School closed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
(virus picture from here (

Virtual education is the only option being offered for most students in Prince William County beginning in September through October 31. But that’s not where it needs to stop.

After schools closed in March, many families discovered they could manage education at home and want to continue with an alternative to PWC virtual classes. You prefer to decide what your kids learn and how the material is presented.

Many variations are available for parents or grandparents to provide for their children. Each resource has a unique approach to your needs as a teaching parent and your learning students. Check each of them until you are comfortable with moving forward by following the mix that works for you. Remember: when you go through a buffet, no two plates look exactly the same when you sit down to eat. Your choices work for you!

Alternative virtual learning programs. Your children go to school on a learning device, but the curriculum is of your choosing. This list is not inclusive, but gives you some idea of what is available according to your needs, interest and budget:

Virginia Virtual Academy for K-12 public school education. “Virginia Virtual Academy, a program of the King and Queen County Public Schools, the Patrick County Public Schools and the Richmond City Public Schools, awakens the power of learning in every student through a personalized program of engaging courses, caring teachers, and a vibrant school community.” It is not clear whether or not this program is limited to the counties listed above. See Virginia Virtual Academy.

Connections academy, a free on-line public school: Pearson Online Academy.

Adventure Academy is a free entry, but cost-involved on-line education program for kids 8-13: Adventure Academy.

When schools closed in March, high school students were especially smitten, because their aspirations for graduation and going to college were suddenly on hold. Or delayed. Check out the following web site if you’re considering an alternative high school experience for your teen: The George Washington University Online High School— Imagine the Possibilities.

Homeschool choices. You provide the structure and curriculum and guide your children in the learning process. Most rely on paper and pencil, not the computer, so you make the learning experience most like the school classroom with your own learning materials.

To give you a curriculum to follow and materials to use in your home classroom, consider Discount School Supplies: Discount School Supplies.

You can find study materials for any subject your child will study and curriculum guides so you can develop your own unique teaching map. Sign up for their e-mail updates, too.

Another web site that assists you in providing a full learning experience for your children is A 2 Z Homeschooling: A 2 Z Homeschooling.

You will find many, many helps for making your child’s home learning program fit your budget and learning needs.

Once you decide the curriculum and need learning/teaching materials, you can find an array at Christian Book: Christian Book. They offer a great array of materials based on curriculum, subjects, electives and best sellers.

Thought Co. is a great resource for families just breaking into home school in any format: ThoughtCo. This website offers tons of free resources to help you plan and carry through a curriculum for each of your learners. You just need access to the internet and a learning device.

One of the biggest concerns for new homeschool parents—or those who find themselves unexpectedly homeschooling due to school closures—is the cost. There are many ways to save money on a homeschool curriculum ( There are even virtual field trips and space exploration tours available. The best part? Many of these tools are available online for no cost. (continued here (

Freedom Home Schooling offers help with curriculum for your students and then directing you to the appropriate materials: Freedom Homeschooling. Here you choose the subject and then plan the learning pattern with options, some free, some with a cost. K-12.

At Freedom Homeschooling you will find the best selection of free homeschool curriculum available online, in one convenient location. We hope our efforts help give you the freedom to provide your children with a high-quality education, on even the lowest budget. (from here (

Timberdoodle is unique in that it helps parents understand how their children actually learn and then prompt you in selecting the right materials for schooling at home, course content by subject: Timberdoodle.

Private schools for classroom learning. Children attend classes with teachers to guide their learning experience, the proven best method for learning.

Prince William County and surrounding counties/communities have a limited number of private schools that require a hefty tuition, but offer individualized classroom learning experiences.

WAVA-FM 105.1 offers links to a number of private schools with half-price tuition options for first-time enrollees. When you sign in at WAVA, enter the keyword ‘school’ to go to a list of available half-price scholarships (Here is the link, Half-Priced Tuition Schools.).

While this buffet of helps for parents and their kids isn’t all-inclusive, it gives you an idea of what is available to let you take the next steps in your children’s education. Explore and find what fits! You can do it. There is no better time than now. God bless you!

— Posted by Tom Salmon for Doris, a fellow member of the Prince William and Manassas Family Alliance

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  1. You know Tom— all of this buffet mess, which is such an apt description, is merely going to stretch already stretched teachers to a breaking point.
    My daughter-n-law is having to plan and teach in person, keep the kids in the room all day now without a planning period plus having them lunch in the room then also prepare lessons for those opting for on-line instruction— so that means working all night at home— never mind her own young family— this is all so ridiculous— we need it either / or— and not everything and the kitchen sink!!

  2. Rudy U Martinka says:

    Another reason for school choice or school vouchers in my opinion. Appears parents who send there children to private schools have more parental choice instead of government choice..
    However as you stated, “private schools that require a hefty tuition”
    I wonder if in comparison to what amount is allocated by your State Government student is even more hefty or less hefty n comparison to the private schools tuition?
    Regards and goodwill sill blogging.

    • Tom Salmon says:

      What the government spends per student would easily cover tuition at a private school. I sent my children to private schools. It gets complicated when they hit high school. The public high schools have several thousand children. So they can offer specialized advance placement (AP) classes. That is a bit difficult for small private schools. Still, if we went to a private market, the marketplace would quickly work out something, especially with online learning.

      The alternative is self study. When my older daughter wanted an AP in Calculus III, she and one other student were the only ones interested. So, they got a Math teacher to sponsor them and they did the course by self study. They were smart enough and disciplined enough to pull it off, which is what we should expect from students taking an AP class.

  3. Salvageable says:

    Parents that take the time to choose curriculum carefully have probably already been mentoring their children and giving them options to the public school agenda. Many parents will simply accept the material recommended by the public school, which will only reinforce the agenda that was already being pursued in the classrooms. J.

    • Tom Salmon says:


      I am just hoping that parents are beginning to see that teachers unions and many of the politicians don’t much care for theit children

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