Which Type of Education is Right for My Child: Online or Traditional?
Most families with children in grades K-12 are more familiar with traditional classroom learning environments, however more people are embracing online education as it’s seen a recent rise in both popularity and acceptance from universities and employers. Laurel Springs School is an accredited online option for students from elementary school through high school. Both online and traditional options have their advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important for you to carefully decide which option is best for your child based on their social, emotional, and intellectual needs.
Online Learning Pros & Cons
While virtual learning is becoming a more widely accepted method of K-12 education, it may not be well suited for everyone. As a parent, it’s important to do your research to determine whether online learning is the right fit for your child. Students at Laurel Springs enjoy managing their own schedules, which also helps them develop their time management skills and a sense of responsibility. It’s essential to consider your child’s best ways of learning to determine if a virtual education environment will meet their needs. Some of the pros and cons of online academics are listed below.
- Flexible scheduling – Students have the freedom to schedule their coursework to fit around extracurricular activities, family life, volunteering, or a job. It’s the student’s responsibility to organize, complete, and submit the coursework but with the flexibility that works with their lifestyle. Laurel Springs helps students build self-reliance and teaches them to take responsibility for their own education (along with the help of their parents or guardians) by requiring them to complete and submit lessons and assignments by the deadlines.
- Study anytime and anywhere – Online classes give you the liberty of taking your studies to any location at any time of day. If you have an internet connection, you can complete your course work, submit questions to your teachers, and participate in group discussion, all from your computer.
- Learning programs based around student’s abilities/success in learning – One of the common drawbacks of classroom learning is the challenge facing teachers to maintain the same pace for everyone in a class. If a student wishes to accelerate their learning, online learning programs like those offered by Laurel Springs School often provide opportunities for students to tailor their progress to what is manageable for them. In the same turn, students who may need more time in their studies can revisit material until they have mastered the content.
- No wasted time– Since students are not required to report to a brick-and-mortar location, students engaged in K-12 online education can study at home, their local library, or any other location that is conducive to their learning. This removes the need to commute to school every day, which saves time that a student can apply to other endeavors like family life and extracurricular activities. A virtual environment allows students to invest that extra time into a more balanced and fulfilling life outside of academics.
- Lack of direct interaction – One possible disadvantage of online learning is the absence of, in-person contact with teachers and peers. Without face-to-face interaction among teachers and peers in the classroom every day, your child will need to be self-motivated to contact their teacher with questions and actively engage in socialization opportunities within Laurel Springs or their local community. For online students, it’s a good idea to encourage activities like sports, music, and social groups for your child to engage and interact.
- Personal responsibility – Online education gives a student independence within their study schedule, which is also a responsibility. It’s up to the student to complete and submit their assignments, communicate with their teachers if they have questions or need additional help, and participate in any group projects for their online classes. If your child isn’t self-motivated to stay on top of their studies, then you might need to supervise their progress daily.
Traditional/Classroom Learning Pros & Cons
Traditional education, or face-to-face classroom learning, has the structure and personal interaction that benefits many students, but the disadvantages can leave your child feeling lost or restrained by a time-consuming and strict schedule. We’ve listed a few of the pros and cons to a traditional classroom setting below.
- Designated learning location – For many students, a centralized location for learning and the consistency of a class schedule is the structure they need to focus. Schoolwork within the facility is teacher guided and can be more dynamic as students collaborate with peers.
- Opportunities to socialize – The student population gives your child or teen ample opportunities to develop a social network of friends and establish themselves within a peer community. An active social life also teaches them how to deal with interpersonal situations that could benefit them later in life.
- Direct interaction with teachers and faculty – With their teachers right in the classroom, students have immediate face-to-face access to communicate questions or concerns. Some students also benefit from having regular direct contact with a teacher.
- A set pace of learning – Traditional classroom schedules and lesson plans can be a struggle for students who have trouble grasping the coursework or a lack of academic stimulation for gifted students.
- Students can get lost in large class sizes – The growing size of classes with just one teacher in the room sometimes results in an individual student not getting the personal attention they need.
- More rigid learning/study schedule – While some students benefit from the structure of a stricter timetable for their studies, others have difficulty balancing their school schedules with the rest of their lives. A strict school schedule means less flexibility to pursue hobbies or part-time jobs.
Learn Online with Laurel Springs’ Accredited K-12 Programs
After doing your research, if you find an online academic program to be a good fit for your child, then Laurel Springs School is a superior choice for private school education in a virtual classroom. Our K-12 education provides the independence and flexibility that allows students to grow as responsible and self-motivated learners. While our courses grant students independence, we make sure our faculty and staff stay engaged and available to your child to ensure they get the support and information they need for success. Students also regularly communicate and collaborate with their class peers on projects and lessons, which gives ample opportunity to forge camaraderie with other students. Colleges and universities also recognize our accredited courses all around the globe, granting students worldwide access to continue their education. Give us a call or send us an email, and we’ll gladly answer your questions and help you enroll your child at Laurel Springs School.