Thursday, March 16, 2017

Homeschooling: The Skinny on Connections Academy

I have been homeschooling Akaiysha for a year now, and we have just finished enrolling for another year of homeschooling. I have received a lot of questions from other parents about how to do it, how to sign up, what it entails, etc. So, instead of posting a huge post on Facebook, I figured I'd put all the information together for you here.
The School

I homeschool through Connections Academy which is a public homeschool. 

That means that the way I homeschool is completely legal, and I don't have to worry about keeping records, or filling out extensive forms. I simply enroll Akaiysha each year, turn in the proper paperwork like immunization forms and proof of residency, and the school takes care of the legalities. 


It is completely free...there is no registration fee, there are no shipping fees, nothing. You can even apply for one of the computers the school lends out if you do not have access to your own computer. The only requirement is that you have access to an internet connection in order for your child to access the lessons and turn in their homework. This could be an at-home connection (which is recommended) or you could take your child to the library if that is what you need to do.


The school will send you a box of supplies, usually it comes in July, and this is also completely free. They ask that you send the materials back at the end of the school year, which I believe is also free (I haven't gotten to that yet, so I will update with certainty when I do.) 


Your child will have teachers for each subject online. There will also be a 'main' teacher assigned to your child that will call every other week to check up and see how things are going. This is normally a very short phone call, but it is especially useful when your child is having problems, or if you don't understand something. 

Your child has access to their teachers at all times, they can call or send them a quick email throughout the day. The teachers are fast a responding during business hours, most of the time. If a teacher is going to be out of the office they send out an email stating as much. 

Your Job

Your child will have teachers, you are their learning coach. It is your job to keep your child on task, take attendance, and mark their assignments as complete. This literally takes less than 10 minutes, and is meant as an opportunity for you to make sure your child is keeping up with their assignments. 


One of the biggest concerns I hear from parents is the concern about their child being socialized. Connections does a fantastic job at putting together 'field trips' to bring other homeschooled children together throughout the year. Additionally, there are clubs and extracurriculars that your child can be a part of that allow them to socialize with other homeschooled children. Further, you can also put your child in activities outside of the school, such as softball/baseball, basketball, music lessons, and other clubs or activities. School is about learning, not socialization. 

Personal Opinion

I am so pleased with Connections. They have allowed us the opportunity to change my daughter's world. She was being bullied by not only the children at her middle school, but also the administration. For 2 years I tried to help her. Her grades were failing, but, the school kept pushing her forward. She was miserable, she began self-harming, having suicidal thoughts, her self-esteem dropped drastically. I knew that I had to do something!
Luckily, Connections gave us an opportunity that we would have otherwise not had. I am a full-time student, I have two jobs, and I have two children. I do not have the time to plan lessons and teach my daughter. Connections provides this for you though, which is why we could remove our daughter from public school, and switch to homeschooling. We had looked at every option; switching to another public school, sending her to the Christian school, and homeschooling through the public school. However, private school was too expensive and, like I said, I just don't have the time to plan lessons and organize a curriculum. I am forever grateful that Connections exists. My daughter's self-esteem has increased phenomenally, our relationship has improved exponentially. While she attended public school, we hardly spoke. She resented me for making her go to school, and she was miserable and projected her misery onto me. Now, she is so much happier, she is less stressed, and she is actually learning the material she is presented with. Her grades went from F's to A's and B's! She will actually pass 8th grade, instead of just being pushed through.
The decision to homeschool her is one I will never regret!

I really hope this information helps. I will add to it as I learn more, or if anything changes. If you have any questions, need help setting anything up, or just want to chat a little more about homeschooling, please feel free to comment here or find me on facebook/alaina.ellington. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Family Update: February 25, 2011

Well, looks like I haven't updated in over a year :(

So what's our family up to these days? We are still living in the same place, and Michael is still working at Siemens. Akaiysha is now in second grade!

Softball season will be starting soon, and we are busy getting ready for that. Also Akaiysha is in Girl Scouts this year, and cookies just came in! So that's pretty busy too. She will be turning 8 April 1. Time sure does fly!

Mason will be starting school soon and we are learning our letters. He is really looking forward to playing with other kids and learning. He will be 4 on May 26, my last baby is growing up!

As for me, well I have started Ellington Photography and am looking forward to lots of Spring and Summer shoots. I am also still blogging, which is loads of fun :) (

So how is everyone? What has everyone been up to?

Monday, January 25, 2010


This is our beautiful and wonderful Lab Roxy! She is 14 months old, and although we love her dearly we are looking for a new home for her. We feel that she deserves to run, and because we live in town she is not able to stretch her legs as often as we would like.
Roxy is very playful! She is a very sweet and lovable puppy. Because she hasn't ever had to be, she is not a dominant dog. Roxy is extremely smart and picks up on anything you want her to do very quickly. She is wonderful with children, and other animals. She only wants to play.
Because she loves being outside she has not been house broken, however because she is such a smart pup she would be very easy to train.
We are willing to give Roxy away absolutely free, as long as you are willing to take very good care of her and love her dearly.
If you are interested please e-mail me at or call 319-258-2109 (leave a message.)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Year's Eve

I realize that New Years Eve was 10 days ago, but I am just now getting around to posting about it...posting which does include pictures!

So I know that for the most part traditionally everyone goes out, gets drunk, and parties to bring in the new year...however becoming a parent changes everything, not to mention I had no desire what-so-ever to go drinking. So instead we stayed in with the babies and Akaiysha had a sleepover with her best friend Ally.

[Ally is on the left, Akaiysha on the right]

The girls actually made it until midnight. They passed the time by playing with their Littlest Pet Shop stuff, Barbie's, and then we all watched movies and ate popcorn, and played games! When midnight rolled around the only person in bed was baby Mason. We watched the ball drop on television, which ended up being a disappointment because they didn't really show the ball dropping, only all the people who were standing around New York.

The girls also wanted me to do their hair so this is what we came up with:

We did 3 french braids, 2 on top one on the bottom, all coming together to form a sloppy bun. It ended up being entirely too cute!

The kid's also had sparkling grape juice with their pizza and I enjoyed one glass of wine, Mike stuck to soda.

It was a great night! I'm glad that I chose to spend it with my babies!! I definitely felt grateful in the morning when I woke up without a hangover! : )

So how did you spend New Year's Eve?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Akaiysha Kelsey Marie

Akaiysha is a beautiful little princess. She is six years old, and is looking forward to her seventh birthday in April. She is an April Fool's baby, coming 2 weeks late she really did fool us all.

She enjoys playing and spending time with her BFF, Ally, playing barbies and littlest pet shop, and we can't forget playing her DS Grandma got her for Christmas! Akaiysha is now in first grade, reading at around a third to fifth grade level. (It mostly depends on her attitude, and what she is willing to do that day.) She has worked very hard to be one of the top colorers in her class, so I will be showcasing some of her work for the world to see, because of course I am a very proud mommy.

Akaiysha loves the Lord with the passion of an adult and the heart of a child. She's on fire for Him. She would love to save everyone in the world, and there are Sunday's when it is her dragging our butts out of bed to go to church!

Mason Michael Thomas

This is Mason...He is two years old. He has an unreal obsession with vacuums...maybe it's because he sees me cleaning all the time, or it could just be that vacuuming is fun, either way he loves them! He got his very first vacuum for Christmas this year, and guess what, it actually sucks a he is ecstatic! 

As any two year old boy, or any age for that matter, he loves Thomas the train and Lightning McQueen right along with Mater and Percy, their side-kicks. 

He is a very well-behaved two year old. Quiet for the most part, he gets that from his daddy. It takes him awhile to warm up to a new person. He is a mama's boy, and my little cuddle bug. He has recently learned that if he tells mommy that he's scared of the "monstew over 'der" then he gets to cuddle up in mommy's bed, so he's taking advantage of that and so am I! They are only little for so long!

Well that's on to the rest of the family :)