As the parents of a high school student with aspirations, which include college and graduate school, we have spent a great deal of time with our daughter discussing and researching educational offerings. Our daughter is lucky that not only are both her parents college graduates, we also had the privilege of being teachers and know a thing or two about working the system. In our daughter’s case, she has no interest in attending school in Florida where we live which puts a bit of a hitch in her plans. Most states create high school curriculums that are ultimately accepted by their universities. In other words, if you are able to go through high school successfully, you should be able to attend a state university.
Because of her decision to go out of state, we have had to look at university admission requirements elsewhere. Due to her heavy science and AP schedule, she has had to supplement her education with on-line offerings. This has not been easy by any means and one of the first ideas that we must rid ourselves of regarding on-line education is that it is easy. The workload is similar or more than a regular classroom setting.
The other point that is paramount to on-line education is that it is self-directed. The student decides when they will do their work and how much energy they will invest. Sure, this is like regular class but the difference is that in in-vivo situations the face-to-face milieu makes it hard to hide from your responsibility. A student needs to be self-motivated when they are involved in on-line classes. As a parent you can monitor their progress but, trust us when we say, if they aren’t invested, it will be a miserable experience.
We aren’t big fans of homeschooling, as we have mentioned on our site, but on-line classes are an opportunity for our kids to create their own opportunities in their middle and high school educations. We feel a little sad that we did not have these options. A million years ago, when the dinosaurs roamed the streets, Lee took classes outside of her regular high school classes and traveled all around to supplement her education. Today it as simple as turning on your computer.