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Travis and Wesley Vinson are both active in Scouts BSA.

Travis, left, and Wesley Vinson are both active in Scouts BSA.

Non-traditional Schooling Gives Brothers Bonus Learning Opportunities

Travis and Wesley Vinson are both active in Scouts BSA.

Travis, left, and Wesley Vinson are both active in Scouts BSA.

Wesley and Travis with Rep. Brooks Landgraf.

Wesley and Travis with Rep. Brooks Landgraf.

Wesley swimming with dolphins on a family trip to the Dominican Republic.

Wesley swimming with dolphins on a family trip to the Dominican Republic.

Travis swimming with dolphins on a family trip to the Dominican Republic.

Travis swimming with dolphins on a family trip to the Dominican Republic.

Wesley milking a cow at La Hacienda Park, Dominican Republic.

Wesley milking a cow at La Hacienda Park, Dominican Republic.

Travis milking a cow at La Hacienda Park, Dominican Republic.

Travis milking a cow at La Hacienda Park, Dominican Republic.

By Leslie Cranford, Media Relations Coordinator

February 6, 2019

Travis and Wesley Vinson have studied the Texas Revolution this year and have asked to go see the San Jacinto Battleground. With TTU K-12, they have the ability to do just that.

Their parents, Kati and Brian, made the decision to enroll them in the self-paced distance learning curricula because of an overcrowding challenge at their hometown school. Now they're free to split their time between home and their ranch in the Texas Hill Country.

“We love our previous school, but with that big of an issue, we felt that we couldn't enroll them in that district – they just wouldn't get the attention that they need or deserve,” Kati said. “Here they can have one-on-one contact with certified teachers if they need help, and they can move at their own pace, which is fabulous.”

Wesley is in seventh grade, using Texas Tech Middle School's online curriculum; Travis is in fourth grade and uses Texas Tech Elementary School's more print-based distance program.

“I would tell other parents, if you are considering a home school/non-traditional educational option, TTU K-12 is a great choice. For elementary, the lessons are laid out in a logical and entertaining manner for the kids. In junior high, it is very self-directed,” Kati explained.

But going to school at their own pace, and on their own time opens up myriad possibilities for travel and study for the boys – and their parents. Kati says freedom is the biggest benefit she sees with the boys in TTU K-12, and she related many stories of trips and other non-traditional learning opportunities.

Last fall the boys got to visit with Rep. Brooks Landgraf, who represents Texas District 81.

Wesley and Travis with Rep. Brooks Landgraf.

Wesley and Travis with Rep. Brooks Landgraf.

“Travis loves politics. Brooks sat with Travis at lunch that day and visited with him like they were old pals. They also got to meet Congressman Mike Conaway that day,” Kati said.

The family also was able to take a trip to the Dominican Republic last fall.

“It was amazing. We zip-lined through the rain forest, swam with dolphins, and were able to see some elements of the world we normally wouldn't see. Since we were able to go at that time of year, it wasn't crazy crowded, and we were able to have more interaction with tour guides and others,” Kati said. “The boys also developed a desire to learn Spanish while we were there; the staff at our hotel were so sweet and encouraging to them! These were definitely opportunities they wouldn't have in a traditional school setting.”

Wesley swimming with dolphins on a family trip to the Dominican Republic.

Wesley swimming with dolphins on a family trip to the Dominican Republic.

A normal day might find the brothers hunting, fishing or riding their bikes at the family ranch. Wesley is a First Class Scout, working his way toward Eagle. Travis also is in scouts as a Webelos.

“They love the fact that there isn't wasted time,” Kati said. “They complete their lessons in the time that it takes them to learn, rather than the time it takes 20 kids.”

However, aside from the hobbies, travel and other opportunities, Kati also discussed how school through TTU K-12 is helping to prepare the young men for college and careers.

Travis swimming with dolphins on a family trip to the Dominican Republic.

Travis swimming with dolphins on a family trip to the Dominican Republic.

“They are learning time management and planning,” Katie said. “They both seem drawn to engineering at this point, but Travis loves animals so much, that I can see him being a vet.”

As far as the program itself, Kati praised the staff and instructors at TTU K-12.

“Teachers are incredibly sweet, knowledgeable, and responsive to emails and any questions that we might have. We have been tremendously happy with the program and the education that Travis and Wesley are receiving.”