Looking for an alternative to traditional public school that isn’t homeschooling? Learn why online public school may be the perfect option for your family! Sponsored by Connections Academy.
Last year our kids were enrolled in distance learning. This year, our schools did not offer a remote learning option and it meant that my husband and I had some choices to make.
Did you know that even if your local school does not offer a remote or distance learning program, you still may have options?
When thinking about alternatives to traditional public school, the first thing that comes to mind is homeschooling. We’ve done homeschooling and loved it, but it might not be feasible for every family. Some parents may not have the time or desire to teach lessons…and that’s ok! Y’all I work full time and I did not become a teacher for a reason! I’m happy to leave it to the pros!
Private school is another public school alternative, but these can be financially unaccessible for many families. When researching private school options in our area, the least expensive was $1000 a month. The most exclusive schools cost as much as my college tuition!
The good news is that there are online public schools, such as Connections Academy, that are tuition free, accredited, and may be the perfect compromise between in-person learning and homeschooling!
Homeschool vs Online School — What’s the Difference?
Though online school can be done at home, it is not technically homeschooling.
I can only speak to homeschooling in Texas, but there are a few key differences between homeschool and virtual public school.
First, with homeschooling, it’s up to the parents to choose and implement a curriculum. For us, that meant researching and purchasing the curriculum we thought was best for our family.
Connections Academy offers full-time, online public school for grades K-12 and is accredited by Cognia, formerly AdvancED. Math, science, English and social studies are the core of the curriculum. Older students have the option to earn college credits through Advanced Placement courses.
Another BIG difference between homeschooling and virtual schools: with homeschooling, parents ARE the teachers! For elementary school work, that isn’t necessarily such a big deal. However, the thought of trying to teach middle school or high school math sounds a bit daunting to me!
At Connections Academy, classes are taught from home by caring and talented teachers who are certified in their grade levels and subject areas. All teachers must have at least a Bachelor’s Degree, and many have advanced degrees as well. Teachers take the lead in guiding your child’s education, while taking into consideration the parents’ goals.
At Connections Academy, parents are considered “Learning Coaches,” who help and guide students with the learning process. But the curriculum creation and teaching is left to the professionals.
Periodic check-ins among teachers, students, and learning coaches make sure that everyone is on the same page. These check-ins also allow for tailoring the education plan to meet a student’s ever-changing needs.
How Much Does Online School Cost?
Just like a traditional public school, online public school through Connections Academy is 100% tuition free. Virtual public schools are typically sponsored by a state board of education or school district, so there is no cost to parents.
Additionally, Connections Academy ships free texts and learning materials directly to a student’s home. The only items parents need to provide are basic school supplies (pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.) and for any optional field trips.
Is Online Public School Right for My Child?
Online school isn’t for everyone, but it can be the best choice for some kids.
Online schools may be ideal for kids who:
- Move or travel frequently or live far from school
- Need a flexible schedule
- Are self-motivated and tend to work beyond their peers in traditional schools
- Enjoy working with technology
- Struggle with bullying
- Benefit from extra help or have trouble keeping up in a regular classroom
- Have health concerns that make it safer to learn at home
What About Social Life?
One of the main questions about online schools is whether it provides the socialization that kids need. A better way to look at it might be that virtual public school allows kids and teens to choose their social interactions. This can be beneficial for kids who have dealt with bullying or social anxiety in a traditional school setting.
Connections Academy offers a variety of social and community-building activities:
- Virtual Clubs
- In-Person Meet-Ups
- Field Trips
These are all voluntary and are excellent ways for kids to make friends outside the classroom, on their own terms.
Want to Know More About Virtual Public School through Connections Academy?
With 47 schools across 30 states and more than 100,000 students enrolled, Connections Academy provides a comprehensive curriculum and the individualized support needed for successful virtual learning.
Kids get to learn at their own pace, through a tailored education plan. And that plan is not set in stone! As a kid or teen’s needs change, their education can evolve to meet those needs.
If traditional public school isn’t working for your child, you DO have options! Find a Connections Academy school near you!
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