The Truth About Online vs. Traditional Education
It’s hard to think of many things that are more important for your child than their education. With so many options for schooling in today’s world, it may be hard to choose the right one. You may be wondering if an alternative education option, such as an online school, will be a step in the right direction for your child.
While many students struggled when brick-and-mortar schools moved online in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, online education has improved a great deal since then. Educators at dedicated online schools have figured out what works and what doesn’t work.
Today, attending an online school can be just as effective, if not more effective, than attending a brick-and-mortar school for some children. There are many differences between these avenues of education that might make virtual schooling a good choice for your child.
Online Schools Offer More Schedule and Location Flexibility
Traditional schools have rigid schedules where students have to be in certain places at certain times. If they are late, sick, or away because of a family vacation or special activities, they will miss valuable class time.
Online schools often allow for more schedule flexibility. There may be certain times when your child is required to be online, but the school may be able to schedule those times around your needs, and the rest of the school day is up to you. You can schedule your child’s education at the times that work the best for your child and the family.
Additionally, your child can attend school from anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection. Even if you move to another location, or are away from home for an extended length of time, your child will still be able to attend their classes without interruption.
You Get a More Personalized Education with Online Schools
Online schools often have a different educational focus, offer different electives, or encourage parents to choose activities that aren’t available at traditional schools. These options allow students to study whatever interests them, even if it’s not available at the local public school.
Some online schools are also able to condense lessons for core school subjects into a shorter time period during the school day, with extra teacher time available for students when they need it. Students have the flexibility to spend extra time on subjects they are struggling in so they can master the content, or to go beyond the regular curriculum in areas where they have a strong interest.
At some online schools, teachers spend more time customizing classwork for individual students based on their needs and interests. This customization keeps the students engaged with the course material and can make it easier for them to master the content.
Online Schools Allow More Parental Involvement
If you choose an online education for your child, you have more opportunities to help facilitate their learning. Unlike in traditional schools, where parental involvement is very limited, virtual schools allow you to take an active role in your child’s schooling. While greater parental involvement is not ideal for everyone, especially parents who have a lot of responsibilities outside the house, many families love this aspect of online schools.
As an online school parent, you become a “learning coach” for your child. You are not the primary teacher, but you still make sure they attend classes, understand the material, and practice good time management. Your child is likely to spend more time with you than they would if you sent them to an in-person school.
There are many advantages to being engaged in your child’s education. Many parents like it because it helps them know their child’s educational needs as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Others find that helping their child with school gives them bonding time they wouldn’t otherwise have.
Either way, online schools give parents an opportunity to take a hands-on approach to their child’s education that would not be possible in a traditional school.
Online Schools Uses More Modern Technology
Online schools use technology far more than traditional schools. In many cases, students at these schools have the opportunity to practice using new technologies and digital tools that traditional schools might not have the resources to implement.
Online school students are often much better than their peers at keeping up to date with new technological developments. They are typically ahead of the curb when new resources and learning methods become mainstream.
Less Bullying Occurs with Online Schools
The online nature of virtual schools makes it easier to keep your child in a safe learning environment. They are not stuck in a building with peers they might not get along with, so bullying is less likely to occur. In a virtual setting, there is a significantly lower chance that they will meet or have prolonged contact with a bully.
Some online schools, such as Healing Roots Online School (HROS), have smaller class sizes than the average brick-and-mortar school. Smaller class sizes allow the teacher to monitor student interactions and ensure that no problems arise between students. Parents also have more opportunities to communicate with their child and the teacher to ensure their child is safe and happy in school.
Opportunities to Make Friends in Other Geographic Areas
In traditional schools, most students are limited to meeting peers from their neighborhood. The only opportunity to meet other students from different places is if someone new moves into town.
Since virtual schools are location-independent, students typically don’t have to be in the same geographic area to attend. Your child will have opportunities to make friends from other areas of the state, country, or even the world. This will expose your child not only to many people they would never have otherwise met, but also to different cultures and viewpoints that are essential to a well-rounded education.
Online schools can be just as good or better than a traditional school, depending on your child’s learning style and your family’s needs. If you want to see what a typical online school class is like, you can watch a free sample class from Healing Roots Online School.