Opinions about online high school?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by culturanta, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    My difficult stepson wants us to allow him to finish high school online. We are talking to him tonight to understand more about his reasons for fixating on this specific option....though we think a friend/girlfriend who attends an online school (and does very little work) is definitely an influencing factor.

    He is struggling terribly in traditional school and we are open to considering alternatives, but because of his lack of work ethic and disrespect for authority, we are dubious that he will be able to successfully complete a self-directed curriculum. He doesn't complete his work, has been cutting class, and defies authority regularly in his traditional school. I tend to think an alternative school, night school, etc is a better fit for him.

    Has anyone had experience with online high school? How did it go? What did your kid have to do to be successful?
  2. missmommy

    missmommy Member

    My daughter age 16 attends Connections Academy which is a fully accredited public virtual high school. She's doing well however she is very self motivated and needs very little guidance. My difficult child would not be as successful unless I could oversee his work every minute. So if you can do that and have structure about it, it could work. But it could be a battle you tire quickly of fighting. I think it depends on the child and their motivation. Just my opinion based on my experience. FWIW.
  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I pulled my son from a non-public school to finish high school in an independent learner's school where he could work at home and get credit work he completed in foreign countries, etc. I had to sit on him to get anything done. In fact, I am the one really who secured the high school diploma.
    The only way I would consider it is if your step-son FIRST demonstrated his motivation and capacity in the setting in which he currently studies--his school now. That he demonstrate the willingness and ability to complete assigned work and accept the teacher's authority. Which is to say I would hold out as a "carrot", the online school, and insist that HE demonstrate first, the suitability of this option by his willingness to succeed where he is, and to accomplish such, first.
    My concern would be first, he would do nothing in online school; and second, that he would see this as a reward of his misbehavior and accommodating it.

    I can see the logic of streamlining the school experience to take away the confounds of "authority" and the noise and rigor of the social aspects of school. However I see that learning to co-exist with others, accept authority and to meet demands in a complex situation are as important or more important than the diploma.
  4. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Call the superintendent's office and see what they may offer as an alternative for at-risk kids. There may be options you don't know about. Since your son dislikes school and is at risk for not completing his diploma, they may be motivated to help.

    My adult kids all did some classes online for high school, but they were all the studious types, so I don't know how it would work with a child that is resistant. I use Potters School (I also currently homeschool my 12-yo) which conducts live, online classes, with online tests/quizzes and homework due every week, much like they would have in the brick-and-mortar school. I pay $450-650 per class per year, not counting books and supplies. It is a very excellent college-prep school, so not sure if it would work for your son's needs. There are many other online schools to choose from, though.

    Also, look into what your district may offer homeschooled students.
    Depending on the state you live in, there may be free online programs through your district. The state I currently live in offers free classes through K-12 ( an online program which is free in many states). Many states such as mine also have other options for online learning/home bound learning through their district homeschool programs. You are enrolled as a public school student, so the district collects the same amount of money as it would if your child attended the classroom school.

    Doing their work daily is the key to success in an online program. Many of them require the parent to grade the homework, but some don't.

    Let us know how it goes, and what you decide!

  5. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Online high schools were created for at-risk students. Only half of the students in online programs actually finish them. It allows students with various challenges longer to finish assignments. If a student is really focused, motivated, and disciplined, they can finish early, but most of them aren't focused and disciplined, which is why they don't go to a traditional high school.
  6. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    our community has several options. Our oldest daughter did a school year where she took two or three online classes (the ones she struggled the mist with) at home, and the school allowed her to take some electives at the school. There was a wonan who called and talked to the kids almost once a week.

    The online classes consisted of a taped segment of a teacher talking about the subject. The math teacher would write the problem on the screen and show each step. Some written information, then quizzes for each segment. There was an actual teacher assigned (not the one in the video) who they could text or call for help. There were no papers to hand in at all. There were no books or work books involved. Students were encouraged to take notes. Finals were taken at the schools office.

    This was a good solution for oldest daughter. She didn't get stressed out at school by being there all day or having drama in the lunch room. I did have to keep on her some. It was the first time she made the honor roll! Mainly because you couldn't "forget" to hand in assignments! Plus, you had to finish each assignment before going on to the next.

    Younger daughter is doing a GED Plus program, also thru the school district, but at a different location. The school figures out what courses is required, then they take a GED class and get a diploma from the High school. Younger daughter needed a US History, Government, and two semesters of Senior English. Then the GED classes.

    Her online classes consists entirely of reading info on the screen and taking quizzes. Nothing to listen to or watch. There is one DVD for history and one for government to watch, take notes about and hand in. Plus there are written reports done with pen and ink to hand in.

    She is bored to death... But made a B in history and will probably do the same on government.

    She will probably do a pre test for GED, then study the ones she might need help with. She is hoping to finish this up by the end of junior year.

    The school no longer lets kids combine online and actual school... They do have a computer assisted classroom, but it is just for those who are in jeopardy of not passing, so it wasn't an option for younger.

    I did not want to battle online school at home.

    Good luck. I hope you find some good options. Ksm
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  7. Edward B. Artiaga

    Edward B. Artiaga New Member

    In my opinion, that is a good idea. You can try it out. It will be a good option.
  8. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    We have decided to try it. When we notified the school, their response was "by the way, we've been thinking about it and we want to evaluate Difficult Stepson for an IEP." We initiated a case study one year ago and the end result was he was ineligible, and he blamed us for "putting the staff through so much work for no reason" - he cut us out of his life completely, and we saw him for the first time last Friday since last spring. NOW they realize how troubled he is. NOW they want to offer him more help.

    It's too little too late as far as traditional school is concerned. He can legally drop out at the beginning of next school year, and he would never abide being labeled "special education". It's a tragedy really. But it is really too late. He is currently a junior, and he does as he pleases. He will only do what he wants to do and his father will not stop him. In the end, I truly believe that either the law or a bullet will end up stopping him. I pray that I am wrong but this is my gut sense. He has no insight into his behavior or its consequences, and accepts no accountability. If he is told no, he has a temper tantrum which in his case means screaming, swearing and becoming physically aggressive/violent. And he is BIG - six foot five and 250.

    Anyway, thanks for the support and the rant. We have done all we can for him and now he is on his own. The next phase is going to be detaching with love.
  9. gingersgrl

    gingersgrl New Member

    This post is a few weeks old but I'll add my experience anyway. My difficult child is doing online HS now. We just got her enrolled about 3 weeks ago. It is through the county HS and she has to report to a teacher in person once a week at the alternative school to drop off her work etc. So far it's going better than when she was in school. It's less chaotic and there is less opportunity for her to spin out of control due to relationships at school putting her into overload. Since a teacher is involved still on a once a week basis they still get to be the bad guy if work isn't being done and they have been very on top of what she's doing and not doing and have even called me about missing work. If too much work is missed she will be put on probation after which I have no idea what happens. Anyway...I am really liking it and she seems to as well. This was pursued at her request by the way. The once a week drop off for work can happen anytime the school is open so it's super convenient too. Good luck!