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Catching up with the Colletts: the hits and misses of virtual school

The Colletts chose virtual learning full-time when the pandemic started. Now, more than halfway through the school year, we're checking in to see how they're doing.

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — Virtual school. Two words we have heard more this school year than we ever thought we would.

Some families across East Tennessee chose to do virtual full-time in light of the pandemic and one of those families' is the Colletts.

They were happy and optimistic when it all began, so we decided to check-in with them now that we are more than halfway through the school year.

"I am a reckless optimist," Knoxville mom Nicki Collett said. 

Nicki and her family have certainly made the best of virtual school.

It started with two kids in virtual school with a cool at-home classroom. 

RELATED: Keeping Kids Connected: 5 tips to create a classroom at home for virtual learning

Months later, Ben is back at school in-person at Bearden Middle and Lucy is still virtual.

"We wanted to have an open honest conversation about how they thought it was going," she said.  "We gave them the choice."

Nicki said Knox County has done a great job with the virtual learning platform.

"They would put together goodie bags of supplies for projects and we would drive by and pick them up," she said. 

Although, there were challenges with learning from home.   

Technology being the number one challenge, the emotional struggles of missing friends is number two and then there's the cat.

"We have a cat at home and she likes to be on Lucy's keyboard a lot of the time," she said. 

Nicki said the key to virtual learning is patience and grace and.. 

"It takes a lot of wine, I should say that," she said.