The concept of online high schools is relatively new. It is gaining national attention because of its forward-thinking approach to providing a solid education in a way that is tailored to each student.
Just as the name indicates, online high schools are based on the Internet. With a good Internet connection and a reliable computer, students can have access to the virtual classroom. Lessons consist of online quizzes, webinars, videos, and assignments, much like in a traditional setting, but with more interactivity. Students can also get the proper attention and be taught at a pace that they are comfortable with.
Teachers in the traditional educational system have always struggled with the task of teaching students of different abilities and learning preferences in the same classroom. In a class of 20 or 30 students, there may be 5 or 10 students who simply aren’t learning at the same pace as the majority of the class. Additionally, those who are more advanced will not feel challenged with the “average” curriculum, and will not be equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to develop to their fullest potential.
Online high schools address the important need to deliver a personalized approach to each student. Students move at the pace that is best for them, with teachers monitoring their activity remotely and providing important feedback and support. If a student struggles with a particular concept or lesson, a teacher steps in and provides individual guidance and instruction. Likewise, advanced students are challenged to reach their greatest potential and will not be held back by slower-moving classmates.
There are other kids who benefit from the approach used by online high schools. Children who have been home schooled during their younger years may want to pursue this option as they get older and have more demanding educational needs. Parents of these children may have felt equipped to teach them at a younger age, but seek a more formal, structured program as their kids grow older or start thinking about college.
Kids who have been bullied at school may also benefit from an online learning program. If peer pressure has negatively affected a teenager, leaving the traditional school setting may give them the emotional relief they need. By being in a positive learning environment they have the opportunity to distance themselves from negative influences or past bad choices and re-focus on their studies.
There are a growing number of online high schools to consider from. Parents who are unsatisfied with their child’s current learning situation should talk to their son or daughter about this new option. Children who are invited to be part of the decision-making process will feel empowered and will know that their opinions matter in this important phase of their life.