Distance learning is completing coursework independently and away from an actual traditional school campus. Distance learning is often undertaken by students for reasons like their desire to learn at their own pace, health related reasons, or a need to schedule their learning around a career like acting. Some students, who find it difficult to concentrate on their studies in the traditional schools, find online classes or classes through mail easier.
Those students who have good comprehension reading skills and are self-motivated and learn better independently will find online learning a good option. However, those students who need constant guidance find little success in this method. Parents have to find the feasibility of the program. There is a need for the monitoring and participation of the parents in regular meetings with teaching supervisors. For the teens to stay focused, the supervision of the parents in completing the assignments is needed.
Often teens are more motivated to do their work if the change in school is their own idea. If the teens feel forced to leave their traditional schools they become unmotivated to do their assignments. If the student is doing poorly at school because he is not motivated to turn in work, it is unlikely that he completes his work well at home either. Students who get lonely easily or who miss the social aspect of traditional schools are not good fits for online learning. Parents can find sports programs, clubs, teen programs and other replacement activities to satisfy the socializing needs of the teens.
Finding an online high school is the biggest challenge that parents face. Many schools make big promises, but fail to keep them. Parents have two options: private online schools or public online schools. Private schools are those, which act independently of the government regulations and have their own learning philosophy. Tuition at such schools costs very high as the parents will be charged for costs related to the child's education including the hardware and the software required. These schools need to be well accredited. If not accredited, parents have to make sure that the colleges will accept the schools transcripts if the child applies to study at one. A few schools to be considered are Brigham Young University, CompuHigh, Indiana University.
Public charter schools are the other good options available to the parents. They are publicly funded and are not allowed to charge any tuition fees. States such as California and Minnesota have provisions in their state laws that allow students to enroll for charter programs that are paid by the government. Some schools even offer computer equipment and reference materials free of cost. Schools like Blue Sky in Minnesota and Choice2000 in California offer students the chance to earn the diploma without paying for classes or materials. Some programs are based on online tests, some programs match students with personal mentors, and some programs are project-oriented.
Earning an online diploma is equally challenging as traditional classes and has as much work involved. Hence it is a big accomplishment to earn an online diploma. Parents should make an effort and celebrate the teen's success by treating him to a special dinner or throwing a party. The online diploma is a good option available and worth using; once you recognize a well-accredited school.