Student Accomplishments

Meet FLVS Student Zac

By on September 11th, 2015

ZacMeet Florida Virtual School student Zac Pullam.

Zac has been with FLVS since the summer of 2014. He is a homeschool student, although he takes a pretty full load of classes with FLVS.

In January of 2013, Zachary and I (his mom) headed out to Hollywood for him to pursue his dream of becoming an actor – a decision his dad and I made together. We had the support of our community and his teachers, as well as his principal.

We withdrew him from his current elementary school in Tallahassee and began to homeschool him while in CA. We were there through June, then returned home to Florida for a few weeks. Continue reading


Never Stop Exploring

By on September 4th, 2015

This is the fifth post in a series by the Cooney family about their world travels, made possible by the flexible learning offered at FLVS.

Cooney World Adventures 5

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

In Margret Mitchell’s novel, “Gone with the Wind,” Gerald O’Hara states that, “Land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.” While I agree that the preservation of natural places is one of the most important goals, Mitchell’s character is only partly right, in that there are other things in life worth the effort as well. There are non-material events and knowledge, which are incommensurable.  Continue reading


Meet FLVS Student Kayla

By on August 14th, 2015

FLVS Student Kayla

Kayla loved school.
She loved her teachers.
She loved her friends.

However, she really struggled with staying focused and was morally disappointed by the various distractions at her public school. She wanted to do more, see more, accomplish more – and she did.

Kayla researched Florida Virtual School, made phone calls, and spoke with her Dad and I about doing FLVS from home for her junior year of high school. Continue reading


5 Ways to Stay Safe While Traveling the World

By on August 5th, 2015

This is the fourth post in a series by the Cooney family about their world travels, made possible by the flexible learning offered at FLVS.

Cooney Adventures 4Travel Safety Awareness Month is the perfect time to address one of the questions we were often asked before leaving on an around-the-world trek.

“Aren’t you afraid to travel to other countries with your family?”

As we all know, there is risk in nearly everything we do.  Whether taking a shower, driving to work, walking across the street, shopping at the grocery store, going to the movie theater, or skydiving, there is inherent risk in everything we do.  If you don’t think so, just count the number of attorney ads on TV, radio, and social media. Even after our trek, the question of safety continues to be asked when I give talks about our adventure.

Continue reading


Making the Journey the Destination

By on July 14th, 2015

This is the third post in a series by the Cooney family about their world travels, made possible by the flexible learning offered at FLVS.

Cooney World Adventures Issue 3“There once was a man who became unstuck in the world. He realized that he was not his car, he realized that he was not his job, he was not his phone, his desk or his shoes. Like a boat cut from its anchor, he’d begin to drift. He took the wind for a map, he took the sky for a clock, and he set off with no destination. He was never lost.” – Castles in the Sky

Seeing the world will change your life.

There is simply no way around it. Once you take the first step in your journey to understand a new culture, learn a different language, climb a higher mountain, or sail across a deeper sea, you will never be the same. Continue reading


Traveling the World with Family: A Mom’s Perspective

By on June 5th, 2015

This is the second post in a series by the Cooney family about their world travels, made possible by the flexible learning offered at FLVS.

Cooney Family AdventuresWhen Mike and I decided to take off for a year to travel the world with our three teenage sons, the decision was the easy part.

Walking away from the life we currently knew was the difficult part.  After we made the decision in 2005, we went into planning mode.  We all had our respective roles.

In between running an online business, homeschooling our three sons through Florida Virtual School, and carting them to various activities, I spent copious hours researching travel websites and books, creating a budget, and finding places where we could immerse ourselves in the culture.  What we all discovered is that planning is definitely necessary, however, it is also equally important to have a plan B, C, or D. An even better option is to learn to go with the flow! Continue reading


Creating Global Citizens One Country at a Time

By on May 4th, 2015

This is the first post in a series by the Cooney family about their world travels, made possible by the flexible learning offered at FLVS.

Cooney1_coverDo you ever dream of traveling the world with your family?

Have you wondered what it would be like to sell or donate all your stuff to become 21st century nomads?

Have you ever considered the benefits of giving students a hands-on, immersive education to complement and enhance a traditional classroom experience?

A series of stories over the next several months by members of the Cooney family (including three FLVS alumni) will answer these and many other questions about what it’s like to travel the world as a family. Continue reading


What It Was Like To Break A World Record

By on April 28th, 2015

Pavlina coverAs published on HerAgenda.com

17-year-old journalist Pavlina Osta set a new Guinness World Record for most radio interviews in 24 hours. Here’s how she did it.

Throughout elementary school I remember going to the library and checking out American Girl books, but on the way to the check out counter, I’d always pass the open book in the reference center of Guinness World Records.

It wasn’t possible for me to even think of myself someday being in the book. I mean, a World Record? Me? Doing what? What could I do better than anyone else in the world?

I wasn’t thinking negatively – just realistically. Continue reading