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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Forces in the Formative Years

Valley of Fire pic

I recently visited Las Vegas for the first time and I was so taken by the rugged beauty of the area!  The incredible rock formations at Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire were stunning.  The variations in color, the intricacies – I just couldn’t get enough!  And all that framed by desert flowers in bloom – I’m still looking for willing parties to “ooh” and “ahh” over the pictures with me!

As I gazed out over that Aztec sandstone, I thought about the geological forces used to create such a masterpiece.  The former presence of an ocean, lithification of an ancient desert, the oxidation of iron, and wind – lots of wind! – all played their part to fashion this landscape unlike anything I had ever seen.

RedRock picI think of another process of formation going on a little closer to home.  IN my home, actually!  I have little masterpieces in the works even as a type this.  Five of them.  They are my children.  Just like so much went into shaping those amazing Nevada vistas, much goes into shaping a child.  Social, cultural, academic, spiritual, physical – all these factors are at work in a child’s development.

Makes it easy to understand why so many families choose to homeschool.  Homeschooling gives parents unfettered ability to determine the forces that impact their children during those formative years. 

Parents who homeschool can choose who will be involved in, and thus influence, their child’s life.  They can more actively ensure a safe learning environment for their child.  Education can be aligned with the family’s belief system.  Time to engage in physical activity can be made a priority.  Many tout strong family bonds as one of the greatest and lasting results of homeschool.  Time to devote to academic pursuits shapes kids into life-long learners.  As parents choose curriculum and programs, children can learn at their own pace, excelling or receiving extra time and attention as they require.

It takes many, many years to form a landscape.  We don’t have many, many years with our children.  We have precious few.  Homeschooling can allow parents to make the most of those mere moments between birth and adulthood.

And when all is said and done, if we can behold a mature adult who can think critically, embrace learning, strive for integrity, be passionate about her work and calling, respect the world around him, love her neighbor, be true to his beliefs, stand in any situation with solid character, then we have played a part in the creation of something grand.

Perhaps as grand as that breath-taking landscape.  For, after all, both make the world a place of beauty.

Copyright © 2014 J. Hoffman / Global Student Network

“If you liked this post – Great!!  Please ask before you re-post.  Thanks!”
Email: JHoffman@GlobalStudentNetwork.com

Why Online Curriculum is Always in Season


I think everyone has been anxiously awaiting the coming of spring after the winter that we’ve had.  And spring did seem to come a few days ago.  The birds were singing, the daffodils and tulips were in bloom, I had planted my peas and lettuce.  Ah, spring!

Then yesterday came.  And snow along with it.  Snow.  All day.  Suddenly spring slipped illusively away!  Good bye 70 degrees and shorts; hello 30 degrees and winter coats.  Yet those few lovely days gave us cause to hope that spring really would come.

Seasons are like that.  They come and go, bringing their unique charms and challenges.  There are sunny, beach days in summer and sledding in the snow in winter.   The leaves are new and fresh in spring and glorious in autumn.

Yet there are some things that do not follow seasons; that are constant throughout the year.  Online curriculum is one such thing.  Its effectiveness doesn’t go dormant; its ability to engage students doesn’t wilt and die.  Online curriculum is always in season.  What makes it so?  It is:

  • Research-based
  • Customized to each individual’s learning pace and needs
  • Easily accessible and flexible
  • Highly effective for student success

There are many sources of online curriculum but I would recommend these three:

Global Student Network.  What makes GSN unique is that it offers six web-based curricula from which to choose – Plato, GradPoint, Apex Honors, A+, Rosetta Stone, and Alpha and Omega.    These allow for AP and CTE courses and as many high school electives as you can imagine!  All these can be explored from one website, www.globalstudentnetwork.com .

Another site offering six curricula is United Digital Learning.  And www.uniteddigitallearning.com provides these curricula by monthly subscription.  This breaks the cost of online learning into very affordable pieces.

Finally, International Virtual Learning Academy also offers online curriculum AND a certified teacher to go with it!  An accredited online private school for grades 3-12, IVLA gives the best in online learning along with the structure and support provided by a teacher. (www.internationalvla.com)

I think what I love most about the seasons is the change.  That first snow fall, the first bloom in spring, the first day in summer hot enough to swim outdoors, the first sweater in fall – all those are worth the wait!  Thankfully, with online curriculum, you do not have to wait until a particular time of year – it’s available anytime and you could even check it out today!

What Free Curriculum Could Really Cost You


Who doesn’t love the word FREE!!??!!  Admittedly FreeCycle is my best friend and I have a piano I got for free to prove it! I’m always thrilled to get hand-me-down clothes for my kids and finding a BOGO sale just makes my day!  But when it comes to curriculum, I would think twice before breaking out in my find-a-bargain happy dance.  Here is why:

When using free curriculum, you follow the plan prescribed by the company.  For example, if I wanted to use one curriculum for math and something different for English, that wouldn’t be an option for many free learning programs.  Free curriculum could cost me the ability to pick and choose and build a unique experience for my student.

Of course, someone has paid to produce this curriculum and when you follow their curriculum you are ascribing to their academic standards and values.  I would take a good look and ask myself – Is this Common Core?  Am I OK with that?  Are the academic standards high enough or too rigorous?  To what beliefs and values would my child be exposed? Because if I blindly accept any curriculum without delving into these questions, then my free curriculum could cost me control over important aspects of my child’s education.

Many times free programs utilize teachers which can be an excellent resource.  However, at times these teachers are assigned so many students that it is difficult for them to keep up.  Students might have to wait for teacher response before moving on in their coursework or the teacher may not be available when the student needs him/her.  I would look closely into teacher-student ratio before signing on with a free curriculum.  Too many students per teacher could mean that this free curriculum could cost my student’s steady progress.

On the flip-side, take a look, for example, at Global Student Network (www.globalstudentnetwork.com).  Yes, you will pay for this curriculum, but look what your money will get you:

  • The pick of any of the 6 of the best curriculum
  • The choice between whether or not your child will work with a certified teacher
  • The convenience of online learning
  • The benefits of research-based, highly effective education

The ability to have more say in your child’s education is why you left traditional school in the first place.  Why give that up?  If that is the cost of free curriculum, is it really worth it?

“Free” is great for some things, like used furniture; but other things are worth the investment, namely a child’s education and thus their future.

Copyright © 2014 J. Hoffman / Global Student Network

“If you liked this post – Great!!  Please ask before you re-post.  Thanks!”
Email: JHoffman@GlobalStudentNetwork.com

Online Curriculum Available All Year Long


I saw a flier recently from a local public school announcing special online programs for summer time learning.  The ad touted “Exceptionally effective online instruction” and “Individualized Programs.”  No doubt this school district has seen the proven results of online curriculum.  After all, students working at their own pace in a supported program become motivated and successful learners.

What a great idea for summer!

But what about the rest of the year?

Truth is, online learning is available all year long.  To any student.  Any student with internet access can benefit from online learning.  Whether needing extra practice or itching to excel in a particular subject, there are programs tailored to every need and learning style.

So where can you find online curriculum?  Here are three great sites:

Global Student Network  What makes www.globalstudentnetwork.com unique?  The fact that GSN offers not just one but SIX online curriculum programs!  At Global, you can compare programs, view demos, and even speak with an enrollment specialist.

United Digital Learning  What if you could “try on” a curriculum before committing long term?  You can do exactly that at www.uniteddigitallearning.com.  UDL offers six programs at affordable monthly payments.

International Virtual Learning Academy  Need the support of a certified teacher?  That’s what IVLA is all about.  At IVLA students have the flexibility of online learning at home in addition to the guidance and input of teachers.  Go to www.internationalvla.com to check out this homeschool/private school hybrid.

Summer is right around the corner and no doubt your family is thinking about trips, days at the beach, camping.  That’s what summer is all about!  But effective online learning can be ANY TIME, ANYWHERE!!

Copyright © 2014 J. Hoffman / Global Student Network

“If you liked this post – Great!!  Please ask before you re-post.  Thanks!”
Email: JHoffman@GlobalStudentNetwork.com

One Island Students Don’t Have to Wait for Spring Break to Visit!


This is a great time of year to leaf through those travel brochures and dream about that next trip!  Well here’s a unique travel log entry that just might be what you’re looking for!

Destination:  Study Island!

Location:  www.globalstudentnetwork.com

What to Expect:  Study Island is a place where students can learn and practice math and language arts skills.  There are tutorials, games, even printable worksheets.  A word about the games – they are fun, but they are not JUST for fun.  Students have to answer questions in order to play each part of the game.

Cost:  The visit to this island is just $39 per student, per subject, per year.

On your visit, be sure not to miss:  Progress tracking.  Parents can see exactly what students have covered as well as any areas needing more practice.  Customized learning.  An initial pretest can show the student exactly what they need to learn and practice.  The material is then presented in a “mastery-based” format.  That means if a student grasps the concept quickly – great!  They can move on to the next.  If a student needs more time or practice – no problem!  They can get all they need to “master” the skill or concept.  This means each student can work at his or her own pace.

Any restrictions?  None!  Study Island can be used by any student grades 3-12.  Study Island effectively supplements any curriculum.   Previously, Study Island was only available to school districts, who bought access in large volume.  Now, thanks to an arrangement between Edmentum (developer of Study Island) and Global Student Network, Study Island is available to anyone!

What to bring:  Your confidence!  Edmentum has created this learning system to meet the highest standards and Global Student Network is committed to offering the customer service and assistance needed to make Study Island the best learning destination for your student.

Set your sails for great learning at Study Island!

Copyright © 2014 J. Hoffman / Global Student Network

“If you liked this post – Great!!  Please ask before you re-post.  Thanks!”
Email: JHoffman@GlobalStudentNetwork.com