Technology has advanced many industries including education. With access to a computer and the internet, all levels of education are now available online from elementary school to college. While many people don’t think twice about the advantages of taking online college courses, online K-12 education has just begun to be tapped. While choosing the right education for a child is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, there are a few advantages to online elementary school.
Two of the primary advantages of any type of internet schooling are scheduling and location. For families living in urban districts where overcrowding may be an issue, or families living in rural districts where classrooms are far from home, online schooling can provide an entirely different atmosphere and family dynamic by keeping children home. In fact, families who have chosen homeschooling from the beginning often find that online elementary school is their best solution because it typically provides access to a certified teacher and pre-designed curriculum while still taking place at home.
Though there are several options available for enrollment in an online elementary school, most programs offer basic classes that give children the opportunity to progress at their own pace. This can be an advantage to children who have difficulty performing in traditional classroom environments. Some children have difficulty keeping up, while others require fast-paced, challenging instruction to keep them engaged. Online education often provides solutions to children who are struggling in school because of academic issues, as well as those struggling with social and developmental issues as well.
Though the obvious advantages — including working at an individual pace, avoiding social and demographic complications, and tailored schedules — entice some families to choose online education, it isn’t for every one. There are disadvantages, too, and both sides should be carefully examined before committing your child to an online elementary school.
Many online programs are chartered programs, funded by state education dollars, and therefore available tuition free. Others may be privately operated and require tuition. Some school districts even make online education an alternative option available through a child’s school, though usually not until high school. You can ask your child’s school guidance or academic councilor about alternative options.
Before enrolling your child in an online elementary school, be sure to investigate all available options and school choices. Also remember that a commitment must be made by a parent or caregiver to remain available throughout the child’s school day to help with assignments and computer issues, even though they will be assigned a “virtual” teacher. Make sure to pay attention to any system requirements and necessary equipment and supplies required by the school. Online schooling requires a learning curve for parents as well as their children, but has proven to be a viable option for many parents.