Thursday, March 08, 2012

Going to a Virtual School

There's something I've noticed pretty consistently when I talk with new parents. It's that they didn't realize just how
much work there actually is when their child is attending a virtual school. They tend to think that they'll have their kids sit down and log in, then they can go do whatever around the house needs doing. Or they can go to work while their kids "attend school". Not so. Unless you have the world's most perfect responsible child (and no child is completely perfect), then they'll get distracted, or get lost, or just not want to work. It happens to all of them. So, it becomes the parent's responsibility to make sure their child is actually doing the work they're required to do. The parent has to check in with the teachers to make sure the child is on track. The parent, occasionally, has to grade the work so that it can be virtually turned in. At GCA, the parent has to enter the attendance hours based on the work the child has completed that day.

For the most part, it sounds fairly easy and straight forward. It also seems very self evident, especially for the younger kids. It's a gray area for most parents of middle school kids. The kids are older, they're more responsible, they need just as much monitoring (though perhaps a bit more leeway is given).

A BIG thing that parents discover is just how much their child really DOES NOT KNOW. Many don't seem able to handle that. Many struggle with finding out how to get their child to learn. They have to find out what methods do and do not work for their child. They have to find out ways to help their child succeed. Teachers are there to help, but the onus is on the parents for the bulk.

Parents that are enrolling their children in a virtual school have to realize it's not as simple as it sounds. It's more hands on than you expect, but the rewards of the process can be huge.

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