in K-12. My thought process was that they've been doing online learning for 21 years and have the process down pat. Plus, tuition is free and you get books and supplies for free, as well. I watched many reviews on YouTube and felt this was the perfect solution for us. However, I wasn't the only parent thinking this. When we started to enroll our kids into their program, all the available schools in Louisiana were completely booked solid. One thing I noticed about the K-12 program was that other states have tons of options of different schools to enroll your child in, but Louisiana? Not so much. The way it works is that actual brick and mortar schools run the online classes and they are affiliated with K-12.

To say my wife and I were discouraged would be an understatement. We felt trapped in keeping our kids in the CPSO virtual learning program, but it was our only option. I figured the whole school year was going to be a train wreck and my kids would be left behind the face-to-face classroom students when the dust cleared. However, our experience has been quite the opposite, and we are pleased with what's happening with the CPSO program.

Before I get more into that, yes, my kids do miss going to school. I never thought I would hear those words come out of their mouths. They miss their friends and just getting out of the house for the day. What my son, Elijah, misses the most is band. He plays tuba and he not only loves playing but also idolizes his band instructors. My daughter, Khloe, misses recess the most and playing with her friends. I also think my son misses the days they can get Pizza Hut pizza for lunch.

Right off the bat, we were pleased to see my daughter was going to be taught by one of her favorite teachers she had in third grade. Not only was she excited, but my wife and I were too. With the way our schedules are here at work, we space out shifts to limit employee interaction, and I get off earlier than normal so I can make it home in time to listen to their classes. My daughter's teacher does a great job of balancing class and caring for her students in this new virtual world. You can tell she really cares about her students and wants the best for them. Throughout the day, she responds very quickly to emails when my daughter needs help and also has times when students can log on to a virtual session to get more help with things they don't understand in various subjects. My son has different teachers for his subjects, so he has one class after another. All of his teachers do a great job of explaining to students what is expected of them and are always available to help him when needed. Both Elijah and Khloe have made banner roll and honor roll with their first two report cards.

My wife and I are very impressed with how our kids have adapted to the virtual learning process and taking their responsibilities of school work seriously. We are also very impressed with the CPSO online program. The school board and especially the teachers have worked very hard to make this a success in our book. I would love to see virtual learning as an option for kids and parents even after we're done with the pandemic. However, I don't think we would enroll our children in it, as I feel they both want to go back to school as soon as possible.

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