Every year, hundreds of parents pull their kids out of traditional schools and enroll them in virtual programs. How do online elementary schools benefit children and their families? Why are parents so eager to remove their kids from the system that has worked for decades? Here are some of the most common reasons:
1. An online school gives kids the freedom to work on developing their passions. Two decades ago, primary school children were given little no homework. Now, students often return from school with hours of worksheets, drills, and assignments to complete. Many parents complain that students aren't given the opportunity to focus on their own talents: learning an instrument, experimenting with science, or mastering a sport. Parents of online students often find that students are able to complete their assignments faster when they don't have the distraction of peers to hold them back. Many online students are able to finish their coursework in the early afternoon, leaving many hours for kids to develop their own passions.
2. Online schools allow kids to get away from bad situations. Difficult situations with bullying, bad teaching, or a questionable curriculum may make school a struggle. Parents certainly don't want to teach their kids to run away from a bad situation. However, some parents find that enrolling their child in an online school can be good for both their learning and their emotional health.
3. Families are able to spend more time together after enrolling their kids in online school. Hours of class, after-school tutoring, and extracurricular activities are leaving many families with no time to spend together (aside from homework tantrums). Online schooling lets kids complete their studies and still spend quality time with their loved ones.
4. Many online schools help kids work at their own pace. One of the drawbacks of traditional classrooms is that teachers must design their instruction to meet the needs of the students in the center. If your child is struggling to understand a concept, he may be left behind. Likewise, if your child is unchallenged, he may have to sit bored and uninspired for hours while the rest of the class catches up. Not all online schools let students work at their own pace, but a growing number provide students with the flexibility to get extra help when they need it or move ahead when they don't.
5. Online schools help students to develop independence. By their nature, online schools require students to develop the independence to work on their own and the responsibility to complete assignments by the deadline. Not all students are up for the challenge, but kids that develop these skills will be better prepared for completing further education and joining the workforce.
6. Online schools help students develop technology skills. Technology skills are essential in almost every field and there's no way for students to learn online without developing at least some of these essential abilities. Online learners tend to become proficient with internet communication, learning management programs, word processors, and online conferencing.
7. Families have a greater educational choice when they are able to consider online schools. Many families feel like they are stuck with few educational options. There may be only a handful of public and private schools within driving distance (or, for rural families, there may only be a single school). Online schools open up an entirely new set of choices for concerned parents. Families can choose from state-run online schools, more independent virtual charter schools, and online private schools. There are schools designed for young actors, gifted learners, struggling students, and more. Not all schools will break the bank, either. Publicly-funded online schools allow students to learn without charge. They may even provide resources like laptop computers, learning supplies, and internet access.