There are many ways to learn these days. Parents no longer assume their students have to go to a public school. In fact, private schools and homeschooling are both very popular alternatives. But a new option has emerged in recent years that is the perfect solution for students who either can’t or don’t want to attend traditional school. Here are five things to consider if you’re thinking about virtual high school.
Attending classes Monday through Friday, week after week, isn’t feasible for every student. Some students are financially obligated to work jobs or are heavily involved in extracurriculars. Others have parents who travel. A virtual school lets those students take classes and turn in coursework whenever it’s most convenient for them, provided they meet regular deadlines. At the same time, those students who prefer a more structured school day can attend classes online during the hours everyone else is taking their courses, without the distraction of other students or social anxieties.
Learn at Your Own Pace
Self-paced learning is ideal for those students who prefer to follow their own timeline when doing their coursework. As with flexible hours and different options for course structure, a virtual school allows students to learn at their own pace, with ample support.
They also have the alternative of taking courses in a virtual group, which some students prefer. The freedom to choose their learning environment is great for students who feel the traditional classroom either progresses too quickly or slowly for their own learning preferences.
One of the best things about virtual high school is its cost. You’ll typically find that online school is free to in-state students. A private school can be extremely expensive, while homeschooling requires an investment of a parent’s time. Virtual schools give students access to teachers with the same skill level and certifications they’d have in a traditional school.
Barriers to Learning
Traditional school is packed full of distractions. A virtual school allows students to focus on learning, free of peer pressure, gossip and bullying, and class clowns. Many students participating in online school still get plenty of social time. It just means they spend time with friends doing things they enjoy rather than sneaking in a few minutes between classes or during lunch.
Some students simply find that virtual school is a better fit for them. Being able to focus fully on schoolwork and learn at their own pace works better than in-person schooling. Some students also choose online learning as a supplement to the traditional school they’re still attending. Supplemental classes allow them to meet college entrance requirements or take courses specific to a career they plan to pursue. There are always things to consider before making a big decision like switching to online school. However, many students have found it’s a great alternative to traditional classroom learning. If you’re considering online school, the best thing to do is research the learning options and speak with a school counselor to determine if it’s the best fit for you.