Homeschool and Online School Are the Same Thing – Or Are They?
Written by Ellen R.
They are similar, because learning takes place in the safety of your home, and parents can be closely involved in their child’s education.
Online schools, also called virtual schools and cyber academies, are alternatives to the traditional classroom learning environment. They are growing in popularity, as more and more parents look to have input and involvement in their children’s education. Online schools can be pubic charter schools, which are free to residents in that state, or private online schools, which charge tuition. In both types of online schools, instruction is primarily delivered digitally. Students log-in to a password-protected Learning Management System (LMS) to access their course work. Parents have full access to student work and can monitor their child’s progress.
One advantage of the online learning environment is having access to school anytime and anyplace where there is Internet access. This can be ideal for a range of students who need a flexible schedule – student athletes, performing artists, students with medical limitations, parenting students or working students. Military families also enjoy the benefits of online school. If they are relocated, school moves with them, and it is one less disruption in their child’s life.
One important difference between homeschooling and online schooling, is that in online school, the curriculum and skilled teachers are part of the package. With homeschooling, the parents are the teachers. Their role includes preparing the lesson plans and assignments, grading the assignments, and administering assessments to monitor their child’s progress. Many states require examples of student work (student portfolio) to be submitted to the state department of education to verify attendance in school. While this works great for many families, others prefer the online learning environment where the curriculum is easily accessed and teachers are trained specifically to engage students in online learning.
As you research the right educational choice for your child, consider the advantages of online school. Even if you have had a successful experience homeschooling through the elementary and middles grades, you might decide that teaching Algebra 2 is just not your strength. Here are 5 important things to consider in looking for an online school:
- Regionally Accredited
- Rigorous mastery-based, self-paced curriculum
- Teachers who are qualified and trained in online learning
- Highly rated by parents – read lots of reviews
- Personalized learning-plan for each student
At Whitmore School there are other advantages as well:
- One-to-one instruction with a qualified, supportive and encouraging teachers in all subjects
- Flexible school schedule open year-round (no traditional semesters)
- Students work at the pace most comfortable to them. Great at math? Go ahead and fly through math. Struggle in English? Take your time and really learn the concepts.
- No bullies – we understand the importance of having an emotionally and physically safe learning environment
- Mastery-based curriculum developed by experienced educational professionals
- Regionally accredited by North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, under the parent organization AdvancED
- A Guidance Counselor who will work with your child to develop a Personal Graduation Plan and monitor your child’s progress every step of the way
- A high school diploma that is accepted by colleges across the country
- Recommended by homeschoolbase.com as one of the Top 10 Educational Websites of 2017!
Click here if you would like to learn more about Whitmore School.
Principal and Mom of Alina B. – 2009 Graduate