Student Perspectives: Online vs. Traditional Private School
Are you considering making a switch from traditional private school to online private school? Online private school can be a great option for students who would benefit from a more personalized learning environment. It also gives parents more opportunities to be actively involved in their child’s academic journey.
Choosing the right school for your student is a big decision that requires ample thought and research. To help you decide, we’ve compiled a few traditional and online private school differences below with insight from Destiny Yourgules and Siani Butler, two students who switched from traditional private school to International Connections Academy‘s (iNaCA) online private school.
While online students do have to keep up with courses, they have much more flexibility to complete schoolwork at a time—and pace—that works best for them. Rather than being restricted to a traditional seven- or eight-hour school day, iNaCA students can tailor their online school schedule to accommodate things such as competitive sports, work, travel, and personal hobbies and interests. Students who attend online school even have the option of catching up with schoolwork on the weekends!
- Siani: “I’m involved in a lot of activities in my community, and my family and I travel a lot, so it was a lot of stress being in a traditional private school where they don’t allow for flexibility. Now, I can take my work with me when I travel.”
- Siani’s mom: “I like how [at iNaCA] Siani is able to go at her own pace and set her own schedule. She can get up and start her day with a walk, internship, or appointment; she’s able to follow the [personal] schedule she wants and still get an education.”
- Destiny: “I love that you can work at your own pace. You can even work on the weekends, which allows you more time to spend on projects.”
Many parents opt out of private school because of the high tuition; however, a high-quality online private school like iNaCA can provide students with both a rewarding and an affordable education. At iNaCA, parents don’t have to worry about purchasing expensive uniforms, and tuition covers the cost of almost all course materials, certified teachers, a challenging curriculum, and advanced and engaging learning technology. The school also offers several discounts for full-time families.
- Destiny’s mom: “I honestly feel that in just the short amount of time that we’ve been at iNaCA, I know more about Destiny’s teachers, where she is in the program, and what her abilities are showing than when I was paying more money to send her to a bricks-and-mortar school where I saw the teachers every day.”
Preparation for the Future
By having a more personalized school schedule, online private school students often gain a lesson in time management while becoming more active learners. This often helps them to feel more reassured and confident about starting college or entering the workforce, where they are expected to be independent, organized, and responsible. Many iNaCA graduates tell us that learning how to manage their time well and taking more control of their learning has prepared them for a successful post-high-school journey.
- Destiny: “I feel a lot more confident about going to college now. At my previous bricks-and-mortar school, I thought it was just something you have to do—you graduate high school and then you go to college. Now at iNaCA, I feel more comfortable actually [applying and preparing for college] because I’m working at my own pace and [am] confident in my abilities.”
- Siani: “In traditional private school, you go from class to class. Now I’m able to develop my own schedule that includes things like internships, jobs, community service, and extra time to study, so I think it’s helping me to prepare for how things will be in college.”
Wide Range of Courses and Electives
One of the many great perks of being an online private school student is having the opportunity to take a wide range of courses and electives that are not typically offered at a traditional private school. In addition to AP®, gifted and talented, and Career Technical Education courses, iNaCA offers unique electives, such as Game Design and Introduction to Entrepreneurship. With an extensive selection of course options, students can more easily broaden and develop their interests, which can be beneficial for college and the future.
- Destiny: “At my previous school, I didn’t have a lot of choices when it came to electives, and electives are a way for people to figure out what they want to do with their lives. Now that I’m at iNaCA, I have a lot more choices because I’m not bound by a certain criterion. I’m currently taking Japanese, which I never had the chance to pick before. I’m also taking forensics courses.”
High-Quality Supportive Teachers
The friendly, supportive teachers help to make online school enjoyable and engaging. Our online private school requires teachers to be certified in the state they teach—a prerequisite that doesn’t always apply to traditional private school teachers. In fact, some iNaCA teachers hold multiple state certifications! They are also trained specifically for teaching in a motivating and interactive online environment. Even though iNaCA teachers don’t see their students in a physical classroom every day, they are dedicated to building meaningful relationships with their students and helping them succeed.
- Siani: “I like how I can contact my teachers and they get right back to me.”
- Destiny: “I can make appointments with my teachers if I’m having a problem and actually talk to them one-on-one. When you talk to your teachers in other schools, everyone in the class can hear what you’re having a problem with.”
Adjusting and transitioning to an online private school environment may take some time and patience, but your family will have plenty of help—and you’ll know your efforts were worth it when you see your student benefiting from the many perks of online learning!
Online private school parents, how has your student’s online private school experience differed from his or her time at traditional private school? What would you tell families who are considering enrolling in online private school? Share your stories and advice in the comments!