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Why Choose Online Learning?Once you decide to enroll your child in online education, you will probably have many people who question your decision. You may even start to wonder if you’ve done the right thing. That’s why it’s essential to have a strong reason that you believe behind enrolling your child in online learning. Some reasons people choose online education are because they have a unique situation. Perhaps your family travels a lot, your child needs more one-on-one attention than most, they are ill or disabled, you live in a rural area, or you just want to be involved in every aspect of your child’s education. Whatever the reason, having one will help you to know that you’ve made the right choice down the road. One benefit of online learning is that there are a variety of ways to do it, allowing you to create the type of education that works best for your family.
- Blended Learning: uses individual online courses to supplement traditional classroom education. This is a great starting point when you want to try online learning without fully committing to it. It can be done online at home or in a physical classroom.
- Hybrid Courses: Combines online learning with in-person learning. Teachers instruct mostly online and sometimes in person, as a one-on-one tutor.
- Supplemental Learning: Courses are completed entirely online but in addition to traditional schooling.
- Online Courses: All courses and instruction are online, can be done from anywhere.
How to Choose an Online Elementary SchoolNot all online schools are the same, and doing your research can be the difference between a negative and positive online learning experience. You and your child will feel better knowing that the online school you choose is accredited, teachers have the right credentials, tuition costs are affordable, and you’re ready for the required time commitments. Make sure that you know what to expect and are prepared for what you sign up for. For example, if your child is very committed to their athletic career, you may want to look for programs that allow your child to work at their own pace and study around their athletic training schedule.
Most online schools are either private or public. While online public schools are the most popular choice, there are pros and cons to both options.
- Private schools: the advantages of private schools are rigorous academics, advanced student support, and high-quality faculty. The disadvantage is that families must pay tuition.
- Public schools: the advantages of state-funded public schools are the standardized curriculum, community resources, and more access to blended programs. The disadvantage is that academic rigor varies.
- Public charter schools: the advantages of state-funded public charter schools are the flexible curriculum, autonomous administration, and open-minded teaching practices. The disadvantage is that accreditation varies from school to school.
Online Learning CostsSome states offer free public online schools. Additionally, low or no cost state-run online schools are an excellent option for in-state families because they are affordable, and the curriculum is held to the same academic standards as traditional schools. Search your state’s Department of Education website to look into the variety of possibilities for online public schools. If you prefer a private online school, prices can vary from a few hundred dollars to close to $5000 a year. Out-of-pocket costs include application fees, registration fees, official transcripts, extracurricular sports and activities, school supplies, and technology maintenance.
Other Items to Consider
As you get ready to enroll your child in online learning, make sure to check the school’s accreditation and the faculty’s training. It’s vital that future junior high and high school programs recognize your elementary school. If you find that the online learning lifestyle works well for your child, consider enrolling them in online high school classes. The High School of America is an online high school that is fully accredited, employs a high-caliber faculty, and provides students with everything they need to earn a diploma recognized by most colleges. Contact us to learn more about what an online education entails and what we can offer your high school-aged children.