proud mother reviewing daughters online homework

There comes a point in time for every parent of a home-educated student to decide whether they are going to continue homeschooling, send their child to public or private school, or enroll them in some other alternative educational experience. This all-important decision usually occurs around the start of a student’s secondary education—where the parent can no longer offer the types of coursework required to earn a high school diploma.

When this happens parents must weigh the obvious benefits of sending their student to a traditional brick and mortar school against the not-as-obvious benefits of online schooling for high school coursework. While each pathway can ultimately help a student achieve their goal of earning a diploma, each of these academic avenues offers a different educational pathway for a student. And not every pathway is the correct one depending upon the student.

At Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, nearly 25% of our students are home-educated. Roughly 5% of our students are full-time students, many of which were home-educated prior to enrolling in our full-time program. If you or your student is leaning toward online schooling for high school coursework either part-time or full-time, here are some important things to consider before making this all-important decision:

Online Schooling for Maintains the Flexibility of Home Education

Participating in school online allows a student to work in a familiar environment—especially if home education is all they’ve ever known. Online schooling allows a student to prioritize their work when it’s most convenient for them. This versatility in workflows allows students to work at a pace that caters to their learning style—not someone else’s.

Online Schooling Helps Satisfy State Requirements

In order to earn credit as a home-educated student, a student must meet certain requirements established by a state’s education system. These requirements may include the development of an academic portfolio and annual evaluations. Online schooling can help prepare a student to satisfy such requirements and also to supplement a particular subject that they may be having difficulty understanding.

Online Schooling Offers Expanded Learning Opportunities

Online schooling allows a student a variety of expanded opportunities to access courses—whether it be college preparatory, Advanced Placement, arts and sciences, computer technology, or world language. These opportunities may not be afforded to them in certain other school settings.

Online Schooling Can Supplement Home Education Courses

Adding online courses to home education has revolutionized the traditional idea of homeschooling in general, turning it into a special hybrid of learning that preserves the familiarity and comfort of learning at home, while enhancing it further through the wide-ranging possibilities of virtual learning. A lot of parents continue to home school their children—but rely on virtual learning as a way to enhance their teaching.

If you’re still on the fence about the benefits of online school, check out this great story about VLACS student Isaac Walker—who because of the flexibility of online learning will attend Harvard University in the fall. Attend an open house to learn more about how you or your student could benefit from an online education.

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