Whether you are being bullied at school, live in a rural area or simply have a lifestyle that’s not favourable to a traditional school timetable, an online program can offer you a practical substitute for getting a diploma. Many online middle and high schools are fully accredited and offer students the same opportunity to attend college as traditional schools. Online middle and high schools may even have some advantages over your traditional methods of learning. Here are a few advantages of studying online:
With a computer and an internet connection you can study and take classes sitting anywhere in this world. This is mostly useful for students who live in distant areas or travel frequently for athletics or other extracurricular activities.
Much of your studying can be done anytime except some online courses do require students to attend live meetings in real-time. This offers another major advantage for young people whose lives are too busy for traditional school.
Bullying, whether it involves physical threats or social separation, is a growing problem in high schools. Students who suffer from bullying may feel safer completing high school degree programs from the safety of their homes.
Online high school programs allow students to complete work at an accelerated pace. This may be beneficial for students who are ready to move on to college or the workplace.
Many online high school programs are able to offer students access to higher quality learning materials. The quality of your teachers and materials in an online program will not be limited by the quality of your local public schools, which can vary widely from region to region.
While there are advantages to an online school program, there are some things that may keep students and parents away. Some of these things are:
While being away from peers may be a advantage for some students, it’s a disadvantage for others. High school can be a period of important social and emotional development that’s dependent upon peer interaction. Plus, many young people enjoy activities like student clubs, sporting events and the prom, many of which are not offered through online high schools.
Free online high school programs are available for residents of some states; these programs have not been expanded nationwide. You may have to pay private school tuition to study online. Even free programs will require you to purchase your own computer, books and other supplies that might be offered at no additional cost through a traditional high school.
Many students struggle to grasp difficult materials without a teacher present. Although you’ll have access to teachers via e-mail, forums and, at times, instant messaging and video, online programs can’t offer the same personal level of instruction. Some students may consider hiring a tutor to help them with the hardest materials, but that does add another cost.
Some people may find themselves struggling to get motivated without the structure of a traditional high school program. If you’re not highly self-motivated, you may find yourself falling behind on coursework, exams or other academic obligations.
Some non-accredited online high school programs grant diplomas that won’t be accepted by colleges or employers. Make sure to carefully research your options; consider contacting your state’s department of education to double-check an online school’s credentials before enrolling.
While these things can definitely impact the decision to attend an online school, parents and students can avoid many of these obstacles. There are a few online high schools that offer extracurricular activities such as school clubs, contests, and competitions. American National School in Fort Lauderdale Florida even has its own social network solely for students. While the price of some online middle and high schools can be very costly, with some research you will find, there are several accredited online programs that are very affordable. The most important thing is accreditation. Make sure you choose a fully accredited school or your credits may not be accepted at other high schools or colleges. Remember, online middle and high schools offer different levels of support. Make sure you select a program that is appropriate for your child. If your child is not highly motivated, a program that offers teachers to assist students and counselors to support and guide them through might be the way to go. Some students work well on their own, but others need the some motivation. Parent support is vital for success.
Many students who have attended fully accredited online middle and high school programs have graduated and moved on to college. Students who perform well in an online program and excel on the SAT/ACT have similar options as students in traditional schools that perform the same. The quality and accreditation of the online middle or high school program you attend will determine your future. Make sure you do the proper research.