Virtual high school, often called online high school, is growing in popularity as an alternative to traditional high school. Whether you’re a student or a parent of a student considering attending a virtual high school, we’ll highlight the top benefits of an online education. But first, let’s go over what a virtual high school actually is.
What Is a Virtual High School?
A virtual high school is a form of independent study. Class instruction is often carried out in the form of videos or slides. Students complete coursework, do projects, and take tests just as they would at a traditional high school, but all of it is completed on a computer or tablet and submitted online.
Opportunities For Learning Virtual Public Charter School offers students not only the comfort and safety of homeschooling, but the convenience and resources of a brick-and-mortar school. Below are just a few of the benefits OFL Virtual students enjoy:
Benefits of an Online High School
1 – Home is a Safe Space
In a traditional high school, students encounter a lot of peer pressure and bullying that can distract them from their studies or even lead to them dropping out. Approximately 22% of high school students reported being bullied in 2015.
Going to an online school allows students to complete their education in the safety and privacy of their own homes. They don’t have to deal with the negative effects of peer pressure or bullying, allowing them to enjoy their high school educational experience in the positive home environment that parents create.
2 – Flexible Schedule
Sometimes students have busy lives that are difficult to fit into a traditional school’s schedule. Maybe they’re involved in a lot of activities outside of school (church, work, etc.). Maybe a parent has a complex work schedule that makes it difficult for them to drive their kids to and from school. A student may be a young parent or have other personal needs that make it an inconvenience to attend a rigid class schedule.
Taking online classes allows students the flexibility to “attend” school on their own schedule. With a flexible online schedule, life takes priority without sacrificing education.
3 – Work at Your Own Pace
Not all students learn new concepts at the same speed. If a student has difficulty understanding a concept and can’t keep up with the pace of a traditional classroom, they can quickly fall behind. Likewise, if a student is able to master a subject with ease, they may lose interest in their studies being forced to move at a slower pace.
In many virtual programs, students can work at a pace that best matches their preferred learning style. They move more slowly through difficult subjects to really grasp it, or repeat specific sections for better understanding. They can also speed through classes that are easy for them and finish ahead of schedule. And rather than being blocked into traditional one-hour classes, students can study in shorter or longer sessions and take breaks as needed.
4 – Blended Learning Models
Most traditional classrooms follow a similar lecture-style format, but not all students learn the same way. This lack of personalization can lead to students feeling overlooked by their teacher.
While some online schools may have a screen-only teaching style, exceptional online high schools such as OFL Virtual use blended learning models to incorporate online instruction, one-on-one tutoring, group projects, and experiential learning into curriculum. This variety ensures there is always a teaching model that connects with the student’s personal learning style and emotional needs.
5 – More Class Options
The elective offering at traditional high schools can be very limited, potentially depriving students the enriched educational experience they crave. Without physical classrooms or the need for teacher and student to be present in the same place at the same time, virtual high schools can offer more options when it comes to classes, like web design or game development. OFL Virtual students also enjoy easier access to typically overcrowded A-G UC approved courses.
6 – Develop Time Management Skills
Students at brick-and-mortar high schools must follow rigid schedules. From class times to sports and extracurricular activities, students days and weeks are planned out for them. Yet when students leave high school and go to college and/or get a job, many struggle with managing their time well, often having a negative impact on their work and academics.
Virtual high school students have to manage their own schedules every day, helping them develop critical time management skills early on that will prepare them for the responsibility and independence of college and professional work.
7 – Same Academic Standards
If a virtual high school is accredited, students are held to the same academic standards as traditional schools and their diplomas are the same. OFL Virtual is WASC accredited, meaning it is approved by the California State Board of Education and meets or exceeds all high school graduation requirements. OFL Virtual students take the same required classes and standardized tests as any other California public school student, and are able to apply to any college or university.
Advantages of Attending OFL Virtual High School
If you live in Southern California and are ready to enroll in a virtual high school, OFL Virtual is a great choice. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, here are a few other features that give OFL Virtual an advantage over other options:
- OFL Virtual offers students the opportunity to participate in sports, including soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball, and passing league football
- Traditional live events such as prom and graduation ceremonies
- Students have the opportunity to travel to Cuba, Italy, China, and Washington D.C., just to name a few, as part of the experiential learning component
- Each student is provided with a free Chromebook laptop to complete their schoolwork
- College prep events such as college tours and financial aid workshops help students prepare for their future