Virtual Schools: Are They Worth It?
March 13, 2017
It’s a trend cropping up all over the nation: virtual schools. From distance learning in colleges, right down to K-12 education, virtual schools are gaining popularity among parents and students alike who view online classes as a wave of the future, and as an alternative to traditional public schooling.
You might be wondering: should I consider sending my child to a virtual elementary school? Online classes have become a staple of many colleges and universities, and online classes have taken the K-12 educational world by storm. Keep reading to find out more about virtual schools, and how to supplement your child’s education regardless of the choice your family makes.
How Does it Work?
Virtual schools operate in much the same way as traditional public or private schools. Kids will still complete projects, assignments, quizzes, and tests, just as they would in their traditional school, though with a slight difference:
- Assignments are usually scanned or emailed, and each student has the opportunity to interact with their teacher via the web. In some cases, some schools offer the chance to meet in a physical location for face-to-face instruction one or more days a week or month.
- Something great about virtual schooling is the potential for individualization and flexibility.
- Class sizes may be smaller, and students may have more interaction time with their teachers, also allowing for flexibility to choose class times that fits your family’s busy schedule.
- Students can learn at their own pace, and not feel pressured by other students.
What’s the Catch?
While there isn’t a “catch” to virtual schooling, there may be some disadvantages for certain kids. An unavoidable reality of online schooling is that there isn’t the same social experience, engaging with peers and building social skills and friendships that your child might enjoy at a traditional school.
Virtual schooling also requires a parent to be home with the child while the child is learning, and more parental oversight is needed to ensure that the student is working and engaged. For students who are disorganized or have trouble with self-motivation, online classes may pose a struggle, whereas in a traditional school, teachers and peers help to keep kids on track.
To sum it up, virtual schooling might be an excellent choice for your child if he or she:
- Is a self-motivated learner.
- Doesn’t have access to quality school options in the area.
- Wants to learn at his/her own pace.
- Needs to have classes on a different schedule than of that which traditional schools provide.
- Has access to, and enjoys learning through technology.
- Has plenty of social interaction outside of the school day.
Your family might want to rethink virtual schooling and consider more traditional options if your child needs more social interaction and/or interaction with teachers and peers in a face-to-face setting. This can help kids who struggle with motivation and organization to become more responsible by adapting to those around him or her.
The choice is entirely yours as a parent whether virtual schooling is right for your child. Regardless of the choice you make, in the classroom or at home, there are always opportunities to supplement your child’s education. If you’re looking for more ways to integrate virtual learning into your child’s life, there is a plethora of free online worksheets and apps that can benefit your child.
A simple iPad game for preschoolers can go a long way reinforcing skills that are learned both in the classroom or in home or virtual schooling. In fact, Kids Academy is proud to announce a brand new app that offers your child practice in writing, math, logical problem solving, and more. The app offers hundreds of worksheets: preschool and kindergrarten learning comes easier and fancier for your learner no matter your educational situation. See it in action:
No matter your decision, the right educational opportunities are available for your child! Use the above advice to help you make the best schooling decision for your children, but don’t forget the multitudes of online resources to take your child’s education to the next level!