Focused, Flexible, Fearless: The Thompson Family, PA Cyber
PA Cyber’s public online program helps this unique Philly family live their dreams.
PA Cyber’s student-centered instructional model recognizes the innate differences and unique abilities of each individual child, allowing them to thrive at their own pace. Following their own lifestyles and ambitions, students can personalize their education with both live and self-paced instruction.
For sisters Veriteady and Klere Kado Thompson, the flexible-but-focused learning model of this K-12 tuition-free online public school has paved the way for their exceptional lives. At ages 10 and 8, respectively, they are already published authors and budding community leaders.
Breezing through both kindergarten and first grade in her first year at PA Cyber, Veriteady has been able to stay challenged and learn at her own pace. Now age 10, she is currently in the sixth grade. Her 8-year-old sister Klere Kado is in third grade, also at PA Cyber. They round out their week with extracurriculars such as cheer, gymnastics, and Girl Scouts. They also maintain friendships (and practice their handwriting) via PA Cyber’s pen pal program that pairs up students across the state.
Their mother, Tanisha Singleton Thompson says, “It’s a great choice for our lifestyle.”
The family spends weekends in the Poconos, and is able to pick up and go while taking school with them. And when COVID-19 shut schools down across the state in March 2020, PA Cyber was able to keep the kids learning. “Having the kids in cyber school was the best decision I ever made because there was not a beat skipped during the pandemic.”
More importantly, being freed from the constraints of time and space means that PA Cyber students can live their dreams while staying engaged with their teachers and peers.
For the Thompson girls, this meant writing and publishing a children’s book with their mother. It’s Time To Comb Your Hair tells a sweet, funny story about a little girl who tries to find creative ways to avoid her mother combing her hair—a battle the Thompsons know all too well. “The important part is the patience that her mom has, and the bonding that they have with each other. And that’s what happens when I do my daughters’ hair,” Tanisha says. Staying home together for school and work, Tanisha and her daughters have had years of routines, memories, and quality time that they are now able to share with the world through their book.
Not only has their flexible structure allowed them time to write and promote their book, but the exceptional access and openness of PA Cyber’s teachers means that they can reach out and ask for extra help and resources. Most recently, they were interested in learning to write in cursive—a formal handwriting curriculum dropped by many schools recently—and the guidance counselor sent extra materials. Tanisha cheers, “Now they can autograph their books!”
Want to know more? Online information sessions occur regularly at pacyber.org/session.
Photos by Perfectly Paired Photography. PA Cyber supports the Philadelphia Family Community.