Jul 24, 2014 6:30:00 AM
This CMA-SAS #touchthefuture blog post takes a look at a question we received from a parent interested in our personalized online school: To ask your own question, click here to take this survey.
Photo Credit: Sias van Schalkwyk
Maddie likes the water. And, it is probably her mom's "fault." When Maddie was only nine-months old, her mother put her in a class at the "Y" that teaches babies to survive in water. Mom was pleased with her success, but did not notice at the time that Maddie really loved the lessons.
A terrific future
By the time Maddie was six, she was winning medals in swimming events for kids her age, and when she was ten, her aquatics coach called her parents in for a talk. The coach felt Maddie had a future as an Olympic class swimmer. Her parents were as thrilled and proud as they could be. Then, came the "bad" news.
A scary decision
The coach told them that Maddie should move to California to participate in a prestigious developmental program. She would live with the family of another athlete for eight to nine months of the year -- indefinitely.
But, what about school?
When Maddie's parents focused on the practical issues, they were not excited about the schooling arrangements. Because the swimmers practiced almost eight hours a day six days a week, there was no time for traditional schooling. The children in the training program all went to school online.
5 Fears of Sending your Child to Online School:
- Would Maddie miss the social interaction of public school?
- Was she mature enough at ten to maintain interest and motivation?
- What if she needed support from the instructor?
- Is the online school accredited?
- What would Maddie do for a library or classmates as resources?
Their concerns were close to becoming a deal-breaker when they sat down and spoke at length with the coaches, host parents, and other swimmers.
The meeting calmed their fears and gave them a lot of additional information and research leads. Among the things they learned was that a significantly large number of American students pursue non-traditional schooling -- including home-schooling, vo-tech schooling, and online education.
5 Tips to Overcome the Fear of Sending Your Child to Online School:
- Maddie's total engagement in her training environment and new friends would be plenty full of social interaction.
- Because online schooling lets students work at their own pace -- 24/7 -- Maddie would be more personally accountable, but not without immediate personal instructor counseling.
- Technology enables video conferencing and interaction with her "virtual" classmates.
- School accreditation and college acceptance are easy enough to confirm.
- A quality online education will include library, counseling, and other resources.
Maddie still had not finished high school at 18, but she had matured beautifully, traveled extensively, and won two Olympic medals. She continued her studies on her own as time permitted, and she will receive her diploma before she starts college this fall.
Maddie and her parents had taken a risk that paid off big time. They felt like those folks who were once afraid to let their kids leave the farm to go to public school. Their decision to let go in a new world of education turned out to be in everyone's interest.