Many believe online schools are the educational wave of the future. At the very least, online education represents a popular and viable option for your 21st century student.
But given the number and diversity of cyber schools, how can you, as a parent, navigate the current online school options to choose the best educational fit for your child?
This in mind, here are five key questions to use as a guide to choosing a K-12 online school:
1) Is the school accredited?
Virtual schools can be regionally, nationally or internationally accredited, or all of the above. Make sure you find out about a prospective school’s accreditation and the reputation of the body providing it. Doing so will ensure your child’s transcript holds weight when applying for college.
2) Does it offer a college preparatory curriculum?
Cyber schools, like their brick and mortar counterparts, were not made equal. Do your research on a potential school’s curriculum to see if it is college preparatory in nature and if its graduates are successful in their collegiate admissions and endeavors.
3) Is it flexible enough to allow for my child’s particular learning style and pace?
An effective and accommodating virtual school should offer your child the ability to proceed at the most effective pace for her or his personal learning style.
4) How much support and attention from teachers and staffers will my child receive?
A quality online school should value and enable the teacher-student relationship with one-on-one teacher access, group learning, and the instructional and personal attention required for academic success. Similarly, an effective online school will offer tech support that is easily accessible and readily available.
5) Does the school offer a comprehensive educational program?
Minus the in-person time, an effective online program should, at least, offer as comprehensive an educational program as its traditional counterparts. Ask about all of the components and disciplines of its educational model and how they are integrated within the school’s curriculum. Find out about electives and supplemental programs as well and compare with traditional schools.
Taking the time to ask these important questions can go a long way towards ensuring your child’s educational success.
Online education is growing year over year and is offering students and their families an alternative to traditional learning environments. Many students have higher rates of academic progress in online programs because they are able to work at their own pace without distractions.