Online education is growing fast! If you’ve ever wondered about the benefits of online high school or the benefits of online school in general, you’re not alone. Distance learning is more popular than ever, especially with self-motivated students who want a competitive edge while maintaining a flexible schedule. Still, many parents are hesitant to go this route. If you’re wondering how about the benefits of online high school education and how they stack up against a traditional brick-and-mortar school, keep reading. Although there are a multitude of reasons why online high school is better, we’ve decided to cover the top ten. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of what online schools offer and if such a program might be a good fit for you or your child.
#1 Online High Schools are Inclusive
Like it or not, one of the things that stop many students from succeeding in a traditional school setting is the inability to ‘fit in.’ Unfortunately, bullying continues to be a challenge at schools across the nation. It takes many forms from physical to verbal. Those who don’t change to fit the status quo often find themselves being treated unfairly. This is a common experience that almost everyone encounters at one time or another. But for some students, social issues morph into being bullied, ostracized, or abused. For many students, online school is the way out.
One of its greatest advantages, online school provides a safe and secure environment for all students. If you know much about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, then you know that students can’t focus on their education until their needs for safety belonging are met. Learners who switch to an online platform find that they feel much more in control of their own success. They also feel more accepted by their peers. This leads to a boost of confidence that allows for the meeting of one’s ultimate potential.
#2 Online Schools Help Students Get Ahead
Even students who soar socially switch to alternative learning platforms to finish their secondary school years. One of the biggest myths surrounding online high schools is that they are an ‘easy way out.’ It’s actually quite the opposite. Silicon Valley High School is a fully accredited, NCAA approved online school. We offer quality, affordable online courses that help students catch up or jump ahead.
Our courses are designed using the same rigorous standards used to create a traditional curriculum. Seasoned, credentialed teachers support the delivery of these courses. They also answer questions and provide guidance and feedback online. Although courses are self-paced (another of the benefits of online education for high school students,) they aren’t watered down. The meticulous accreditation process online institutions go through makes sure of that.
#3 Online Courses are Self-Paced
Students traditionally fall into three categories: those who finish work quicker than others, those who finish during the allotted time, and those who need more time to be successful. Contrary to popular belief, none of these groups are better than the other. There’s nothing wrong with moving at a fast pace (as long as the material is understood.) On the flip-side, needing extended time to grasp assignments isn’t a sign of low intelligence.
With online, self-paced courses, there is no need to keep up with other students. You are indeed in control of your own learning. This is especially true of blended classes that include a mixture of methods and assessments, along with course feedback from a teacher. Students taking self-paced courses also learn a ton of skills from having to be partially responsible for their own educational experience. In fact, there are so many that we think they deserve their own number.
#4 Online Schools Prepare You For Life
One of the chief complaints of college professors teaching freshman students is how unprepared they are for the ‘real world’ when it comes to education. Although some of the complaints are academic in nature, many have to do with students’ study skills and overall ability to prioritize. In traditional high school, students still have a great deal of guidance. Teachers still ‘hold their hands,’ a great deal. They walk them through the course material, assign homework, check-in, and take a great interest in making sure that they don’t fail. Although this is well-meaning, it just isn’t this way in college. This is especially true for college students who are taking classes online.
As scary as ‘cutting the cord’ might be, this is one of the benefits of online school. Although teachers are there to provide guidance and support as well as feedback, the student must take responsibility for his or her course experience. This is a good thing. The experience will build time management and leadership skills. It will also strengthen communication and adaptability. When their high school days are done, students will be well-equipped to take all they have learned and enter college and/or the workforce.
#5 Online School Enrollment is Year-Round
By far, one of the best benefits of online high school is the flexible enrollment period. Many students leaving public school can’t go to private school because they’ve missed the entry period. This isn’t the case with online high schools like Silicon Valley High School. Enrollment is open for all courses 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. This includes the summer months. So, if a student finds himself looking for an alternative school option in the middle of the year, there is no need to wait until August. You can sign up at any time–even today.
If you’re looking for summer enrichment for yourself or your student, this is one of the other unmatched benefits of online high school education. Most traditional high schools don’t offer summer classes. Those that do tend to provide them only to students who are failing. Taking accredited courses outside of the traditional academic calendar that most schools offer is an excellent way to gain a long-term advantage.
#6 Online High Schools Offer Early Graduation
Number six on our list is an off-shoot of numbers three and five. Because summer courses are available and the courses are self-paced, in many cases, early graduation is possible. This is one of the most cited reasons while online school is better according to teens. Of course, there is no need to rush through the high school experience. But for students who need to finish ahead of schedule, just knowing that it is an option is an advantage in itself. Many colleges are following suit and offering self-paced undergraduate and graduate programs. This just adds to the advantages online school has to offer. Students are being prepared for their futures, even while still in high school.
#7 Online High Schools Cater to Students’ Interests
One of the complaints of students who just don’t ‘like’ school is that it’s boring. What this usually means is that what they’re studying just isn’t interesting to them. In smaller school districts, the course schedule usually offers very little ‘wiggle’ room. Even electives are limited. This isn’t so with online high schools.
Are you interested in learning more about the universe? We have an astronomy course for that. Are you interested in film or photography? We will soon have courses for that as well. We even have electives that will teach you how to program if you’re a ‘tech’ person. Taking part in niche learning opportunities while earning credit towards graduation will make your high online school experience much more enjoyable.
#8 Online High Schools Help Students with Disabilities Shine
There is a long list of things that can stop some students from being successful in a traditional school setting. One of which is dealing with a chronic illness or disability. Take, for example, Jalisa, a high school senior who has a rare genetic disorder that causes severe arthritis, among other physical issues. Although Jalisa’s disease makes it difficult for her to be mobile, it hasn’t affected her ability to learn in any way. Homebound since her freshman year, online high school was a lifesaver. She no longer has to worry about getting to school in a wheelchair or missing days for doctors’ appointments and surgeries.
There are hundreds of thousands of students with a similar story. Some struggle with other disorders like ADHD or a learning disability. Then some have cancer or some other illness that requires social distancing or a flexible schedule. For these students, figuring out why online high school is better is a no brainer. It allows them the opportunity to continue their education, something which might otherwise be impossible.
#9 Online High Schools Help Build Relationships
One of the biggest myths about online high school education is that students are isolated and don’t have opportunities to socialize with others. This is simply untrue. In fact, many students who switch to an alternative learning path find the following things:
- They are able to stay connected with former classmates and friends outside of school
- Students make new friends through socialization opportunities provided by their new school
- They build stronger bonds with their parents as they now have a more active role in their education
Number nine of the listed benefits of online education for high school students is directly connected to flexibility, as well. Students can vacation with their parents, go on field trips during the day, and interact more with family and friends. Meanwhile, they’re still progressing academically. Students who find that they still aren’t getting enough social interaction within their online high school environment, there are tons of homeschooling social groups available to help fill in the gap.
#10 Online High Schools Keeps Learning Going During Times of Crisis
As we’ve seen more and more of late, earthquakes, forest fires, deadly viruses, and other disasters have the ability to quickly halt life as we know it. When this happens during the school year, students can quickly fall behind academically. This just isn’t so with online platforms. As more and more schools scramble to put distance learning in place, schools like Silicon Valley High School are already ahead of the curve. Although our students’ lives are certainly impacted by these unfortunate events, they can still continue going to school. This is often a needed distraction during uncertain times.
When you consider the advantages, online school is certainly the way to go for many students. Of course, this is a highly personal decision that must be weighed carefully. If you’re not sure about whether you or your child might benefit from taking courses online, reach out to us. We would love to speak with you about the benefits of online high school and what sets us apart.