It’s safe to say that every parent wants what is best for their child. When it comes to education though, “what is best” can be more subjective than meal prep. At least in that debate, vegetables usually win.
Education is a gray area for us parents. We know what worked or didn’t work for our own educational experience, but how do we know that this route is also the best option for our children? The good news is, we’re raising kids in a time when so many options exist so that we can find “what is best” for our own family.
I adore Max’s preschool because it works for our family and our lifestyle, but I know there are other families who prefer or need something different. And that’s the upside of having choices.
Online Public School Option
One of those choices is an online public school, an option I recently learned more about while working with Arizona Connections Academy. The school serves nearly 2,500 students statewide from kindergarten through 12th grade. Students connect to state-certified teachers, lessons, and class sessions online, offering them flexibility and a more personalized approach than a traditional school setting.
School for kids today is just different than it was when we attended. Technology allows kids to more easily explore their passions, especially when those passions conflict with the 8 a.m.-3 p.m. traditional school schedule.
If we’re being real, students today are traveling for sports, participating in performances abroad, working jobs and some are even raising their own kids. All of those activities make a traditional bell schedule challenging. Online school addresses that, allowing students to pretty much complete work anytime or anywhere they have internet so that they can succeed even with other commitments.
Today’s kids are also dealing with social issues that have changed since my time in school. The bullying we knew of as kids not only continues but has evolved to cyberbullying, which can extend well past the school day and cause intense stress. These issues, I’m learning, may be diminished in a nurturing online environment, where students can feel freer to express their true selves.
Many people still think that online school is only reserved for students who are behind or students who had behavioral problems at their neighborhood school. In reality, an online school can work for many different families and situations. Teachers help set a pace that works for each student, so both kids who need extra help or more time absorbing a lesson and kids who breeze through coursework and seek a new challenge can thrive.
Students at Arizona Connections Academy are also supported by a Learning Coach (usually a parent), which is good news for parents who want that day-to-day interaction with their child’s education. Neighborhood schools, with set classrooms and frameworks, simply can’t work that way.
So, when we as parents go back and look at “what is best” for our children and their education, I’m finding it’s best to keep an open mind. What works for me may not work for you. And what works for you now, may not work for you and your child at some point.
It’s just nice to know that when we’re looking for “what is best,” we have options.