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With increasing high school dropout rates and the widespread use of online Homeschool education in the form of credit recovery programs, there have been certain people questioning the effectiveness of the entire concept of online school learning. These credit recovery programs are being developed and targeted at students who’ve failed their high school courses with the objective of offering them a second chance at graduating and earning their high school diplomas. There are several such students in schools across the nation who are probably just a couple of credits away from being able to graduate high school. Improving graduation rates and offering these students a second chance at going on to college is vital to their long-term success and helping them become more independent.
Most of these programs are usually of a shorter duration than the original courses and can be completed via online learning or in person. They offer students the option of customizing their curriculum to help them grasp concepts and skills they may have missed out on the first time around. Although credit recovery isn’t really a new concept, providing students access to credit recovery programs via online home school education is slowly gaining ground. Of course, along with that come apprehensions about the effectiveness of such homeschooling programs and their long-term viability. Summer school is probably the oldest form of credit recovery that offers students a second chance via traditional schooling and has been used for a very long time to help students catch up on their credit scores to help them graduate. Moreover, scheduling classes via summer school programs works out to be very effective since it avoids any conflict whatsoever with regular school curriculum.However, the use of online school learning programs must not be viewed through the lens of credit recovery alone. While such programs do contribute significantly to the overall development of weaker students and help them garner another shot at completing a course they may have failed or quit, the reach of Online High School goes much beyond just helping students catch up on their credit scores needed to graduate. The use of online education in this manner is usually restricted to online high schools with the primary focus being cast upon helping students graduate. But online middle schools (Grade 6 – 8) and online elementary schools (K- grade 5) in the country too, have been employing such courses to help students improve their grades and have witnessed remarkable progress in terms of their grades and overall learning capacities. While most usually connect the use of online learning programs with a high school diploma, in reality, they’re so much more than that.
Along with the flexibility and convenience of scheduling courses according to your own convenience, online K-12 courses help students customize their course material in a manner that’s best suited to their individual ability and as per their needs. This helps students set the pace for their learning and also gives them the confidence needed to grasp certain skills and concepts that may otherwise be very hard to assimilate in a classroom environment. Being able to access your entire course material online from practically anywhere certainly has its advantages. With the help of technology, student-teacher interaction too, has transcended all physical boundaries and can also be scheduled via different online modes that are suited to both. Economically too, such solutions work out to be very effective not only in terms of affordability but also in terms of long-term viability. These are only some of the many reasons why online high home schools are not the only ones employing such solutions to help their students graduate.
Employing online K-12 courses for online middle schools and online elementary schools is different from the system being employed for online high schools. Students from higher grades are capable of studying independently and can operate with minimal adult supervision. Their counterparts from lower grades however, require guidance and constant monitoring to ensure the system delivers the desired impact on their overall career development in terms of their education and learning skills. Different schools across the United States have witnessed parents and students adopt studying online as an independent solution or in conjunction with their ongoing traditional course curriculum. Either way, students have shown remarkable improvement in their grades and have also claimed to now have an increased confidence in their learning abilities.
Being able to study in an independent environment that can be molded according to their specific individual needs certainly offers students much more flexibility than a traditional environment would. Moreover, exclusive teacher-student interaction provides for more personal attention and one-on-one solutions targeted at the student’s specific challenges. This in turn, has a multiplying effect on students and encourages them to pursue their education not just for the sake of a high school diploma but with the objective of learning. Credit recovery is only one aspect to employing online solutions to help students with their course curriculum. There are several other benefits to adopting the use of studying online as has been witnessed by online middle schools and online elementary schools in the United States.
While the rapid rise in the growth of the use of online methodologies for the purpose of credit recovery has received a lot of attention, it’s time to sit up and take notice of the multifaceted nature of such online solutions and their viability. Given the prolonged nature of the economic crisis and its after effects, job growth may take awhile to get back to normal in spite of the recent good news we’ve had in terms of employment numbers. Providing students with viable alternatives to help them progress academically and eventually help them develop vital skill sets that will increase their chances of employment in the future is a responsibility we all share as a society. Enabling them have access to avenues that will eventually help them get there is what online learning environments are all about and the importance of that cannot be underestimated, especially in the Information Age. It is up to us to work together with our children to ensure they have a bright future they can look forward to.
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