Considering a Public Online School or Homeschooling?
Many parents toy with the idea of enrolling their kids in a K-12 online school or homeschooling them, but they are afraid to take the leap. Some common concerns often come up in conversations with parents, and we would like to give those of you who are considering one of these options, a little peace of mind by touching on some of the top concerns but also by shedding light on some unexpected benefits.
Subjects – You may feel unqualified to teach certain subjects. However, you don’t have to know all of the subject matter; few adults are qualified to teach everything from algebra to chemistry. Choosing a strong online curriculum and access to qualified teachers is key when broaching a subject you don’t feel comfortable teaching. The simplest option is to enroll your student in an online course (or courses). These courses take the pressure off of the parent and are often inexpensive — or even free. Look for courses that offer a credentialed teacher who provides instruction, tutoring, feedback, and grading. If you value flexibility, look for online courses that are asynchronous.
Social Skills – Initially, this can be a big worry for families. Friends and relatives will sometimes feed this fear, but as time passes, so does this worry. Kids have plenty of opportunities to socialize. They may actually have more free time to spend with friends because they can use their school time more efficiently. There’s no waiting for teachers to take attendance or for students to settle into classes– no time needed to physically move from class to class — no lunchroom lines — or any lines for that matter. Students can focus on their studies rather than the “campus shuffle.”
Independence – As they get older, students will become more and more independent. Typically, middle school and high school students will take responsibility for their studies — which is the perfect way to prepare for college!
Keep in mind that colleges offer some or most of their courses online. Taking online high school courses before college provides students with the unique skill-set necessary to be successful in online college courses.
Siblings – When families choose online schools or homeschooling, sibling relationships are more likely to strengthen — rather than weaken. When siblings go in different directions during the day and return home to do homework in the evening, sibling relationships often suffer — there is simply not enough time for a lot of family interaction.
If you are interested in online classes or homeschooling, do some research and talk to experienced parents and teachers. iLead Online’s administration and credentialed teachers are happy to meet with you and give you a better understanding of what to expect when choosing a public online school. Making the decision to jump in and choose a different educational path for your kids, may be the hardest part of the journey.
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