Tony Baldasaro, Chief Human Resource Officer at New Hampshire's Virtual Academy Charter School, has written a great article about why virtual schooling works so well. He shares a personal story that many of us could tell. When he was a junior in high school, it looked like he was finally going to be able to take a photography class. Offered just every other year, and not available to him the year before, he would have to take it at the only time it was available, in third period. Unfortunately, a guidance counselor told him he would have to drop it as he needed Spanish, which would only work in that same time slot.
I remember one year when my oldest was in eighth grade, and we had decided to try yet another private school. Figuring out her schedule for the next year was so stressful! Each parent had to make an appointment with the guidance counselor and try to work out all the classes to fit in those 7 boxes. Ultimately, there would be classes she would not be able to take as they were at the same time as other required classes.
Virtual schooling offers so much more because our kids don't have to fit their lives into those little boxes on their school schedule. My children both take almost all classes online. In fact, my oldest has found it works better for her to do all assignments for each subject on different days. In other words, she will do all history for the week on Monday. If there are 5 assignments, she gets on a roll and plows through them all on the same day.She loves it! She can focus on just that subject all day, without having to stop in the middle and go to the next class. This schedule doesn't work as well for her with math as it isn't a strong subject for her, so she does math each day. The point is that she has a choice, and can choose what works best for her.
In Baldasaro's article, he sums it up nicely, saying, "Not bound by the constraints of physical space or out-of-date school calendars, virtual schools can provide opportunities for students to take courses at a time and place that meets their needs. In my case, I could have taken my photography course on my own time and still completed that Spanish course during third period of my junior year." Exactly.
What is your opinion of kids learning online? I'd love to hear it!