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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Is Online School Right for Your Child?

Feb 08, 2012 12:00AM

Online-Is it Right for You?

One thing is for certain, online education is here to stay. The demand for online instruction has grown extraordinarily and seems to be increasing more rapidly than ever. Online has been the norm for college for some time and is becoming a practical alternative for earning a high school diploma. Since these programs are not right for everyone here are some things to consider.

Pros

  • Convenience: You can study and take classes from anywhere you have a computer and Internet connection.
  • Flexible Scheduling: Other than an occasional live meeting in real-time, most studying can be done on your own schedule.
  • Safety: Bullying is a growing problem in high schools across the county. Some students may feel safer finishing their high school diploma at home.
  • Finishing Early: Students can work at an accelerated pace and move on to college or the workplace when the program is completed.
  • Quality Materials: According to the U.S Department of Education some online programs offer higher quality learning materials.

Cons

  • Social Isolation: High school can be a time of important social and emotional development depending on peer interaction which is limited through online learning.
  • Cost: Free programs are available, but some online high schools charge private school tuition. Computers, books and supplies are also necessary.
  • Less Guidance: Although there is access to a teacher via e-mail, students must be responsible to reach out to their instructors.
  • Motivation: Students must be self-diciplined and self-motivated or may fall behind on coursework, exams or other academic obligations.
  • Accreditation: Diplomas from non-accredited high school online programs won't be accepted by colleges or employers. Check credentials before enrolling.