Helping Our Captains Succeed with FLVS Elementary

Learn more about one home educator’s FLVS Flex Elementary experience with her young student filmmakers and ambassadors dubbed “The Captains.” Whether your child has been enrolled for a few years or you’re new to FLVS, these tips can help your elementary student succeed!

As a mother and grandmother, the responsibility of educating our 8-year-old son, Captain A, and 7-year-old grandson, Captain SySy, weighs heavy on my heart and mind as their home educator. The world is not always a perfect place and people can be unkind, so our family strives every day to help our Captains be the best human beings they can be!

I am beyond grateful for our partnership with FLVS on our Captains’ education. The FLVS Flex Elementary team not only cares about making a difference and helping them to succeed in their educational lives, but also about their personal successes as future leaders. They have been a huge network of support in our Captains’ volunteering world.

The truth is, it isn’t always easy being a homeschool educator!

We have run into a few hiccups along the way, but everyone faces challenges in life, right? We have even faced a few of these obstacles at FLVS. This year, we thought we were seasoned pros in the program, so we actually started two weeks late. After all, this wasn’t our first time at the rodeo; it was our third year in, so the whole family thought, “No problem, we can catch up in the blink of an eye when we get back from our summer vacation.” Boy, were we wrong!

For the 2018-19 school year, FLVS introduced a new elementary curriculum, and I am going to be honest here, the first week we felt we were in over our heads! By the second week, we thought we were drowning trying to catch up! Just like most people, we are creatures of habit and the new program threw us for a bit of a loop at the beginning. It requires much more online time for our Captains that we didn’t expect coming into this year, and quite a few more assignments and enrichments to complete. The adjustment was a bit of a shell shock not only for our Captains, but for me as their homeschool teacher too.

We truly thought we were pros as we came into this new year with a course load of six subjects on top of the Captains’ outside classes in drama, guitar, and seasonal sports. Then the Captains added the FLVS Elementary “Kids of Character Club” and “Book Club” to their other extracurricular volunteer activities…let me tell you, at the beginning I became extremely worried that I might just drop all the balls I was juggling as their homeschool educator! But, as time progressed, I realized what an amazing program they are participating in with FLVS Flex and we absolutely love it! Don’t get me wrong, I do drop a ball or two now and then, but is anyone really ever completely perfect 24/7?

The new program does take more time and interaction for our Captains and me as their homeschool educator, but as we travel through the new educational adventures at FLVS Flex, I have realized they are learning more than I could have ever imagined.

Not only are the Captains and I learning…our entire family is learning more!

The new curriculum is a whole new world of wonderful.

Plus, just like the years before, we have an amazing support network from our education village at FLVS! I could not successfully do this without the partnership of both Ms. Martuscelli and Mrs. Dugas as my 1st grade and 2nd grade teacher allies. They are always there to help offer wonderful suggestions for projects and cheer our Captains on!

We realize everyone finds success in their own way while homeschooling, but below are some tips from our family to yours on what we have found to be successful in our educational adventures.

The Captains’ Tips for Success at FLVS

As the home educator partnering with FLVS teachers, these tips can help you provide the best learning experience for your child.

1. Sit and read through the modules together.

Our Captains are dreamers and can get sidetracked, so I sit and read through the modules with them. It shows them I am willing to put in the time too and I cannot tell you all the wonderful things we have learned together! Have you ever heard of a “Blue Footed Booby”?

2. Video or audio record your child when they are coming up with ideas or sentences.

We record our Captains on their iPads or our iPhones so they can play themselves back and not forget the sentence or story they came up with. P.S. I do this for myself too! 

3. Read the encouraging emails from your FLVS teachers each week.

Don’t miss the feedback from your FLVS educators shared after each assignment and assessment. Our Captains love hearing the support and encouragement! It is another outlet to show them how all their hard work and hours put into assignments or projects are worth it!

4. Send photos and/or videos of your student doing a project! 

You can even turn a project into a video! Our Captains love dressing up and making videos to share with our FLVS Flex family and sometimes those videos are highlighted in their live FLVS classrooms!

5. Get to know your FLVS educators and counselors.

They truly want to help your student and you as the home educator succeed! Just as in life, we are all different and special, and getting to know the FLVS team while they learn about your student(s) and your homeschool style allows for a much stronger partnership together in the success of your educational village!

6. Join FLVS Clubs!

We joined clubs at FLVS that interested our Captains to motivate them to continue their success at FLVS, like “Book Club” and “Kids of Character Club.” Through them, we found another support network of caring teachers and counselors! Our Captains are great readers, but were not lovers of reading…and after joining book club, they are both! The support and motivation to be the best you from our Kids of Character club leaders and classmates makes this homeschool educator’s heart runneth over!

7. Don’t worry or stress if you drop one of the many balls you are juggling!

I have been there, done it, and will probably do it again. Remember: to error is human and our homeschool students can feel our stress. You’re not alone, trust me; we all have many different projects going on, so take a deep breath and maybe do some time blocking for each subject if you fall behind in the evenings or weekends until you catch up. And, don’t forget to utilize your FLVS Educator and partner for help and tips. They have offered us some great ideas! Another great motivation for the overtime our Captains put in is a trip to have live science at the Zoo!

8. The world is a book of live classes just waiting for you.

We do as many of our FLVS science classes outside of our home as possible! Go to the zoo, museum, park, or beach to do live classes! Our Captains love learning outside of the home classroom and we have found if you let a Zoologist or Park Rangers know your students are FLVS Flex / homeschooled, they will spend extra time helping to teach them too!

9. Don’t forget to read the FLVS informational emails.

They truly help prepare you for the week, give you the tools and resources you’ll need each week, and have fun enrichments to participate in with the entire FLVS Flex School. Our Captains have loved the Flex Elementary Story Time events with Counselor Rohr!

10. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child.

We use our FLVS Family, community leaders, and every family member we can to help mentor and grow our Captains!

Every day we teach our Captains that there is so much more to learn in this great big world of ours and beyond! We also teach them success is what they choose to make of it. FLVS Flex has those same philosophies. With their partnership, we are taking our Captains into a whole new world of educational adventures.

We are beyond grateful that FLVS Flex is a part of our educational village and wish our fellow students, parents, and home educators the best success in your homeschool voyage!

Post by Monica Cardoza, FLVS Elementary Parent / Home Educator

For Captain A and Captain SySy, the world is their classroom! Learn more about the Captains’ FLVS Elementary homeschool experience on their YouTube channel.



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