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How to research online school options

How to research online school options

Schooling today has become a chaotic and often stressful thing. While many people send their children to public schools, this is not always the best way to give your child a good education. There are many alternatives to educating your children and online schooling is actually one of the best options for most kids.

Online schooling has evolved drastically and is one of the best ways for students to learn and have fun learning. While the idea of online schooling may not appeal to some parents, everyone should know that it has evolved and is now one of the most innovative and successful ways for children to learn. If you are tired of traditional classroom learning and you want to bring your child into the 21st century and give them and skills and education they need to be successful, you should highly consider online learning.

Here are some of the main factors that you should consider before starting an online school.

#1) Accredited

One of the biggest factors that you need to consider is whether or not the school you are looking to attend is accredited. An accredited school will have a rigorous educational curriculum and excellent instruction. If your school is accredited you can rest easy knowing that your child is going to get a great education.

#2) Price

Many schools are different with how they operate. There are numerous public online schooling options that allow students to go to school online for free. There are no hidden fees or taxes that you need to worry about. It is essentially the same as getting a public education, but you can do so online and sometimes even get a better overall education.

Other schools will charge students to attend, which is similar to a private schooling option. These schools often have a rigorous curriculum and are a for profit school.

Both options are great for students, but the price is one factor that may influence a parent’s decision. A school that charges for an education is not always better than the free ones, so it is important to look at all factors before enrolling your child into an online school.

#3) Personalized Learning

Another factor that is important to consider before choosing an online school is whether or not the school offers personalized learning. Many schools will typically operate in two different ways. Some schools will have one set curriculum that every student must follow. This means that every single student completes the exact same assignments in the course. The teacher grades all of the assignments the same way and gives the students a grade based on their completed work. This is great for students who are average learners and are looking to just complete the work.

If your child is a high performing student, a struggling student, an ESL student or simply has trouble focusing during traditional schooling they may need a curriculum that is personalized to meet their needs and interests. Many online schools offer a rigorous and personalized learning curriculum to help engage students and make them more interested in what they are learning.

A personalized learning curriculum gives students the ability to learn at their own pace. They can easily move through assignments that are too easy for them and take longer on assignments that they may struggle with. Personalized learning breaks up assignments and caters what a student is learning to their own interests. This helps students stay focused and want to continue learning. Finding a personalized learning curriculum is one of the main benefits that many online schooling options offer.

#4) Implementation of Technology

Technology is rapidly evolving and taking center stage in many classrooms, both traditional classroom settings and online learning. Technology allows students to learn and complete work quickly and get immediate feedback. The immediate feedback that students get from technology allows them to reflect on what they are doing and quickly revise and get help. All parents and students should look for online school options that embrace technology.

Technology also allows different ways for students to learn. There are many companies and schools that use demonstrations online to help connect what students are learning to the real world. Using technology in the classroom can allow students to take real world field trips on a computer. They can better understand the concepts they are learning if they are able to see it, in person or virtually.

#5) School Success Rates

One of the most important factors that all parents and students should consider before enrolling in an online school is the school success rates. You can research the school success rates online and get the schools report card. Each school should have a national and state report card that allows you to see how the school performs compared to other schools that are similar to it.

This report card should include demographic information, graduation rate, drop out rate, academic performance, average GPA, standardized test results and more. A great school should have high achievement and growth performance. When these results are high you know that the school and the teachers are doing a great job teaching children what they need to know and taking time to make up areas that are of weakness to each student. Thoroughly investigate this information before enrolling your student and if you are not able to find this information you can often call the school directly and get this information from them.

#6) Review of Schools

To help ensure that your child will be happy at the online school of your choice, you may want to read the reviews of the school you are looking into. Read the review from past students, teachers, parents, and administration. You can often find reviews and real testimonials for these schools online. Make sure that all stakeholders were pleased with the education.

#7) Teacher Ratings

Another important thing that you should consider before enrolling is the rating and success of the teachers. This information may be difficult to find, but you can often look up each teacher individually to find out their education, background, accomplishments and more. You can also see what previous students had to say about each teacher. Try to enroll in a school where the majority of teachers have success and experience in the field of education.

#8) Student Personality

Another important factor that everyone should consider before enrolling at an online school is the personality of themselves. Some people may need a traditional classroom setting to learn, while others may love the ability to learn online. Online schooling is great for students who are intrinsically motivated to learn and have great time management skills.

The flexibility and convenience of online schooling are major benefits, however, if you are not a determined student you may lack the motivation required to learn online. Some schools may help motivate students to learn, while others may let students just fail if they do not attend classes. Look into each school’s mission statement and their values to determine how they motivate students and make them want to go to class to learn.

#9) School Hours

Another main factor that you should consider is the hours that the school operates. Some online schools will only be open from eight am to four pm, like traditional schools. This means that students will need to sit in front of their computer to learn during these hours.

Others schools may be open 24 / 7 to allow students to learn whenever they feel motivated. This option is great for students who like to get up early or sleep in late. This option allows more flexibility, but can also cause students to learn at different hours if they are not motivated. No matter which option you choose, it is important to have a routine that you can follow to ensure stability.

#10) Method of Instruction

Another important thing for students and parents to consider before enrolling in an online school is the method of instruction that schools use. There are numerous ways that schools can educate their students and the best method of instruction depends solely on how your child likes to learn.

One method of instruction is a face to face instruction over the computer. This can take place in a one to one setting or can take place with one teacher talking to the entire class. Either way, there is always a teacher available to give instruction and answer questions in the moment.

Another popular method of instruction includes a pre recorded lesson. Students can click on a link and hear the entire lesson. They can fast forward, rewind and listen to the lesson as many times as they like. The only downside to this method is that students cannot get the immediate feedback they may need. Both options have their benefits and downsides, so this factor will likely be a personal preference. Online schooling is becoming more and more popular and because of this there are many schools opening up. It is important to consider all these factors before choosing the school for you.

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