Why Families Choose Online School
Parents choose to educate their children at home using virtual school for a variety of reasons. In fact, most families name several contributing factors. After all, with so many ways to customize the learning method, schedule, and environment, online school can be personalized to a child’s needs. Yet, while there are many reasons for choosing this form of education, recent data revealed that the most common fall into several broad categories.
Not so traditional
Fifty-one percent of families surveyed reported that their children do not learn well in a traditional school setting. This is not surprising, in light of the comments parents make once they’ve made the switch to online learning. We often hear them mention the benefit of having fewer distractions and a quieter learning space. This statistic may also reflect those children who need more one-on-one attention to learn, as well as those who thrive with extra parental involvement.
Change of scenery
Families were also concerned with the setting in which their children learn. Forty-three percent of parents named wanting a “change in the learning environment” as a reason for opting out of their previous school situation. Another 32 percent specified their desire to have a “more controlled educational setting.” These results seem to mirror comments we hear about children’s safety on school campuses and transportation, as well as concerns about discipline and health.
Change of pace
Another top answer was the desire for “a more flexible schedule.” Creating the daily schedule to suit your child’s and your family’s needs can be one of the most exciting benefits of virtual school!
Many parents tell us that their kids learn more with our schools because they have the ability to work at their own pace. Students can zip through concepts they find easy and take their time when the topic is more difficult. Gifted and Talented students can work ahead or dig deeper into the material. Flexibility can mean arranging the schedule to accommodate a child’s physical needs, allowing time for medical or dental appointments—or simply sleeping in when bedtime was later than usual.
Another 7 percent of parents indicated that their children were pursuing performing arts or athletic careers. The flexible scheduling of online school lets these kids work learning around lessons, practice, performances, competitions, and travel. Still more families use the freedom they gain to participate in volunteering, scouting, 4-H, and other community or family activities.
No more bullying
It shouldn’t happen to any child, but sadly, 16 percent of parents indicate that they switched to virtual education because their children were bullied in their traditional school. Many families report that their kids are happier and begin to regain confidence as online school students. Others say the one-on-one attention from teachers, interaction with other students in the virtual classroom, and in-person field trips help their previously bullied children build their social skills.
While there countless reasons for making the decision to switch to virtual school, most will fall within these broad categories. As you consider a virtual school for your children, try to talk to parents of currently enrolled students to get the inside scoop. Take advantage of the abundant online information available. If you do careful research, you are sure to find a high-quality educational program that is a good fit for your family.
If you have more questions about switching to online school, post them in the comments!