There are many ways to make a comparison between traditional and online high school to figure out what to do if the traditional approach isn’t working for a particular student for whatever reason (social angst, chronic medical conditions, family obligations, and so on). Before any family makes the decision to enroll a teen in an online learning program, use this page to explore information and resources about the pros and cons of online high school, with an emphasis on the specific program offered through Achieve Virtual—the first online high school program ever fully approved by the Indiana Department of Education with instruction provided by real Indiana teachers.
Online School Isn’t for Everyone. Is it Right for You?
The vast majority of high school students attend traditional brick-and-mortar schools, whether public or private. But it simply doesn’t work well for some students for all kinds of reasons. In other cases, families have opted to homeschool their children but find they need additional support when it comes to the high school grades. Whether it’s because traditional school isn’t working or your home-schooled student needs more support than you can provide, virtual learning through online schools may offer the perfect education alternative you need. Online schools, however, have both pros and cons like any other kind of school, and understanding those will help you decide if it’s the right option for the high school student(s) in your household.
Achieve Virtual offers a wide range of online high school courses. Each class offered is taught by a real, certified Indiana teacher. We have helped many students, both teen and adults, recover credits, make up for lost time, and fulfill the requirements needed to obtain their high school diploma, all through our online education program and its many benefits. What are the costs of attending Achieve Virtual? It’s FREE for those enrolled with a full-time status, and is always free for students located in the MSD Wayne Township. Students enrolled with a part-time status typically pay a modest fee per course, and in some cases those fees may be covered by their regular school district.
Here are the Pros and Cons of Online High School
The remainder of this page will present the pros and cons of online school as a list switching back and forth between pros and cons. We hope this information helps you make the decision of whether or not to enroll your high school student(s) in Achieve Virtual.
PRO: Learning When it Fits Your Schedule
The classes offered through Achieve Virtual are called asynchronous, which means the student doesn’t have to be online at the same time as other students to attend the course. And they don’t have to try to be online at the same time as the teacher either. This gives teenagers the flexibility to do their learning when it fits into their schedule. You simply don’t have that kind of flexibility at a traditional brick-and-mortar school setting where you have to be in the school building for the same rigid hours each and every day. Studying when it makes sense for the student results in less stress, which is a significant benefit of online school.
CON: It’s Not Any Easier Than Traditional School
There are some who think the best reason for enrolling in online school is that it’s going to be easier than traditional school. It is not—at least not at Achieve Virtual. We know the requirements needed for a high school diploma, and all our courses conform to state curriculum standards. If your primary motivation to try online school is because you think it’s going to easier, you will be sorely disappointed! But we do make it fun and engaging even while it’s academically rigorous.
PRO: Learning Where it Works Best for You
When you attend a traditional high school, you have to go to the school building to attend classes. You have to sit in whatever chairs and desks are available in each classroom, which may or may not work well for you. When you enroll in Achieve Virtual online high school, you’ll have the much-appreciated flexibility to engage your learning not only when but also where works best for you. If that’s sitting at a desk in front of a desktop computer, you can do that. If you need a change of pace you grab your laptop and do your coursework on a comfy couch. You could even hang out at your favorite local spot like a coffee shop if that works for you. All you need is a computer (desktop, laptop, tablet) with a web browser and good internet connection and you can take your learning with you! Having the ability to choose where and when you study is obviously a big benefit of online high school.
CON: Won’t Online School Result in Social Isolation?
Thanks to the ongoing research of psychology professor Joseph Allen at the University of Virginia (UVA), we know how important close teenage friendships are among high school students for mitigating social stress and leading to healthier adult relationships. But the social isolation assumption about online learning is a myth. First of all, every expert Indiana teacher who provides instruction through Achieve Virtual includes plenty of opportunities for interactions among peers in their courses. And our teen students are encouraged to maintain peer friendships outside the online learning environment as well. They may have to work a little harder to make it happen since they won’t automatically see each friend on a daily basis as they would when attending a traditional school, but it’s not hard to do.
Take a Deeper Dive into Achieve Virtual Education Academy
There are many pages on our website where you can get more of a feel for Achieve Virtual and what we do. We encourage you to spend time exploring our site to learn as much as you can in order to make a fully informed decision about online high school. Here are a few suggestions for places to start:
- A Day in the Life of a Student Attending Online High School
- Is Attending High School Online Right for You?
- 3 Myths About Virtual Schools Busted Wide Open
- Frequently Asked Questions About Online High School Education
- Virtual High School Attendance Requirements
- Charter vs Public vs Online: Indiana High Schools
- Advanced Education Opportunities in Online School
Whether you have a student looking to attend our full-time program or our part-time program, we have a wide range of courses and the qualified instructors who will help your student achieve success. There is no need for your student to continue trying to make traditional school work if it’s never going to meet their needs. Young people are already steeped in technological life in the twenty-first century, so attending virtual schools on a computer won’t feel strange to them at all. And they will end up with what is the ultimate goal—a high school diploma. If you have any questions at all about Achieve Virtual, always feel free to contact us directly.