The New Elementary: Online Learning for Grades K-5

Duck, duck, goose…I spy…finger painting…counting to 10…following the leader…

These activities are instinctively elementary. So, what happens when such a tangible experience goes virtual? It gets personal!

In 2018, FLVS is introducing a new 48-course elementary curriculum that includes English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Spanish, Art, and Technology. From Kindergarten through 5th grade, all these courses have a few things in common: they’re hands-on, empowering, and designed with elementary students in mind. Each course incorporates activities students can do in their own home, encourages them to use their personal experiences to power their learning, and includes plenty of teacher time to support individual students. It doesn’t get more personal than that.

Virtual education is tried and true for middle grades through higher education, but for elementary, it can be a bit more challenging. Students are younger, attention spans are shorter, and academic learning is brand new. These challenges inspired the team to create a unique learning experience for these young learners. The best part of a virtual elementary program is that it allows students to have experiences they would never have in a physical classroom. “Our courses are built for dialogue, empowering students to take ownership of their learning. Every lesson has a hands-on or off-screen activity,” says Jaimi Gruler, Senior Manager of Elementary Products. These hands-on activities ensure that students are making real-life connections as they learn. Sample offline activities include an Interactive Notebook, reflections, collaborations, practice labs, activity sheets, nature walks, and sharing with a friend or family member.

When students are working online, directions are clear, designs are fun, and learning is interactive. Courses are broken up into modules, lessons and pages, with students learning subjects in a variety of ways. A typical lesson includes bright, colorful photographs and illustrations, game-like activities for practice, videos, storybooks, activity sheets, and either a quiz or assignment. Offline opportunities ask students to “Try,” “Think,” “Write,” or “Share” an activity with a friend or family member. These components are what make these courses so personal. Students can complete lessons following their own schedule, reflect on their own experiences to connect their learning, choose their own topics or materials for activities, and participate in online live lessons called “Class Time” with other students.

Custom activities were built specifically for our FLVS elementary courses to feel game-like, and fun storylines guide them through each module. In Spanish, students journey to a different country. In Science, they become an inventor in a toy factory. In Art, they go inside paintings to learn techniques.

Throughout the courses, different characters guide students through their learning, making the experience feel more personal.

A virtual elementary school is new, different, and unlike any school in the real world. That’s because in a virtual classroom, students can journey with an astronaut to see the stars in one module, and travel on safari to Africa in another. They can learn about plant structures, build a model at home, and go on a nature walk to find examples in their own environment. They can learn about erosion while at the beach. The opportunities are limitless.

Below is an overview of each of the Elementary subject areas.

Core Courses

English Language Arts (ELA)

Focused on introductory reading skills and comprehension, the ELA courses include the five essential components of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary and fluency. Students will read informative and literary texts, practice writing, grammar, and speaking and listening skills. Each grade level explores a different, adventure-filled theme to keep students curious and engaged!

Download ELA Course Fact Sheet / Overview (PDF)

Math

Critical thinking and problem solving are two skills taught throughout Elementary Math. Rather than leaving students to ask, “When will I use this?”, key concepts are taught with real-world applications so connections are made early on. Songs, rhymes, videos, storybooks, and audio are used to teach and practice math skills in a fun and engaging way. Kindergarten-Grade 2 focuses on building a strong number sense, addition and subtraction within 20, place value, measurement and shapes. Grades 3-5 introduce multiplication and division within 100, fractions, decimals, shapes, area, and volume.

Download Math Course Fact Sheet / Overview (PDF)

Science

Students taking our Elementary Science courses will explore Earth, Life, and Physical Sciences through problem solving, experimentation, creating models, analyzing and interpreting data, engineering, and more! Following the 5E Instructional Model, students will engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate as they learn. We’ll build on their curiosity by teaching them to ask questions and search for evidence to learn about the world around them.

Download Science Course Fact Sheet / Overview (PDF)

Social Studies

Our Social Studies courses takes a personal approach to introducing students to community and citizenship. They’ll learn important concepts and skills related to history, geography, and economics including their role as a citizen in their home, school, and community. Students will go back in time and learn about the foundation of American citizenship, journey to regions within the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean Islands, and dive deep into the history of the state in which they live. 

Download Social Studies Course Fact Sheet / Overview (PDF)

Special Areas 

Spanish

Elementary Spanish introduces students to both the Spanish culture and language. Each lesson is taught through diverse stories that give students the opportunity to see and hear Spanish in an authentic and fun context. Activities include hearing, speaking, reading, writing, and recording the language to reinforce learning.

Course Progression: FLVS offers a total of six online elementary Spanish courses, allowing students to progress through distinct levels – starting with Introductory Spanish and continuing through Levels 1-5. Students will be introduced to Spanish letters, pronunciation, and vocabulary. In more advanced levels, they will develop their grammar and writing skills.  After a pretest and discussion with the teacher, students may advance to a higher level if they already have an existing level of Spanish proficiency.

Download Spanish Course Fact Sheet / Overview (PDF)

Physical Education (PE)

Students will be jumping, dancing, swimming, throwing, catching, kicking, tumbling, and more in our elementary PE courses! Students will learn about healthy lifestyle habits, teamwork, sportsmanship, goal setting, and strive for 60 minutes of daily activity. They’ll learn new skills to keep them moving with each grade level!

Download P.E. Course Fact Sheet / Overview (PDF)

Art

Elementary Art encourages students in every lesson to feel confident in their own creativity and expression. Using the Elements of Art and Principles of Design, students will learn real art techniques through modeling and connect them to master artists. Students will develop their observational skills as they learn how to critique art while making cultural connections with works from around the world.

Download Art Course Fact Sheet / Overview (PDF)

Technology

Students taking our Elementary Technology courses will learn basic computer science skills, keyboarding, programming, and coding. Each of these skills is taught alongside meaningful technology topics such as tech safety, digital citizenship, bullying/cyberbullying, adaptive technology, social media, and robotics.

Download Technology Course Fact Sheet / Overview (PDF)

Learn more about the FLVS Elementary Program and enroll today!


Post by Michelle McRae, Engagement Writer



37 comments on “The New Elementary: Online Learning for Grades K-5

    1. Marissa DraegerFLVS

      Hi Veronica! This year, FLVS is offering several ways for elementary students to experience the benefits of online learning! For families interested in a more traditional educational experience following a fixed school year calendar with weekly live instruction during interactive Class Time sessions, students may take multiple courses together with a group of classmates and one core teacher through FLVS Full Time OR FLVS Flex. For families interested in taking one or more courses following their own schedule, Flex elementary courses are now available with year-round rolling enrollment. Learn more at http://www.flvs.net/options.

      Reply
  1. Carline Francois

    How many hours per day/week does a student have to work on assignments? My daughter is going to 4th grade.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Marissa DraegerFLVS

      Hi there! The schedule will depend on the specific course and learning experience you choose. If you are following the regular school year with FLVS Full Time (or FLVS Flex), each student will need to dedicate time for each subject to complete the lessons and assignments for that week. When taking individual subjects through FLVS Flex, the schedule is a bit more flexible. You can work with your teacher to create a custom schedule that works for you, typically requiring some form of progress (for example, one lesson) each week. Each course is broken down into modules with individual lessons that consist of 5 parts. At the end of each lesson, students complete an activity, assignment, or assessment to demonstrate learning.

      Check out these links for more information!
      FLVS Full Time Elementary FAQs: https://flvs.net/full-time/more#faqs
      FLVS Flex Elementary FAQs: https://flvs.net/flex/faqs#elementary

      Reply
  2. Stephanie

    So excited!! I had wondered if parents were going to receive this information in the mail or online. Thank you for posting!

    Reply
    1. FLVS

      Hi Pam. The courses will be officially launched in August 2018, so unfortunately they will not be available this summer – but they will be an option for summer 2019!

      Reply
  3. Rebecca

    Hi,
    When will returning students / coaches be notified? We submitted our intent to return but want to make sure we have time to go over it and make the right choice.

    Reply
  4. Lena Estrada

    Hi, I may sound silly; however, I am a 60 year old grandmother homeschooling my granddaughter who is 8. Can you tell me the when is the first day of flvs flex school? I am wanting to be prepared ahead of time. I saw the course have been verified but not assigned yet. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. FLVS

      Hi Lena! School starts on August 13, so your granddaughter will be placed in her courses at this time. We hope she’s excited for the start of the school year!

      Reply
  5. Kate's Mom

    I am a first time homeschool parent! I am excited and nervous about this new engagement but everyone at FLVS has been extremely helpful with guidance and answering my questions. The Flex program will afford us the flexibility we need and still learn! Ready for August 13!

    Reply
  6. Ines

    If my daughter does all her courses using flex under an umbrella school, she can recieve her diploma? It’s confusing because I read FLVS FLEX doesn’t receive a diploma but FLVS Fulltime does.

    Reply
    1. FLVS

      Hi there! If your daughter is registered with an umbrella school, then that would be considered her formal school of record. They may offer diplomas through their institution (even if she is taking some or all of her courses through FLVS Flex). FLVS Flex does not issue diplomas directly, as it is intended to provide courses on an individual basis. FLVS Full Time is our comprehensive public school option that does offer diplomas to graduates. This post should help to clarify the differences! https://blog.flvs.net/differences-between-flvs-flex-and-flvs-full-time

      Reply
  7. Shalini

    My son is in 5th grade and he would like to take Spanish as a flex FLVS course. Would he need to start at the introduction level? If so, how long are each of the sessions and will he be able to complete through the 5th grade session by the time he enters 6th grade?

    Reply
  8. Ester

    I’m looking to do math for my 3rd and 4th graders through FLVS flex, because they have practice during the day they wouldn’t be able to make the “live” classes. What are the alternatives to the live class?

    Reply
    1. FLVS

      Hi Ester! The live Class Time sessions are recorded so your students can watch at their convenience. While Class Time is recommended as a great way to interact and engage with teachers and peers, only two sessions are required to be attended live for credit.

      Reply
  9. LESLIE LADNER

    If my student transfers to Flex Elementary after finishing the first semester in a traditional classroom successfully, will he receive credit for that semester or will he have to start again at the beginning?

    Reply
  10. Michelle L Consalvi

    How does flex work with traditional school? What would my son do during math instruction each day, if he he is taking math through flvs flex? Can he get on the computer in the classroom and work on his flex course? Can he still go to traditional school for the entire day? I am not happy with the manner the school system approaches math and I am considering signing my son up for that one class.

    Reply
    1. Marissa DraegerFLVS

      Hi Michelle! If you would like your son to continue to attend his traditional school, this is something you can discuss with the administration and/or counselors at your current school. They can discuss your options and whether it’s possible for him to participate in an online course while he’s at school (perhaps in a computer lab setting) or to take an online class from home to supplement his other studies.

      Reply
  11. Tammy

    My grandson is 3rd grade level on a K1 reading level..and 3rd grade for math. Can he be enrolled in a lower grade than he actually is.. and then math a different level?

    Reply
    1. Marissa DraegerFLVS

      Hi Tammy! It is possible to sign up for different grade levels by subject based on your child’s academic needs. Give our elementary team a call at 407-513-3604 and they will be happy to provide more information specific to your needs.

      Reply
  12. Ashleigh

    Are homeschool students enrolled in FLVS FLEX able to participate in monthly meet ups and field trips? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Marissa DraegerFLVS

      Hi Ashleigh! As of right now, our monthly meetups are exclusive to FLVS Full Time. FLVS Flex does offer some face-to-face opportunities, but these are usually hosted by club sponsors or specific teachers for certain subject areas. On the elementary level, we do host a few additional regional field trips for Flex students in younger grades. We hope this helps!

      Reply
  13. Dennys

    Hi. My daughter is in 2nd grade gifted in her school. Her reading assessments, A.R. level and all related evaluations place her in 6th grade reading level. Could I keep her in her school, stop attending language there and sign up for a higher grade language in FLVS Flex?

    Reply
  14. Sharhonda

    Are flex students required to take the FSA test as it is required in traditional public school or can it be opted out?

    Reply
    1. Marissa DraegerFLVS

      If registered with their local school district as a homeschool student, state testing is not required. If the student is taking one or more elementary courses while enrolled at their traditional school, they will follow their local school requirements.

      Reply
  15. Sherrelle

    If my son is going to 1st grade, but I want him have a refresher for Kindergarten reading, would that affect his grade in traditional school?
    He struggled a lot during this year in kindergarten and I want to reinforce some of his core learning this summer before school starts up for 2019-2020 school term.

    Reply
  16. Jen

    My son struggled with math and ela this year, and I want him to retake these classes over the summer so he can be better prepared for next school year. Can we do this?

    Reply
    1. Marissa DraegerFLVS

      Hi Jen! If your son attends a public or private school, you can discuss this as an option with your current school. For students attending a traditional school, a school administrator or staff member will be required to approve the online course enrollments. If you have more questions, please contact our elementary team at 407-513-3604.

      Reply
  17. Malaina Sturgill

    Hi there, my family will be moving to Florida at the end of July. I have a son going into 8th, a daughter who will be entering 7th and a son going into 5th. I’m interested in signing them up for the Flex. Is that considered homeschooling? Is it still a public school curriculum just at your own pace kind of thing? Does the Flex program have the same school days off? Summer vacation? As part of the Flex, would our kids need to take the FSA? Sorry for all the questions, I’m new at this and find all this a little overwhelming. I have no idea where to start.

    Reply
      1. AC

        From what I’ve read, with Flex you follow your own schedule that you make up with the teacher. You do not have to take the state required testing like the FSA’s, However there is other testing required to insure they have learned the material. Because you dont take the required testing, they also do not offer a diploma through Flex either. Hope this helps!

        Reply
  18. AC

    If I start with Flex at grades 2 and 5 for my kids can I switch to Fulltime by Highschool and have them still receive their Diplomas? What would they have to do to switch for that?

    Reply

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