Choosing the Right Virtual School

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Learning in a traditional classroom often means limited options for students, simply because a classroom learning environment has to meet the needs of the masses rather than the individual. Why should virtual schooling options apply the same limits? With virtual schooling, you are selecting an alternative means of education for your child, and you have the opportunity to choose the option that best fits his needs rather than a one-size-fits-all solution. Here are some suggestions for choosing the right virtual school:

Academics

When you’re trying to choose the right virtual school for your child, academic options will likely head your list. Selecting a school capable of meeting your child’s academic needs will be your top priority. For example, you might want a school that not only meets state standards for academics but also prepares your child for college. Or you might want a school that offers remedial classes that help your child improve his skills and recover lost ground. Or perhaps your child hasn’t been challenged enough in the past and you want a program that will challenge him and revive his interest in learning. The right virtual school is the one that is most compatible with your child’s academic needs.

Larning Styles

Learning styles are another important consideration when choosing the right virtual school. Some children learn best independently, only requiring a teacher’s help with difficult concepts. Others, however, thrive with daily, one-on-one interaction with an instructor. Some learn best by reading and listening to lectures while others are visual learners or require interactive practice to gain full understanding of a topic. The best virtual school for your student is the one that caters to his particular style of learning.

Support

Support is critical for families who depend on virtual school programs. Leaving parents and their students without support reduces the likelihood of success in the virtual school environment. As such, the best programs typically provide support from teachers, counselors and other staff members for everything from creating a personal education plan to determining when and if there’s a need for a change and ensuring that each student gets help when he needs it. Additionally, the best virtual schools provide technical support since even the most cutting-edge technology develops glitches at times.

Options

The right virtual school for your child is the one that provides the best range of options. Sometimes educational programs fail to meet student needs because they try to fit round pegs into square holes. A good virtual school recognizes that each student is an individual and provides options that meet a variety of needs. For example, you might prefer a school that allows flexible learning schedules, so that your child can pursue other activities, or you might want a school that incorporates extracurricular activities into the program. You might want a school that allows your child to study a non-traditional subject or engage in independent study projects. Perhaps you want a virtual school that makes interacting with other students easy or provides brick-and-mortar labs for student use. A school that provides a wide range of options will often make the best choice because it can easily address your child’s needs now and as he grows and develops.

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