Online High Schools

Online high schools have increased in popularity and social acceptance this last decade.  There are several important things to know before choosing that format for high school!

Average and gifted students in online high schools are not held up by the rate of group classroom progress. Also, students that are struggling in a subject are not forced to move on before learning. However, the group achievement test score averages for these schools or programs may show below national averages because many at risk students are being referred to these programs.  This does not mean that online high schools create lower performance.  It just means many students with academic challenges use this opportunity to stay in school rather than dropout.  Read why there are challenges in modern education.

Many are concerned that lack of traditional supervision can cause lower performance. One benefit online high schools often have is everything is automated.  This includes lesson plans, scoring, grade recording, and student system access reports.  The school can easily monitor quality and quantity, often faster than a traditional classroom. Example of high quality online high schools: Southeast Academy

It is important that online high schools have high academic standards with clear boundaries for expulsion, so well-intentioned students are not tempted to procrastinate or skim information.  Many online high schools have automatic built-in tools for concept re-enforcement and remediation when needed.

Online schools at the high school level normally require a teacher on call for academic assistance. Most online high schools have different teachers for different subjects, so students have a higher quality structure for help.  Each subject teacher normally also monitors the student’s work quality and quantity levels.  A good program will have a teacher or counselor assigned to monitor the overview of all subjects and credits.

Students enrolled in online high schools enjoy several benefits.  Online curriculum often implements multimedia and other tools such as drills and games.  Often the curriculum is intuitive, so concepts that are missed in drills and quizzes are covered again or differently.  The work time saved from the efficient structure of online high schools is very attractive to students.   Online high schools are often structured so the same amount of work can be accomplished from 8 a.m. to noon rather than a full day.

Most parents like the online structure.  The safety factor is attractive to parents.  There are no bullies, negative peer influences, or travel risks when the student works from home.  The family is less exposed to outbreaks of sickness that easily spread in schools.  Even when parents pay an online high school’s tuition, they save enough money from transportation, lunches, and clothing to offset a large part of the cost.  Many parents save an enormous amount of time when they do not have to provide transportation.

Online High Schools Points to Consider:

The student and parent must realize in advance that expulsion will occur if the quantity and quality of work does not take place. Even well-intentioned students will fail because they sometime have a longer leash with online high schools. Some students may need daily or even hourly accountability to the parent. There needs to be a joint effort between parents, school and student.

The school or program must provide an academic support system, so this does not fall solely on the parent or the student.

It is normally better to have an automated individualized curriculum that allows easy report access to parents. Structures where teachers take several days to score work can be detrimental for student accountability to parents. Parents need to be able to track daily student work in just a minute.

It is very rare to have a student that can be successful without parent involvement.  Some students require parent supervision throughout all school hours to stay focused. Some situations only require a few minutes per day for the parent to make sure daily goals and accomplishments were completed.

A good page to review to help choose which program:  Ten points to consider when choosing a homeschool program.

Why some free options may not be best.