Are you a parent thinking of what’s better between online schools and public schools? The online vs. public school debate has been an age-long debate. The truth is that both modes of education have their merits and demerits. However, it takes a knowledge of where their merits overshadow their demerits to know which is best for your child. It’s crucial to understand which one suits your kid’s learning style better. To help, this article is not only focused on differentiating between the two. Throughout this article, we will also talk about where and when each works better. Read on to find out more.
What Defines an Online School?
The main characteristic of an online school is the conduction of classes over the internet. They typically adopt a learning management system where students get the opportunity to view their academic progress and course syllabus online. Students can also communicate with their instructors and fellow students through online channels.
Online classes are typically structured to be self-paced; therefore, students can expect increased flexibility in their quest to complete their coursework. Thanks to technological advancements and changes in trends, many traditional schools now offer online courses for distance learners.
Over time, online learning has grown into a popular education option. You’ll find several kids today, taking all their classes online. You’ll also find kids that compare online education with the traditional education system. Several schools are also adopting learning systems that blend online and in-person instructions to ensure students get the best.
During our studies, we found that some kids with thinking and learning differences may thrive in online classes. On the other hand, some kids may find online courses too fast; therefore, unsuitable for their learning needs. It’s up to you to find what fits your kids best and stick to it.
Is Online School Considered Homeschool?
Although homeschooling and online school may have many similarities, it’s essential to understand that they are different. Online schools are not home schools; neither are the students who attend online schools considered homeschooled. Over time, people have used the terms interchangeably. This confusion is quite understandable. After all, both sets of students do not need brick-and-mortar schools to complete their studies. They mostly with school at home or from the road (in the case of certain professions.)
Overall, one significant factor differentiates the two; While the parents typically act as full-time instructors in homeschooling, online schools employ online teachers to help manage the student’s studies from afar within a structured curriculum.
However, both homeschooling and online schools can provide students with the flexibility they’ll need to thrive despite their differences. But, parents would need to understand the difference between the two before deciding which is better for their kids. Each one has its unique benefits and characters it suits. Fixing your child up in the best one for them would help them become better in their academic works.
Can an Online School be as Effective as Traditional Schools?
Although parents may have their reservations about online schools, the truth is that online schools can become as effective as traditional schools. The current success rate of online high school students in external exams has become a significant reason people consider online schools. However, the traditional vs. virtual school debate is one that we expect to continue.
Yes, an online school may have its challenges, but it can become as effective as traditional schools with proper resources and time management skills. One significant fear that many people have about online schooling is its potential to isolate students socially. However, with the invention of modern communication technologies like Email, Zoom, and FaceTime, it seems their issues, together with many others, are on the way to being resolved.
The good part of online school is its ability to allow students to work at their own pace and schedule. This means that they can tailor their study schedule to fit their everyday life. Of course, this can be an added advantage to dedicated and self-motivated students. For example, a student can dedicate more time to studying mathematics if they are struggling in the subject.
The flexibility that online schooling brings can also help students who have challenging schedules or are fighting illnesses. It’s common knowledge that traditional schools heap tremendous pressure on students and teachers to attend classes, even when inconvenient. With the current generation showing that they are comfortable with technology, this pressure can be removed. Additionally, today’s generation can easily learn to use applications that are required for virtual learning. Of course, these same applications are used in the different fields of the work world, so the students are being prepared for the future.
The number of benefits attached to online learning beats the difficulties. Students can overcome the challenges with constant practice, so it’s an excellent way to go with modern trends.
Are Online Schools Considered Public Schools?
It’s easy to confuse the different schooling structures, especially if you do not understand how each works. Online schools have become so popular that you’ll find their websites everywhere. Every state has online schools today. Some of them are private, done public, don’t charter, and other umbrella group home schools. The subdivision of online schools can easily confuse parents, especially when it comes to picking what’s right.
We’ve already examined the difference between online schools and traditional schools in another part of this article. Online schools are pretty different from traditional public schools. However, online schools are still subdivided into private and public schools.
Private and public online schools are actually laced with the numerous fundamental differences that their brick and mortar counterparts are famous for. Most websites would clearly outline which they fall into, while a few won’t. If you fall into websites that do not outline who they are, you’ll find it challenging to identify who they are. However, with the information in this article, you should be able to know the difference.
What’s the Difference Between Online School and Public School?
Now to the main point of this article, differentiating between online schools and public schools. For some reason, people tend to classify both in the same category, but that’s wrong. Understanding the difference between the two would help you know which would best suit your child’s learning style. Here, let’s review some of the most obvious differences that exist between them.
Online Schools Can Take Place Anywhere and Anytime
While public schools typically require students to live in a particular district or state to attend, online schools don’t. Irrespective of where online schools are headquartered, they provide access to students from anywhere. All a student would need is a knowledge of computers and the internet to connect to online schooling. These days, online schools even support mobile phones, so students can access their classes even while traveling. In fact, a major motivation for many parents that opt for online schooling is the unavailability of a good private school in their area. Parents who often relocate for employment will also find online schools the most beneficial for their kids. After all, their kids can access their education irrespective of where they move to, unlike public schools where the kids might need to continually change schools and teachers with each trip.
Availability of Flexible Schedules
It goes without saying that online schools offer the most flexible schedule. Thanks to these features, online school students can use the spare time they’ll create for themselves to pursue personal interests that would not have been possible if they opted for public schools. This is why educational experts often recommend online schooling for students that want to get serious about pursuing a career in performing arts, competitive athletics, or internships. However, parents would need to be sure of their children’s educational capabilities before allowing them to combine online schooling with personal schedules.
Attend a Private School with a Relatively Affordable Tuition
One of the biggest reasons why parents abandon private schools for public schools is the difference in cost. Despite wanting all the benefits of attending private schools, some parents are forced by circumstances to send their kids to cheaper public schools. What if we tell you that most online schools offer the unique qualities of private schools at nearly the price of public schools. Of course, you’ll need to pay tuition for online schooling, but you’ll notice that the fee is by far lower than what you’ll need to pay to attend a brick and mortar private school. We’ve also seen online schools that offer discounts to parents with multiple children and military families.
Offers More Independence
Most online schools do not answer to any state or district, so they do not have to submit themselves for any state testing. Some of them also offer students the opportunity to enroll on a part-time basis or allow students to fast-track their study time by taking more courses than they ordinarily would have in a semester. While this would not be possible in public schools, online schools allow students flexibility. However, you’ll need to survey the different options available to choose one that your child would receive an accountable and well-rounded education.
Ability to Take Individual or Summer Courses
As explained earlier, students can choose to accelerate their programs in online schools. This means that you can add as many courses as you can take in a semester. Apart from that, most online schools also offer students the opportunity to take individual courses. So, if you just want knowledge in one course, you’ll find online schools that offer it. We’ve also seen cases where online schools offer various summer courses to improve students’ skills and enhance their college transcripts.
Motivation and Seriousness
No doubt, this is one area where public schools thrive better than online schools. A student would need a considerable level of self-motivation and seriousness to succeed in an online school. However, the presence of numerous students in public schools means that you can draw inspiration from other serious students. You also have physical teachers present to remind you to study.
Wrapping Things Up: Online School vs. Public School
That’s a wrap: a detailed review of the differences between public schools and online schools. Most parents get confused when trying to choose the right one for their kids. Before knowing what’s right for your child, you should identify the areas where they differ. Of course, both of them have their benefits. This is why we often advise parents to weigh the options well before making their choice. It all boils down to what’s available in your district. Some districts have better public schools than online schools, while others have better online schools. However, one significant advantage of online schools is that they are not limited by geographical location. Therefore, students can take lessons from any part of the world.
Choosing the best online school is another area that can seem complicated. The best way to go about it is looking out for schools that offer better post-high school opportunities. You’ll usually find out more about what each school offers from independent reviews.
Want to learn about the difference among other types of school? Check out our posts here.