Is Using an Online School at Home Right for Me?
It’s not unusual to see a question like this pop up on the Connections Academy Facebook page. People everywhere are becoming more familiar with online homeschool and virtual public school options as alternatives to the traditional school setting. According to a recent segment about homeschooling on the TodayShow.com website, virtual schools have become the fastest-growing trend in public and private education. More and more parents are taking notice that full-time virtual public schools like Connections Academy can fulfill their various educational needs from the comfort of home. Many of these same parents that are interested in learning more about online learning also want to get more information before they finish enrolling their child into an online school program.
If you are considering enrolling in either a public or private virtual school, be sure to watch the recent TodayShow.com video feature highlighting the Cooper family of Commonwealth Connections Academy in Pennsylvania. If you scroll down to read the accompanying article about Lyndsey Fry, a 2010 Arizona Connections Academy graduate who received a full Harvard scholarship, you’ll find some excellent insights that could really shed some light on your decision-making process regarding selecting an online school.
So, how can a parent looking into a virtual school program decide if it’s going to be a good fit for the family? Ask questions, lots and lots of questions! If you aren’t sure what questions to ask, the International Association of K-12 Online Learning has a wonderful downloadable guide, “A Parent’s Guide to Choosing the Right Online Program designed to assist parents in selecting a full-time virtual or cyber school and exploring part-time or supplemental courses for their children.
In the same article, Sevil Omer, MSNBC.com Senior Writer, highlighted that it’s important to ask about:
- Program accreditation
- Teaching credentials
- Is the program teacher-led or computer-aided?
- Costs—this depends on whether the school is a private virtual school or public virtual school
- Does the provider require students to be online at specific times of the week?
- How to access grades upon completion
Online learning provides many families with an appealing alternative to traditional schooling, but it’s helpful to weigh all the facts as they pertain to you and your student’s personal situation. Talking to other parents and seeing what they have to say is a great resource too.
Please share what the advantages of enrolling your child in an online school are for your family to provide more insight for the parents who are just discovering this exciting education option!