Making a Difference:
KET Distance Learning
We started German at KET with Kelsey because I wanted her to be an exchange student in Germany.
Driving onto the Weber family property in rural Casey County near Gravel Switch, you get a sense of permanence. There's the natural features—a creek with otter and muskrats, trees in abundance.
Then, continuing up the curving driveway, the timelessness of the place is apparent. Though the antebellum home that once graced the hilltop is gone, replaced by a modern modular home, you still can feel the age in the tall trees, barns, and heirloom flowers.
This peace and permanence Stephanie and Steve Weber have created extends to how they raise their children—which includes their homeschool, the exchange students they host, and distance-learning classes from KET that they use.
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"I was very interested in online courses—I'd seen them on the Internet, but I was just intimidated because there's so many choices," said Stephanie, who now teaches four of her five children at home: Loren and Brett, both 14; Ethan, 12; and Phoebe, 10. Her eldest, Kelsey, is now a student at Eastern Kentucky University, and it was with her that Stephanie began her career as a homeschooling mom.
"We started German at KET with Kelsey because I wanted her to be an exchange student in Germany—and we also hosted a German student," she said. Kelsey later was awarded a scholarship through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program, a joint effort of the U.S. and German governments.
"While she was in Germany I noticed that KET also had Latin," said Stephanie, who also serves as a regional coordinator for an exchange-student program.
"I had some Latin books and with Kelsey we studied word roots, that sort of thing. But I wanted something more structured. Brett and Loren took Latin first and they loved it—loved it!"
Stephanie says that Latin in particular has been especially welcome in her instruction. "It's one of those classes that hits so many different areas. It's not just the language itself, but there's mythology, history, and English of course.
"It's very well-structured. Each lesson is outlined with which day it goes with," she continued. "It's very simple for them to open up and look and see what they need to do for that day." Frequent tutoring sessions with instructor Ann Denny using Skype have been a boon as well, Stephanie says.
Preparation for College
Now that all four children are enrolled in not only Latin but German as well, Stephanie finds that the courses have helped prepare them for the schoolwork that lies ahead—even looking toward college.
"It's not about the grades, it's learning how to study, learning time management, learning how to write and compose papers," she said.
"Academics have always been very important to me. I so admire intellectuals and I want my kids to have that great foundation —and Latin I felt like is the basis."
Originally developed more than 20 years ago to meet the need for more pre-college courses, KET Distance Learning is now a premier provider among online learning services. Kentucky middle and high school students may access KET Distance Learning through their schools.
The Webers access KET Distance Learning through the Barren Academy of Virtual and Expanded Learning (BAVEL), a fully accredited, diploma-granting, public high school recognized by the Kentucky Department of Education. BAVEL curriculum is provided primarily by the Kentucky Virtual High School at KDE.
Like the Webers, students who take one KET course often look for opportunities to take more. KET Distance Learning includes two College Board-authorized courses—AP Latin Vergil and AP Physics B, as well as rigorous classes in German, Latin and physics. Students learn though lessons online or on CD-ROM or DVD, applying what they've learned through interactive activities like the Virtual Physics Labs, telephone tutoring sessions, or Skype.
For more information, call 800-333-9764 or visit us online at KET Distance Learning.