How a K12 Education Works

At K12, we deliver individualized learning for each and every student.

Many children simply cannot get the individually focused and flexible learning they need in a traditional classroom. Parents and educators who choose K12 understand the great potential of an individualized education.

K12 Families Coast to Coast


Exceptional Education, Powerful Approach

The K12 curriculum and patented methodology for online learning is ideal for harnessing this powerful approach to learning. Whether parents choose K12 with teacher-support or for independent study, core elements include:

  • Graphic image for K12 Top 5 Myths About Online Learning. Get the true story.Rich, challenging, and engaging content, delivered in state-of-the-art online lessons along with traditional materials, including textbooks, CDs, videos, and hands-on manipulatives that complement interactive online learning. This rich mix of content allows us to deliver lessons in diverse ways that accommodate diverse learning styles.
  • An Individualized Learning Plan designed for each child to ensure a customized program that fits each child’s unique strengths, weaknesses, learning styles and aptitudes.
  • A learning coach (typically the parent) who facilitates progress through daily lessons in the K–8 environment and who plays a supportive role to help the student stay on task in high school.
  • Cutting-edge technology that enables individualized learning to happen anytime, anywhere. The online school itself provides daily lesson plans that automatically update as the child progresses, as well as delivering announcements, online school discussions, and communication and support tools to tie the experience together.

The Virtual School, Teacher Support Model

  • Well-qualified, state-certified teachers are trained directly by K12 to teach students enrolled in K12 partner schools. In K–8, one teacher is typically assigned per student to direct the learning coach, manage the Individualized Learning Plan, monitor progress, and to focus on each student’s individual problem areas. In high school, a team of subject-specific teachers are assigned to each student and conduct online lectures and discussions, hold office hours, set and grade assignments, and assign grades.
  • State standards are adhered to, with required attendance, standardized testing, and rigorous assessments.
  • For families enrolling full-time in one of our partner schools or our private academy, individual learning with K12 courses is only part of the overall educational experience. K12 offers a comprehensive K–8 program and high school program, combining people, courses, orientation and support, services, helpful tools, and a robust online and offline community–all of which makes for a deeply rewarding school experience.  

The "Learning Coach" and Teacher Roles in Grades K-8

In our K–8 Virtual Schools, the parent (or other responsible adult), working in conjunction with the teacher, serves as a "learning coach" to your child, helping facilitate progress through the daily lessons and working to modify the pace and schedule according to your child's needs.

Although parents play the role of learning coach for their students in managing the schedule and ensuring the student is completing work at a reasonable pace, teachers remain constantly involved to monitor progress, ensure mastery, and develop specific intervention plans when a child is struggling. The teacher manages all facets of the instructional experience in K12 partner schools.

Suggested lesson plans are provided to you each week, which updates automatically as your child progresses. You can vary the lesson plan to accommodate your child's pace or abilities: for instance, some kids do better when they can concentrate their math studies for longer hours per day but fewer days per week. Other parents use their children's favorite subject as a reward to give the child a break periodically from tougher subjects.

  • Parents of children in grades K–6 can expect to spend 3–5 hours per day supporting their child's education.
  • In grades 7–8, learning coach time typically decreases to about 2 hours per day as your child becomes more independent.
  • You can expect that your child will spend 5–6 hours per day on coursework and homework, which most parents believe is "just right."

Have no fear: when you join the K12 family, we provide an array of practical advice, tips, and substantial support.

In High School, Parents Step Back, But Not Away

The parent still plays an important supportive role to help the student stay on task and ensure the student is following through on his or her assignments. During high school, though, the student is expected to start managing his or her own time and academic schedule more directly.

Online high school courses are taught by teachers specifically experienced in their respective subjects, so each student has a different teacher for each subject, just as they do in a traditional high school setting. They grade students' assignments and review assessments, respond to student questions via e-mail or phone, conduct online full-class discussions, as well as tutorial sessions to reinforce difficult topics, and offer online "office hours" to allow students to "drop in" with questions.

These teachers are responsible for reviewing all student work and providing instructional feedback. The student is expected to move at a more consistent pace with her or his "class," in each subject, though there is room for flexibility.

With K12 teachers at the helm, parents don't need to worry about having expertise in high school subjects.