Online homeschooling offers many benefits for teens. Without schedule or environment constraints, many students find that they’re more productive and eager to learn.
But homeschooling isn’t necessarily the best choice for every teen. If your son or daughter is very social or enjoys participating in extra-curricular activities, transitioning to an online environment may be challenging. So, how do you know if distance learning is the right choice for your child?
1. Your Teen Learns Independently
Students thrive with online homeschooling when they can learn independently and work through the course material at their own pace. Autonomous learners are the best candidates for homeschooling because they can easily determine:
- What they want to learn,
- How they want to learn, and
- The pace at which they want to learn.
It’s important to remember that every child has his or her own learning style and needs. Some children perform better in classroom environments because they prefer to collaborate or compete with other students.
Others excel when they can take a self-directed approach to learning. These students thrive with online learning because they’re put directly into the driver’s seat of their education.
2. Your Family Wants More Freedom and Flexibility
Every family is unique and has their own needs. There are many reasons why a family may want more flexibility when it comes to their child’s education.
- Maybe your teen wants to work while attending high school.
- Perhaps you have a job that requires a lot of traveling or relocating, and a traditional school schedule just isn’t going to work for you.
- Maybe you just want your child to have freedom with his/her education.
Distance learning allows your child to study and learn on a schedule that works best for your family. And students gain this freedom without sacrificing the help and guidance of experienced instructors.
3. You Want to be More Involved in Your Child’s Education
Do you want to take a more active role in your child’s education? Online homeschooling may be a great option for your family.
While you don’t necessarily have to be a part of every lesson and assignment, online schools make it easier for you to take a hands-on approach to your child’s education. You’ll have easy access to:
- The course syllabus,
- Assignments and projects, and
- Course material.
Having access to this information will allow you to better understand the course and help your child in areas that may be more challenging or confusing. The guidance that a family can give a student in regard to budgeting their time, approaching lessons with a calm mind and body, and encouraging persistence is invaluable.
With online schools, you can also keep a close eye on your child’s progress and regularly communicate with teachers. Taking an active role in your child’s education can help improve educational outcomes. In fact, research shows that parental involvement improves student confidence and success.
4. Your Teen is a Motivated Student
Does your child love learning? If so, then online homeschooling may be a great option. Children learn best in an online environment when they are:
- Focused, and
Again, autonomy will play a big role in whether a child will succeed with online schooling. Your teen must be able to take the initiative to keep up with the work, finish lectures, complete assignments, revise their work, organize their notes, and prepare themselves for exams.
Will your child be able to stay focused for several hours without any guidance? If the answer is yes, then homeschooling may be a good fit.
Discuss the idea of online learning with your child. Teens are often more motivated to keep up with assignments and work when it’s their decision to do so. If your child is up to the challenge, work together to set rules and create a schedule that works for everyone.
5. Your Child Wants to Avoid Negative Social Situations
Some students excel in a traditional classroom environment and experience positive social interactions. Others may have a little more difficulty in this area. In some cases, negative social experiences can make students want to avoid school entirely.
If your child is struggling with bullying, negative social situations, or a school system that does not align with your family’s beliefs, online schooling may be a great alternative to traditional schools. In a virtual environment, students are free to learn without social pressure. Being able to watch your student grow in an environment full of positive influences is a benefit of online homeschooling; giving them freedom from some of the hardships and negative influences is a gift to both you and your child.
6. Your Child Has Specific Needs
If your teen has specific learning needs, homeschooling may be the ideal solution. Gifted students, for example, may struggle with boredom in a conventional classroom. The coursework may not be challenging enough to hold their interest.
With online schooling, teens can forge their own educational path. They’re free to enroll in advanced honors or AP classes that will provide the challenge and reward they seek.
Teens are also free to explore different interests because online schools offer a wider variety of courses than traditional brick-and-mortar schools. While a traditional school is limited by the expertise of the teachers in the building and the ability to schedule courses around available physical space, online schools can expand their curriculum without boundaries. That means that online schools are updating and adding to their course selection at all times.
Additionally, online schooling gives families the flexibility to provide new experiences for their children that might not have been available through a traditional school. While other schools are cutting hands-on learning experiences and field trips, you can provide those experiences for your student through visits to museums, art galleries, and nature centers. There is more time for volunteer work or involvement in community organizations. The flexibility of online school opens doors to many positive life experiences to help your student grow as a person and develop into a more well-rounded young adult.
If you want your child to take a more faith-based approach to education, online schools can help you achieve that goal as well. Finding a program with a faith-centered world view is often the most important requirement for parents in search of the right fit for their student. Not only does online homeschooling through a faith-based program help you avoid the exposure to negative influences, but it gives you the opportunity to help your student better understand the faith that your family is built on.
Set Your Child Up for Success
If your teen ticks all the boxes for the ideal online learner, then the next step is to enroll in an online school.
At Northgate Academy, teens can earn their high school diplomas while taking Christian courses online. Our accredited school offers a wide range of courses designed to challenge students of all levels.