Learning online, children and adults can learn what they need to learn, when they are ready. It solves the problems of time and space that have traditionally kept certain populations undereducated: those in rural areas where teachers are more scarce, and those who for whatever reason are time strapped and cannot attend school during normal school hours. (this might be because of a job, or because of another pursuit such as acting, athletics or similar passions). Online learning for children can mean that a motivated high school student can take extra AP class, or a child who has fallen behind can catch up through taking self-paced courses. Studies now show that online learning can increase the contact between student and teacher, since the student can email questions as they arise, rather than wait their turn in a class of 30-35. The playing field is leveled in two ways: first, all students have access to the same classes, no matter what school they attend (or if they choose not to attend school) and no student needs to feel either behind or ahead of his classmates: though they may stay in contact (in some learning environments) there is usually an asynchronous environment so children can work at their own pace, and have the opportunity to work on answers privately before sharing them. My school is an asynchronous, online environment, and I find this works for me. I am often grateful for the chance to write, then edit a response to a classmate. In a face-to-face class, I would not be able to think about my responses before hand, and I now find this limiting.
Online learning is evolving at fast pace and is dramatically changing the landscape of how and when we learn. Edutopia has put out a video about online learning that I think sums up a lot of the benefits:
Whether for a single class or the entire school year, online learning is a relevant choice in today's learning environment. As noted in the edutopia video, 45 out of 50 states now have an online learning option available to students. I have listed several options here, so you can begin to see what is available for your child. Good luck on your schooling at home journey, whether it supplements your regular school or is how you educate your children full-time.
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