Choosing the Right Accredited Online Homeschool
May 25, 2022
Online homeschool is a popular choice for many families today, especially for those who travel frequently for work, have a child who pursues competitive athletics or performing arts, or for parents who simply prefer to educate a child at home.
For those seeking homeschooling for middle and high school students, online programs are a great option to keep a young learner fully engaged without a parent or caregiver having to play the role of full-time teacher.
Finding the right accredited online homeschool is key to a student’s online learning success. But, what type of online program offers the best education?
Enhanced Educational Options
Although online learning has been around for years, especially for adult learners, it has exploded since the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, there are vast improvements in technology, online teaching experience, and academic options for all age groups.
Established, qualified online schools offer students a challenging, flexible homeschool experience where students interact with their peers through virtual discussion groups and lessons. Online learning helps students quickly develop time management, self-initiation, and organizational habits they will find useful in higher education, and in life.
When researching and making an online homeschool decision, keep in mind the following considerations:
Is the school accredited?
First check the school’s accreditation status.
Accreditation is the process of an impartial, third-party assessment that checks for competency and compliance with high standards and regulations. It is the ultimate marker of excellence at an educational organization.
Reputable accreditations ensure that a school is meeting the educational needs of its students while offering rigorous, quality instruction. Colleges and universities worldwide recognize and respect accreditation as a symbol of educational excellence.
Dwight Global Online School, the online school of The Dwight Schools global network, is accredited by Cognia, a key accrediting organization recognized in the United States and around the world.
What type of school is it?
There are four types of online high schools:
- University-sponsored programs
Each of these types of programs has specific benefits, and it is important to research the type of school that will best suit your student’s needs. Public online high schools are often tied to a particular school district, and are tuition free.
Like traditional brick-and-mortar independent schools, a private online school like Dwight Global charges tuition to provide its quality education, and yet additionally offers flexibility and specialized programs by virtue of its online status.
What is the curriculum?
Dwight Global’s instructional model combines real-time online video conferencing seminars, Oxford-style tutorials, and a college-style schedule. This provides students in grades 6 to 12 with the intimacy of an independent school coupled with the freedom to pursue individual passions.
An online school’s curriculum varies widely from school to school. Not all curricula are created equal, and it is important to match the needs of the student with the appropriate program.
An accredited online homeschool should offer multiple class options to fit different students’ interests. While some core subjects remain the same, with a bigger variety in classes, students are better able to build a strong academic program that sparks interest and works to meet a students’ professional goals.
The Dwight Global Diploma is a fully articulated United States high school diploma that meets the exacting standards of Dwight School. The Dwight Global Diploma allows students to align their academic paths with the International Baccalaureate, the Advanced Placement, or their own individualized Dwight Global course of study. Being able to choose across standards takes personalized learning to the next level.
Does the school have a stellar reputation?
As it would be with a traditional school, an online school’s reputation matters. Families considering an online high school program will want to research the reputation of potential programs before moving to enrollment.
Factors such as graduation rate and university placement will help in determining a school’s reputation. Online reviews and personal experience from graduates are other ways to gauge a school’s reputation.
Dwight Global, ranked #2 in American online schools by Newsweek, maintains a rich learning legacy that dates back to 1872 – long before virtual education was in the realm of possibilities. The school’s founding father – Timothy Dwight V – was a former president at Yale University.
Since that time, the New York-based institution has been preparing students for admission to prestigious colleges and universities around the world.
How are classes taught?
Online homeschools offer great variety in terms of how students are asked to master course materials. In some online schools, students can move entirely at their own pace with pre-packaged course materials. They may have the opportunity to look up questions in an online question bank or reach out to teacher groups electronically.
At the other end of the spectrum, students attend online classes in a set schedule, as they would in a bricks and mortar school. At Dwight Global, which features this model, students may have the option to participate in live seminar-style discussions, rich discussions and debates, and group projects. They know their teachers and peers, just as they would in a top bricks and mortar school.
Parents are wise to consider which type of school would mesh best with their child’s learning style. Are they looking for an entirely self-study model, typical of a correspondence school, or do they wish for their child to learn with peers and teachers in a dynamic and challenging class environment?
After considering an online homeschool’s accreditation, curriculum, reputation, and pedagogical model, reach out to the school to get even more information and to speak with the staff.