Virtual School at Home
Virtual Schooling at Home
If you are considering home school for your child but worry about the quality of education you are able to provide virtual school may be for you. Virtual school has the luxury of a certified teacher and curriculum in your child's home. As a coach or assistant to the online teacher you will become more involved in your child's education and become more aware of what your child may need a little extra help with. According to the companies that are providing this service, parents have been very satisfied with the programs. The companies are reporting higher student test scores than most public schools do. These programs fill up fast but are expanding. If you have an interest in the virtual school programs it is a good idea to make contact with them now. In my area the program is full for the 2009 -2010 school year but I am expecting a call back in December to attempt to register for next school year. I particularly like the idea of field trips and club gatherings which provide a social atmosphere for the enrolled students and parents. Public school is not for everyone but homeschooling can leave a child feeling somewhat isolated at times unless a positive social environment is provided for them. I am happy to see that the virtual schools have address this problem by including field trips and gatherings in the curriculum.
A free computer and internet access?
I have noticed that the contracting virtual public school companies are advertising no tuition and a free computer with Internet access as a part of the public school option. "If it sounds to good to be true it usually is". The truth is your child may be eligible for a free computer and internet if your child is now enrolled in a public school and is receiving free lunch or if you are receive food stamps for your child. The free computer and internet is not automatically a part of the virtual school package. You must apply for a technology hardship exception through your school district and be approved in order to receive a free computer and Internet. The school district (which is paying each childs tuition for the public virtual school) must approve a technology hardship exception not the virtual school's contracting company. If you are approved by your school district you may receive one desk top computer and monitor per household in the first school year of enrollment. Payment for Internet access, if approved, is normally a subsidy of under $33.00 paid quarterly. If you feel you do qualify it might be worth applying for but not all school districts will provide a technology hardship exception. Normally if your child is accepted to a virtual public school program, you will need to provide a computer and Internet access on your own. Your school district will make the final technology hardship determination if that option is available in your school district.
Virtual School Availability
Virtual school is now available as a public school option in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and some areas of California. Virtual school is expanding and is currently being developed as a public school option in several other states as well.
Virtual school is available as a private school option throughout the United States. Virtual school is not considered home schooling. Your child will have a state certified teacher online. All curriculum, materials and textbooks will be delivered to your home.