Could Remote Learning Be a More-Convenient Alternative to Home Schooling?

4 min to read
A Learning Coach and student working together in their home classroom. 

Brick-and-mortar school isn’t always the best option for all learners. To achieve the flexibility, parental involvement, or academic freedom that some families want from their children’s school, the two most common alternatives available are online public or private school and homeschooling. 

However, not all families can commit to homeschooling full-time for the full length of their child’s academic career. Concerns about the time costs, the financial needs, and the quality of education that comes with homeschooling lead many families to turn instead to the convenience of online school. 

Why Would My Family Consider Remote Learning over Brick-and-Mortar School?

There are a few reasons why brick-and-mortar school might not be a good fit for your family.

Some major reasons brick-and-mortar schools don’t work for every student are:

  • Scheduling conflicts due to extracurriculars

  • Mental disorders or physical conditions  

  • Parents desiring greater involvement

  • Traveling or moving frequently

  • Lesson pace doesn’t align with student’s learning speed

How is Online School More Convenient than Homeschooling?

Compared to brick-and-mortar school, online school has most of the same benefits families interested in homeschooling look for while often being much more convenient for families than homeschooling alone.  

Multiple students in different grade levels can be taught at the same time.

When homeschooling, families can often struggle with educating students who are at different academic levels or in different grades. It can be difficult to keep up with the lessons of a sixth grader while also trying to help a kindergartener to learn to read. 

In an online school, students of different grade levels can focus on their lessons directly, leaving caregivers in the position of keeping their students on track. If a family has multiple children, online school can make sure each student is performing at the level that is right for them. 

Families can stay involved in their student’s education.

Both online school and homeschooling provide increased opportunities for families to get involved in their child’s education, but with online school, caregivers, or another trusted adult, can participate as a Learning Coach for their student. Not to be confused with a teacher, a Learning Coach provides support, encouragement, and motivation, but does not teach the actual lessons.

When homeschooling, typically, parents are the teachers. They plan, develop, and teach lessons to their children. This means that parents have complete control over the curriculum and schedule for learning. However, planning and teaching the curriculum, and then grading work is a significant time commitment. Additionally, parents must teach subjects they aren’t always qualified to teach. 

Also, online school can be a good choice for caregivers who want the convenience of not having to brush up on twelfth-grade Calculus or eighth-grade World History. If a homeschool family has concerns about teaching subjects they are not familiar with after a certain grade level, online school can reduce the academic burden on parents and caregivers because state-certified teachers still provide lessons, coursework, and support to learners. Learning Coaches simply keep their child on track and focused on their learning.

Students can enjoy the freedom to learn at their own pace.

Some students move at a different pace than the standard established in brick-and-mortar schools. Remote learning at an online public or private school allows students to move faster or slower, depending on their needs. It is much simpler for students to take specific classes at their level, such as earning college credits through  AP®* courses or taking course recovery summer courses.

Students in online school graduate with an accredited high school diploma.

After completing their senior year, online students receive an accredited high school diploma from a state-certified school, just like they would if they went to a public or private, brick-and-mortar high school. Credits also can transfer between schools, so a student in the fourth grade transferring to a new school can stay in the fourth grade, typically without the need for an assessment test. Also, an accredited high school diploma ensures a student’s education will be accepted by colleges and employers in the future. 

Online public schools are tuition free.

When homeschooling, families must pay for (or create) their own curriculum and buy all the necessary educational supplies. Meanwhile, for a public online school like Connections Academy, both tuition and the curriculum are completely free, just like brick-and-mortar public schools. This makes online school much more affordable than homeschooling.

Benefits of Online School vs. Homeschool

If the time and cost commitment of homeschooling isn’t a good fit for your family, online school might be a fantastic alternative that brings all the benefits of at-home learning, like more flexibility and direct involvement in the student’s education, with the accreditation and access to certified teachers of brick-and-mortar schools. If you’re interested in exploring online school options for your family, you can request more information now.

*AP® and Advanced Placement® are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission.  

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