What you need to be successful with an online high school.

If you are considering online high school for yourself, or your son or daughter, here is what you need to be prepared…

  • A quiet place to work that is free from distractions, such as TV, loud machinery, etc…
  • A PC or laptop, Internet access, and a printer/scanner.
  • Self-motivation.  This is probably the biggest factor.  You (or your student) needs to be able to motivate themselves to log-in and work on a regular basis.  You should plan on spending 18-20 hours per week, or 4-5 hours per day, on your courses.  If you plan to take AP or honors courses, you should plan on spending up to 30 hours per week on schoolwork.  The benefit of online schooling is that once you have put in the time (and completed the required lessons), the rest of the day is yours to spend on other productive activities.
  • Monitoring/guidance.  As a parent, don’t expect you can just take your hands off and everything will work out.  As with any school, you need to remain actively involved, at the proper level.  That means checking in once a week or so with your son or daughter to see how they are doing.  Have they spent enough time in school?  Are they staying on task and completing the curriculum at a reasonable pace?  Are there any signs that they are getting distracted, not doing the work, or doing other things on the computer?
  • A sense of purpose.  What are you hoping to accomplish when you complete your diploma?  What do you hope to do after you graduate?  Think here not just about academics and the end-results, but non-academics and the accomplishments that you will achieve along the way.  What activities, goals and milestones do you look forward to completing while you are in school?  Setting goals and objectives and achieving them will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to keep going.