Our Goal

Through active leadership in the trailblazing efforts of home, charter, private and international schools GSN takes students to their ultimate destination – a successful collegiate or vocational career in America. Global Student Network is the pre-eminent service provider to the […]



Global Student Network’s mission is to provide alternative educational options, designed to improve the academic preparation, achievement and general well being of non-traditionally oriented elementary, middle and high school age students and most recently offering solutions to adult learners.

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Gearing Up for Homeschool


No, this isn’t an attempt to re-create the Clampetts. This is our van loaded for a one week camping trip. It was Yellowstone or bust! And the van did nearly bust at the seams with all the accommodations needed for eight people. With two car top carriers and every inch of interior space crammed, we went; we saw; we made a lot of great memories.

Gearing up for any adventure takes a great deal of thoughtful planning and careful preparation! We have been gearing up for another adventure lately as the beginning of the school year is upon us. There are things to acquire, decisions to be made, options to be weighed.

Are you gearing up for a homeschool adventure? Here are a few things to consider:

Choose your equipment wisely. Our trek to Wyoming required tents, sleeping bags, coolers, food, hiking shoes and packs, and a good dose of stamina! To accomplish your homeschool goal, you will need to choose your tools – the most important being the homeschool curriculum you will use. There are so many choices out there. Some families follow a traditional approach with workbooks and possibly DVDs. Other families enroll their students in an online school staffed by certified teachers. Many families make the most of the many online curriculum choices available. Online curriculum is popular because it provides so much material in a cost-effective format. Internet-based learning means that families can choose the schedule and students can work at their own pace. Most online tracks progress so parents can see exactly what students have learned and what they need to learn.

One source for choosing online curriculum is Global Student Network. This warehouse of online curriculum offers six different accredited learning systems for grades K -12 from one location. Choices include Christian, secular, Honors, Common Core, non Common core, career/technical, Rosetta Stone, and numerous high school electives. GSN’s website (www.globalstudentnetwork.com) gives you a side-by-side comparison as well as demos of the various curricula. GSN also provides “real people” who can assist with questions.

Don’t forget anyone! So far our family has a perfect record. We haven’t forgotten anyone yet – Yellowstone or elsewhere! With a family of five kids, that is saying something! Counting noses comes as natural as breathing when we are out and about with the clan.

When preparing for a homeschool adventure, don’t forget anyone! For example, if you have a highly visual learner, don’t forget to choose learning tools that will make the most of that strength. If you have a learner that needs complete quiet in order to concentrate, don’t forget to create an environment that will enable them to succeed. Have an active one? Don’t forget to plan for times to move around. Considering each student’s needs means no one gets left behind on your learning adventure.

Know where you’re headed. A clear destination and a clear way of getting there is invaluable, whether you’re headed through the Grand Tetons or through grade 5 homeschool! Do you want to include music lessons? Is playing a sports team important? Does your student want to work on an advanced math level? After you think through exactly what your goals are, write them out. Then plan exactly how you will reach those goals.

Be prepared for anything. No matter how carefully you plan and prepare, something will come up that you were not expecting. For us, the trip took much longer than we had planned. That meant we were setting up our tents with darkness threatening and hungry kids asking for dinner. In the rain. Not ideal, not what we expected, but part of the adventure nonetheless! For us, the key to surviving these moments is recognizing them as just that – moments! They do not define the whole experience.

In your homeschool journey, there will be days that do not go according to plan. There will be moments of utter frustration. Likely you will at some point wonder if you even made the right choice to homeschool! Prepare for these moments by finding support like a fellow homeschool parent who can empathize with you and offer encouragement. And be ready to help that parent keep sight of the big picture when they need perspective too.

Being prepared for anything also means that sometimes the greatest learning comes in the unplanned moments. The beauty of homeschool is you can teach in the moment. If a spider suddenly shows up right in the middle of multiplication facts, you have the freedom to take a break from the four times tables and do some arachnid research. It seems at times being flexible with your planning is as important as the planning itself.

So happy packing! And all the best on your upcoming journey! May you arrive at the end the school year busting at the seams with great learning and meaningful memories.


Surf’s Up! Student Spotlight – Evan Brownell


Student Spotlight – Evan Brownell

Evan Brownell is a 15 year old International Virtual Learning Academy student from St. Augustine, Florida.  Like many IVLA students, Evan’s family chose online learning because the flexibility enables him to pursue something very special.  In Evan’s case – surfing!

I had the privilege of asking Evan a few questions recently.  Here is what he had to say.

When did you start surfing?

I started surfing as soon as I could swim, about age 3.  My dad pushed me in and I was hooked.

Are you on a team?

I am not on a surf team, but I do have sponsors.  My sponsors are Cobian Footware, Lost clothing, Sun Bum sunscreen and my local surf shop, The Surf Station.  

(I have to ask) Have you ever seen a shark?

I have seen plenty of sharks.  They live where I play, but I try to stay out of their way.  New Smyrna Inlet, FL, is the shark bite capital of the world, but fortunately I have never been bitten.  New Smyrna has consistent waves and is only an hour drive from my house.

DSC_0222What do you love best about surfing?

What I love best about surfing is the thrill of riding the biggest, longest waves.  I like being in the ocean.  I like that surfing takes me to new places and I get to meet new people who love to do what I do.

What are the favorite places you’ve surfed?

My most favorite surfing spot is Guiones, Costa Rica.  I also love Lowers Trestles in California, minus the crowds.

What is the hardest thing about what you do?

The hardest thing about surfing is being consistent in my contests when you do not ever have a consistent playing field.  The waves are constantly changing and you only have 15 or 20 minutes to show what you can do, but you don’t always get the opportunity if it goes flat or you’re sitting in the wrong position and can’t catch a wave.  Also trying to learn the latest airs when you live in flat Florida is almost impossible.

How does attending school at IVLA fit into the picture? (www.internationalvla.com)

IVLA gives me the flexibility to be able to do school and travel.  I am able to surf during the early morning hours, come home and do school, surf again in the afternoon and finish my schooling at night.

What accomplishments have you achieved?

I compete in NSSA, ESA, Surfing America Prime, Costa Rican tour events as well as other contests, like Rip Curl Grom Search and Volcom VQS when I can.  I have won lots of contests, but never a national title and that’s what I’m aiming for.  I would also like to be on the Surfing America USA team one day and represent my county in the ISA games.

What are your future goals?

I surf because I love it and being in the ocean, not to win contests.  I am hoping one day to travel the world, surf every place I’ve seen and read about in books and magazines and get a job in the surf industry.

You can see Evan in action in this video:

It is always wonderful to find high school students doing what they love and shaping their learning around their passions.  All the best to you, Evan!

Riding the Wave – High School on a Surfboard


There is a new trend in high school today – fewer students.  According to the latest census sited by the National Home Education Research Institute, homeschool is growing with more than 2.2 million students in 2010.  This wave continues to swell as more and more students are leave traditional education and finding other ways to earn their high school diplomas and prepare for college.

One such alternative is online learning.  Online homeschool curriculum and online schools make it possible for high school students to get a quality education while tailoring their learning around their life.

One such student is 15 year old Evan Brownell.  Surfing since age 3, Evan now participates in many competitions and has even acquired sponsorship.  His routine is to surf morning and afternoon.

” What I love best about surfing is the thrill of riding the biggest, longest waves,” says this Florida surfer, “I like being in the ocean.  I like that surfing takes me to new places and I get to meet new people who love to do what I do.”

So how can a teenager surf twice a day and travel the world?  Evan goes to school at International Virtual Learning Academy.  IVLA is an accredited private online school.  Teachers support students like Evan as they work through classes at their own pace and according to their own schedule.  The flexibility online learning provides fits perfectly with Evan’s professional pursuits.

Pursuing careers is not the only reason that brings families to online learning.  Research also shows parents are looking into learning from home because they can:

  • Create a safe learning environment specific to the needs of their children
  • Instill family beliefs and values
  • Provide more academically appropriate opportunities
  • Present material as they see best
  • Focus on family relationships
  • Better guide social interactions

The results?  Evan says, “I have won lots of contests.”  And homeschool has shown to be a winner as well.  Both academic and social indicators show learning from home to be a winning choice.  Colleges and universities are now specifically seeking homeschool students.

Stanford University admissions officer, Jon Reider says, “Homeschoolers bring certain skills – motivation, curiosity, the capacity to be responsible for their education – that high schools don’t induce very well.”

No doubt the future looks promising for both surfer Evan Brownell and homeschooling as one makes most of the waves he finds and the other is making waves in its own right.



Ray, Brian. “Research Facts on Homeschooling.” January 2014. http://nheri.org/research/research-facts-on-homeschooling.html

“Homeschoolers at Harvard?” http://www.families.com/blog/homeschoolers-at-harvard-colleges-seek-homeschoolers

What would you do with a $50 Amazon Gift Card?


What if you could have your choice of . . .

  • 1 Bluetooth Smart Watch Wrist Wrap Watch Phone
  • 10 Boxes of Craft Shrinky Dinks Jewelry
  • 1 Boys’ Soft Shell Jacket
  • 6-Cup Glass Jar 12-Speed Blender, Brushed Nickel
  • Or whatever else you can find on Amazon for $50!

For the entire month of August, Global Student Network is giving Amazon Gift Cards in the amount of $50 for each new enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year.

jacketTo receive your electronic gift card, you must enroll by August 31, 2014. You can choose any start date that best suits your calendar!

This is an unique offer from an unique website! Global Student Network provides six online curricula and learning programs. At www.globalstudentnetwork.com, you can view curriculum demos, chat with an enrollment specialist, and choose an accredited curriculum to best fit your student grade kindergarten to 12. Christian, secular, Common Core, non Common Core, honors, career/technical, and about every high school elective you can think of can be found at Global.

blenderFor 10 years, Global has been helping families thrive in an online learning environment that:

  • Reflects the family’s faith and beliefs
  • Enables parents to play an active role in their child’s education
  • Encourages the student to take ownership of their learning
  • Empowers families to determine when and where learning happens
  • Challenges advanced students
  • Supports struggling students
  • Provides a viable alternative to public school

watchGo to Global Student Network to see the full details of this offer.



GSN Offers Record-Keeping Assistance to Homeschool Families


Academic Information Management (AIM)  “Let us help you AIM in the right direction”

Global Student Network now has a free online service that enables homeschool families to track classes and generate report cards and transcripts.

Whether transcripts necessary to college admission or report cards helpful in required reporting, documentation is an important part of the homeschool experience.  Global’s Academic Information Management (AIM) allows parent to create an account into which they can enter classes their students have taken along with the corresponding grades.  The service will  calculate GPA and cumulative credits.  From this data, reports such as report cards and transcripts can be generated.

“We are always looking for ways to come alongside homeschool families,” says Eva Peduzzi, executive at Global Student Network.  “We listen to our families who use our curriculum and record-keeping help was a repeated request.”

GSN’s Academic Information Management (AIM)  is available now at www.globalstudentnetwork.com. An instructional video is available at https://vimeo.com/100442278.

Global Student Network has been serving schools and homeschool families for 10 years.  Fully accredited, GSN has 6 curricula and online learning systems for grades k-12 including Christian, secular, Common Core, non-Common Core, honors, high school electives and career and technical courses.  Curriculum demos and enrollment specialist contact information is available at www.globalstudentnetwork.com.

Copyright © 2014 J. Hoffman / Global Student Network

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