Online Schooling 101: The Beginner's Guide

So you are considering an online school for your child, but where do you start? How does online schooling even work? Is it easier than traditional schooling? And how does one make the change from traditional to online schooling? You have so many questions and we are here to point you in the right direction to find the answers.

How does online school work?

Online school offers your child a genuine alternative to attending a regular school. They still ‘attend’ classes, except they ‘log in’ from home. Once enrolled, the school operates much like any other – providing qualified teacher support, a registered curriculum, and learning resources. The biggest difference is that online school is portable and flexible, so your child can learn at any time from anywhere.

With online school, your child can progress through the learning material at their own pace. If they have difficulty with a topic, they can review the material as many times as necessary before moving on. And if they grasp something quickly, they can progress to the next thing without needing to wait for the rest of the class. In an online school children can interact with their peers through class discussions and build friendships in the online school community.

How does online high school work?

Children enrolled in an online high school may have a daily schedule and routine based on the classes they choose or are eligible to take, just like children enrolled in a traditional high school. Teachers give live classes and may also schedule weekly office hours to meet with children (and parents) one-on-one. Online schooling allows a greater deal of flexibility within the school day and there are various ways in which children can attend class.

Some online schools do not require children to log into a live class each day, but will still offer support from a certified teacher, who will post daily plans for your child to follow. The lesson plans include resources to help you, including videos, helpful websites, and animations. Teachers are usually available throughout the day and during weekly office hours to work with your child one-on-one.

CambriLearn gives students access to interactive online learning content, live and recorded lessons, Q&A sessions, direct chat with teachers, an online student progress tracker and marked assignments and exams. 

Can you finish high school online?

The short answer is, yes, as long as you meet the minimum graduation requirements such as completing all required assignments and passing their examinations. With some online school programmes, children may even have the option of graduating early.

How do online children write tests and exams?

A timetable is provided for tests and exams, which are written on specific days at home under supervision. For the most part, exams are written in person at dedicated examination centres in your area.

Is online schooling easier than traditional schooling?

Online courses should not be easier than traditional schooling, and that’s a good thing. Rather, online school challenges children in ways that teach them valuable time management, communication and technical skills that benefit them in future professional settings, including university and the workplace. Whilst the curriculum itself is not necessarily easier than traditional schooling, the self-paced nature of online learning promotes optimal knowledge retention and helps instil a child’s love for learning. 

Is online school good for social anxiety?

Online schooling removes the child from the typical peer pressures of a traditional classroom environment. This helps to reduce their social anxiety levels and live a better quality of life. It also provides more freedom for your child to engage in other social interactions of their choice where they feel comfortable. In other words, online education gives your child complete control over the level of social interaction that they participate in, which is a huge blessing for anyone who suffers from social anxiety.

Benefits of online schooling

There are many benefits to choosing an online school. Some of these benefits include:

  • Children can learn at their own pace.
  • They can study a wide variety of topics.
  • Learning can happen anytime, anywhere.
  • Children learn life skills such as time management, prioritisation and leadership.
  • Imagination is cultivated.
  • Different learning needs are accommodated.
  • Children can learn in the ways they learn best.
  • They won’t fall through the cracks. 
  • There is less peer pressure. 
  • Children grow to be independent thinkers.
  • Lifelong learning habits are fostered.
  • Busy parents are given more chances to be influential in their children’s lives.
  • Children are more confident.

How to switch from a traditional school to an online school?

Firstly, research the legal requirements of your country or area and choose an online school with an accredited programme that complies with those requirements. Once your child is enrolled with an online school, help them to set up a study space and schedule that works for them. 

Encourage your child to maintain friendships and to keep up with extracurricular activities. Online schooling doesn’t mean your child should function in isolation. Make sure there is time built into their educational schedule and the family schedule for your child to remain engaged socially with friends and physically active in any sports teams or other activities.

Like anything new, getting acquainted with an online school will take some time. Slowly adjusting to the online-class format rather than jumping in will prevent you and your child from feeling overwhelmed by all the new resources. No matter what online school your child is attending, they will need to get comfortable with the layout of the courses and the setup of the curriculum. So give your child time to adjust.

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