Questions to Ask When Going the Virtual High School Route

Posted on January 09 2013

Getting a high school diploma from a traditional school may not be possible for you because of certain circumstances. You may have special health needs that prevent you from going to a traditional “brick and mortar” school. Or you may have already dropped out from high school in the past but still want to get your diploma to improve career prospects. You may be a mother who is trying to balance work, family and studies. Or, simply, you prefer to go through the homeschool or virtual school route, seeing more opportunities for you to quickly earn high school credits for college.

Whatever your circumstances and reasons for considering an online high school, there are some questions you need to consider:

  • Is my personality and attitude a fit for virtual learning? Remember, not every student will respond positively to online schooling. A student must be able to have the right attitude towards learning – to be disciplined and motivated in order to finish his coursework. Do you think you are self-motivated enough or do you need a higher level of supervision?
  • Do I have the necessary technology? Aside from the computer with the requisite requirements, you need to ensure that there is a stable internet connection. If you are traveling often, it is important to ask about the availability of a connection you can rely on. It will also help if you are already familiar with the technological learning and communication tools that will be used during your online high school education.
  • Will I also be available for my child during his “school” day? This is a question for parents of a teen who is thinking about enrolling in an online high school. Often, for a child to successfully finish his online high school courses, a parent should be on hand to give supervision and to monitor the child’s activities. If you (the parent) are employed, you can still be “present” by constantly touching base with your child to check whether he is able to finish the day’s goals.
  • Can I set aside a room or a corner of the house for the lessons? The house can provide a lot of distractions – ringing phones, friends or family dropping by, sibling running around. You should ideally have a room or space where distractions are cut down to a minimum. This will get him going into work mode, signaling your brain that it’s time to study, rather that play or sleep. Having a learning space will also help keep your materials organized so that little time is wasted towards looking for a particular material.
  • Will I have other learning opportunities aside from the “school day”? One distinct advantage of getting a high school diploma online is the freedom and flexibility it affords. Be on the lookout for opportunities to enrich your learning and experiences. For instance, you participate in community activities – such as Little League games or drama clubs. Better, you can join civic organizations such as the rotary or get a head start on employment by getting a part-time job.
  • Is the curriculum what I need in order to earn a valid and useful high school diploma? A virtual high school such as The American Academy should offer a wide array of course options. The curriculum should be challenging enough so that you are engaged towards learning. The curriculum should also offer courses that will cover your interests and will help prepare you for future employment. It is also important to ensure that the online school is accredited.