School alternatives like online public schooling and homeschooling provide students an opportunity to thrive in a flexible and convenient learning environment without stepping out of the house!
So, now with these offerings of the educational landscape, students are no more tied to the physical boundaries of a crowded classroom.
In the last 5 years, there is a remarkable growth of these educational alternatives.
Before understanding the pros and cons of these two options,
Let’s take a quick look at some facts about these new trends of school education in the USA:
[Last 5 years]
- The percentage of homeschooled students increased by 1.6%.
- The percentage of total virtual schools (state) also went up to 0.4%.
(Source – The Ministry of Education, the USA.)
These numbers speak volumes about the acceptance of online schooling and homeschooling in the past few years. However, when it comes to their comparison, online schools generally have an edge over homeschooling.
Is Online Schooling Better?
Online schools are indeed the face of ‘NEXT GEN’ education. It is a thoughtful alternative for mainstream education. Because it creates a safe and flexible learning environment beyond the geographical boundaries of a nation. With this medium, a student continues their schooling and gets academic support through online teachers and non-teaching support-staff members. So, when it comes to flexibility, accountability, and credibility, even online public schools surpasses traditional schools and the homeschooling options.
Apparently, it is also proved that online education can increase the educational productivity of students. Therefore, this medium is perfect for quality education within the safe settings of one’s home.
Safety Is Essential for Effective Teaching and Learning!
Every homeschooling parent right now has specific reasons for embracing an educational alternative. Most of the time, parents make these choices because of the voids and safety concerns of the traditional schools.
Statistics also reveals that:
- 34% of homeschooling parents their child wish to break free from issues like negative peer pressure, drugs, and safety problems in traditional schools.
- 17% of them were not satisfied with the instructions imparted in regular schools.
- And 16% of parents were more inclined towards imparting religious instructions to their children.
We all know that parental involvement is the basis of homeschooling. But have you ever thought about homeschooling without a parent?
Can You Be Homeschooled Without a Parent?
If we go by the legal aspects, homeschooling without a parent is not possible. Because, the US education ministry permits homeschooling for children, as a personal choice. However, its standardized procedure expects parents/guardians to inform either, the state/local education agency about this choice.
It is also noteworthy that, the provisions of home-based education fall under the ‘State Function’. Hence, some of these can also vary from state to state. But whatever the case maybe, there are certain legal prerequisites defined by the state in most of the cases.
(Source – U. S. Department of Education Programs Serving Private School Students.)
So with the state regulations and formal structure of home education, it can be a difficult choice for several students.
And what if a student wishes to study at home, without being tied to any regulations and schedules?
Well! This option is also open with accredited online schools!
How Does Online School Work?
Simply put, online school functions through an online learning management system also known as the ‘LMS’. It delivers educational resources, instructions, classes, and supports the student’s school education through its virtual portal. The teaching and learning processes within a digital schooling platform are broadly divided as ‘synchronous’ and ‘asynchronous’. The former creates opportunities for real-time interactions with online teachers and students through collaborative internet tools. And the latter is the personal/individual learning time of the student when the teacher is at bay!
Despite the unavailability of an online teacher during the asynchronous duration, the design of a virtual school keeps the parents, teachers, and other concerned team members, (counselors/academicians) etc. on the same page.
These platforms allow tracking of the student’s academic progress and help in bridging the academic gaps through the best online teaching pedagogies. In conclusion, we can say that digital schooling is full of the ideal components of an educational platform.
All in all, its benefits make it a credible alternative to break-free from the challenges of homeschooling.
Home-educating a child can have some advantages but these come in handy with a set of challenges such as:
- Juggling between responsibilities.
- The hardships of on and off teacher & parent role handling.
- Work-life balance and handling more than one child at a time.
- Putting in an additional effort to improve the socializing opportunities for your child.
- Seeking help/advice/tips from the right channel.
Hence, it is clear that homeschooling is hard for parents!!
Educating a child at home needs certain skillsets and capabilities. Because not all parents who decide to homeschool their child are ‘tailor-made’ to pull it off!
Let’s take an example to prove this point. During the virus outbreak, several parents struggled hard to carry out meaningful learning at home.
As a result, parents homeschooling during pandemic suffered because of an abrupt and unplanned transition.
Pandemic homeschooling came out to be a stressful endeavor for the parent community across the world. Reports have shown that the issues of a ‘digital divide’, incompetence to teach the child, and multitasking created great difficulties for parents. As a result, many of them found it hard to engage and manage their kids well at home.
But the fact is that children cannot be homeschooled without a parent!
Homeschooling is possible with the partial or full-fledged support of a parent/guardian. Because, from technical arrangements to monitoring the child’s progress, home-based learning cannot be fruitful without parental involvement.
So, if a parent/guardian wishes to minimize his/her intervention and yet avail the benefits of a viable educational alternative
Online Schooling Is a Perfect Choice!
Digital schooling is a package of effective instructional delivery, inbuilt supervision mechanisms, and numerous other advantages.
Let’s quickly jump on to some prominent benefits of online school programs:
- Scope of self-paced and personalized learning.
- Cost-effective because of zero travel and other hidden expenses.
- Fosters intrinsic motivation and a zeal to be a lifelong learner.
- Inculcates new-age relevant skills.
- Is free from time and location barriers
- Convenient and flexible for all learning styles and intelligence types.
Moving on to the cost aspect now!
How Much Does Online School Cost?
Digital schooling is certainly a cost-effective option for students. Because the per-pupil cost of virtual schools is much lower than the blended/traditional schools. Prominent accredited online schools save the cost of infrastructure and the maintenance of physical structures. Hence, they offer ‘value for money’ affordable options for K-12 school programs.
Generally, the cost range of virtual schooling can range from $949 to $2900 for a high school program.
It is evident that homeschoolers perform better than traditional school students. But the endeavor of supporting homeschooling is not possible for all parents all the time.
So, to make the benefits of homeschooling feasible for all parents, online schools offer a unique opportunity through digital learning solutions. These ‘online homeschooling’ platforms allow students to complete their schooling within the home settings. And that too with the added advantages of technology-based learning.
From autonomy to flexibility, virtual schooling offers a secure and cost-effective schooling alternative without demanding much parental involvement.
This medium navigates the student’s learning through the support of online teachers. As a result, parents can be free from the other functions of educating their child, and can simply take up the role of ‘supervision’.
So, in a world where quality education is the cornerstone to improve educational opportunities, virtual schooling is a ONE-SIZE FITS ALL SOLUTION!
IT’S A FUTURE-READY OPTION FOR RELEVANT 21st CENTURY LEARNING AND A TRUE BLESSING OF TECHNOLOGY IN THIS DIGITAL WORLD!