Choosing the right school for your child is an important decision for any parent, especially if your child struggles with a traditional school setting. With so many options available – including public school districts, charter and private schools – it can be hard to know what’s the best fit to help your child succeed and prepare for their future.
One option families may have experienced in some form during the COVID-19 pandemic is a fully online school. Even if it was only an emergency switch to online learning, for many students and families, the change was an eye-opening experience that showed potential benefits. It turns out that traditional, in-person learning isn’t the right fit for every student.
So is an online school the right choice for your child? Here are four reasons you might want to consider it.
Whether it’s because of a health issue, involvement in activities, a unique family situation or many other reasons, the traditional 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. school day doesn’t work for every student. Online school will allow your child to turn in work and watch lessons on their schedule, and attending any class meetings or teacher conferences can be done from anywhere. If you need that kind of flexibility, online schools can offer it.
Access to classes:
For older students, especially in smaller or rural communities, an online school may provide an opportunity to take classes that aren’t available in your local school. Whether it’s classes that can help you earn college credits or simply a wider variety of social studies, language arts, math and science classes, online schools can bring those classes to you.
Some students are self-driven and thrive when given the opportunity to direct their own learning. In an online school, students manage their own time and work schedule more than they would in an in-person school, especially as they get older. A good virtual school will adjust the amount of independence students need based on their age, with more structured, live instruction – also called synchronous learning – at younger grades and less or no live instruction as they move into middle and high school. This can open up opportunities for students to follow their interests more, take breaks when they need to, and pick which subjects to work on and when. If math excites your child the most, maybe they’ll choose to work on that first thing in the morning, or maybe they’ll save it for last. Whatever the case, they’ll have more control and independence in their learning.
Struggle with traditional school environment:
No matter how safe, positive and welcoming a traditional brick-and-mortar school is, it still involves a lot of people in a relatively small space. For some students, the sounds and smells and motion can feel overwhelming, making every day stressful and difficult to get through. For some students, navigating the social aspects of school, from sharing a classroom table every day to passing so many others in the hall, can be a challenging distraction and detrimental to their learning. For students who feel more comfortable and at-ease in their own homes or a more controlled environment, online school is a great option.
When it comes to education, one of the most important factors in a child’s success is how much they enjoy learning. If a traditional school setting isn’t working for your child, now might be the time to look into a fully online learning option.