Virtual schooling, for many parents, sounds like the ideal solution for their students. It’s an easy solution to kids who are hard to get out of bed in the morning, or who are struggling in a traditional classroom, or who are getting in trouble more often than not. If you’re already at home, or if you have the option of bringing your children with you each day, why not? It removes the necessity of waking up when it’s still dark and hauling your kids out the door before they’ve had time to do more than scarf down breakfast and grab their school stuff. It means that they’re at home, where they can do necessary chores and take care of the things that they need to take care of. There’s no need to be home at a particular time to intercept the bus, or to rush through an activity in order to pick them up at school. If you have younger children at home, there’s no need to wake them from naps or pull them out of bed before they’re ready in order to get the older kids off to school on time.
Sure, all of those are benefits—but they aren’t reasons to virtual school.
Children thrive in traditional classrooms and have for many, many years. They learn things when they’re placed together that they won’t learn on their own. They learn under the guidance of teachers and peers. They enjoy the events that take place at school.
A simple matter of scheduling convenience isn’t a good reason to take them away from that.
Virtual schooling is for children who truly need an alternative schedule. It’s for those who are chronically ill, or who are aiming to become professional athletes and need the additional time spent in practice, necessitating an alternative schooling schedule. It’s for children who can’t focus in a traditional classroom, or whose behavioral issues are such that they can not thrive there. It’s for children who have learning problems that aren’t being addressed in their brick and mortar school. It's for children who are bullied, or who are friendless, or who are unable to go to school because of a danger to them.
It’s for kids who need it.
Virtual schooling is an option that should remain available for every child—but carefully consider why it’s a choice that you’re looking into for your child. Why is virtual schooling so appealing? What is it that you hope to accomplish through it? Is this a long-term solution, or one that you hope to use only for a couple of years?
Consider why you’re doing it—and who it’s really benefitting. If it’s truly best for your child, then go for it—that’s what it’s for! On the other hand, if it’s just convenient for you…it might be time to reconsider.