Online school may be an appealing long-term alternative for certain kids, especially those with health difficulties or who have struggled in regular school. Despite how they may have seemed, online K-12 schools, mostly private and charter institutions, have been around for years.
Before the pandemic, some 375,000 kids in grades K-12 were attending online schools full-time, according to data compiled by the Digital Learning Collaborative. However, finding a high-quality online program that works well for your family and encourages long-term success in school can be challenging.
Which Online School Is Right for My Child?
Make sure the school you enroll your child in is legitimate and that the teachers are experts in the industry. The educational material offered by suggested online programs is usually identical to that offered by traditional educational establishments. The school must also provide counseling services, extracurricular programs, and sports teams.
Caregivers should also consider the availability of technology, as many at-home online schools provide laptops and other tools, and some even aid with internet bills. Since online schools’ quality can vary widely, it is essential to evaluate data like test scores, student-teacher ratios, state performance ratings, and graduation rates, just like any other school.
The Pros and Cons of Online Learning
When should you feel comfortable introducing your kid to online schooling? Experts say there are several good reasons families have opted for online education. For example, persistent problems with COVID-19, concerns about school safety, and bullied children are just some of the reasons parents want to provide their children with online schooling.
When life throws you a curveball, online learning can assist. For instance, students may be ahead of or behind their peers academically. Kids whose school is failing to provide them with the appropriate educational opportunities. The child may be frail or sickly, another reason a parent may enroll them in an online program.
However, not every household is a suitable fit for online education. Some families may be unable to keep constant tabs on their children’s online activities. Enrolling your child in a traditional school or employing a learning coach may be more effective if they are easily sidetracked when studying online.
While attending an online school, a learning coach can be there during the day to support the student with any questions or concerns and keep him, or her focused on the lessons. Hence having a learning coach may be expensive for some families.
The issue of quality in distance learning persists. There are “serious uncertainties regarding the effectiveness of various forms of virtual learning,” according to 2019 research from the National Education Policy Center. Several studies before the epidemic found that K-12 online education was less effective than traditional education.
How Much Does an Online School Cost?
The yearly cost for families looking into online private schools might vary widely. According to a recent online search, annual tuition rates typically start at roughly $2,000 and go up to $14,000. Tuition discounts are available from several institutions for members of the armed forces and their families and siblings. Admissions counselors are available from most programs and may help families weigh their funding options.