Many parents are choosing to keep their children home from school this year, which means a lot of middle school students are enrolling in online classes. Virtual school options have expanded in recent years, and there are variations that can fit any type of student. If you are looking into virtual learning options, there are three main types you should be aware of.
1. Home School
Home school programs have a lot of benefits. For example, you will be able to choose a curriculum that fits your child's learning style and interests. You and your child can set your schedule and your child can move at their own pace. For children who want to study with other students, you can enroll them in some online classes while allowing your child to complete other classes offline or on their own.
A drawback of homeschool is that you have to organize your child's curriculum and grade their work. This can be stressful for some parents.
2. Public Virtual School
A public virtual school is an online school that follows a curriculum set forth by the public school system. It tends to be more structured than home schooling programs, and your child will likely be expected to attend classes at certain times and complete assignments on a schedule. Some benefits of public virtual school are that your child can maintain relationships with their local friends and may be allowed to participate in public school events. Additionally, your child will have access to teachers who can guide their learning and help them with difficult material.
3. Private Virtual School
A private virtual school is an online school that is run by a private school. Similar to choosing an in-person private school, when selecting an online private school you can choose a school with values that reflect your ideals and a learning style that fits your child. You can also choose to enroll your child in a virtual school anywhere in the country as opposed to only in your area. This gives you more choices but may limit your child's opportunities for in-person interactions.
If you want to keep your child home for the school year, it's important to choose a style of home-learning that works for you and supports your child's learning and social development. Before purchasing a curriculum or enrolling your child in a course, make sure to consider your options and discuss your child's desires for the school year.
To learn more about online middle school programs, contact educators in your area.