OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Making sure kids who are home schooled are well educated. That's the goal of a new Omaha Public Schools program that uses technology to promote what the district calls blended learning. There are currently 200 kindergarten through 10th grade students enrolled at Omaha Virtual School.
For the Jensen family, home schooling seemed to be a perfect fit. “Home schooling for us was more about a flexibility for our family just so that we could kind of prioritize our family schedule and just be able to maximize our time together,” said mom, Nicole Jensen.
But for this type of home-schooling Jensen isn't the girls' only teacher. “We require a strong, strong parent involvement and a partnership with our teachers and our school,” said the director of Omaha Virtual School, Wendy Loewensein.
This school is a combination of in-person and at-home learning. Once a week, students go to a classroom setting. “One of the misconceptions would be that our students are on the computer all day, and they're not,” said Loewenstein, “along with the textbooks they get manipulatives, charts, graphs, materials for science experiments."
And the blended learning is perfect for the Jensen girls. “At OVS we can go and meet people our age and hang out and talk about school and relate to different stuff,” said 6th grader, Noelle Jensen.
“Public school you have to go to school and you need to go home and do all your work and then go to sleep, you don't get much time with your family,” said 2nd grader, Naya Jensen.
“Since I’m very introverted and I don't like to be called on in class that much or have all the attention on me I think it's nice just at school there's not as many kids and the teachers just work with you one-on-one,” said 8th grader, Joleigh Jensen,
“I'm probably one of the favorites in the class,” said 4th grader, Jelin Jensen. Loewenstein recognizes this type of learning isn't for everyone but Jensen says if you can commit the time it's worth all the benefits. “It's given us opportunities we wouldn't have had otherwise,” said Nicole Jensen.
Next school year OVS will add 11th grade learning and 12th grade the following year. Click here to find more information about the school and enrollment.