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Although every online school is different, it’s important to remember that a great online school works, however, the student wants it to work.  Although each online school is different, online learning is about personalized learning and personalized learning allows the student to participate in designing his or her curriculum, schedule and learning pace.


Generally speaking, an online school consists of virtual classes and study formats that can be completed anywhere computer access is available.  Online learning is also referred to as “distance learning” and some schools may even be identified as “cyber schools.”  This means a student can “attend school” at home, at a library, from their favorite coffee shop or from any location around the world where wifi (wireless Internet) is provided.

While online schools are more common at the high school level, some schools offer kindergarten through grade 12 learning opportunities.  For a great example of a K-through-12 fully accredited online learning experience, visit the International Virtual Learning Academy at IVLA offers NCAA approved courses for high school student-athletes and a gifted and talented program for middle school.


Teachers at online schools work from wherever they are geographically located and usually provide a structured curriculum for their online students to follow.  But remember, even though personalized learning and flexibility are both major benefits of attending school online, some virtual schools require students to “attend class” a certain prescribed number of hours per week.  When you are considering enrolling in a school, be sure to ask how much time students are required to commit to mastering skills and completing assignments in order to keep on track for graduation.


Online learning is a widely spread phenomenon.  In fact, some states actually require students to take at least one online course in order to graduate from high school.  Overall, statistics demonstrate that nearly 50%  of all high schools currently offer classes that are taught 100% online ( ).

Some students take just one or two classes online and others choose to take all of their classes online.  “Blended Learning” approaches have also become very common and offer a combination of classroom and online instruction.  One great feature of personalized online learning is that study programs can be tailored to ensure that individual student needs and requirements are met and that the experience is academically challenging.


If you’re a homeschool parent who’s wondering whether it’s possible to incorporate online school into your curriculum, there are literally hundreds of options available to you in the core areas of social studies, science, math and language arts, plus a broad selection of electives.  An excellent selection of K to 12 online curriculum is available for purchase at Global Student Network (

Student-athletes, musicians and actors have discovered online school as a useful and convenient way to keep up to speed with their studies while they are on travel during the school year.  Military families stationed in locations around the world have discovered online education as a way to remain grounded and consistent in the way they educate their children.  No more changing schools every time you move to a new base of operations!


There are multiple reasons a family might require a high-quality distance learning option for their children.  Online school has the potential to provide long-term consistency to your child’s learning experience and allow them the opportunity to participate in creating their own educational experience.  For more information and answers to your questions, visit and