As 2018 arrives and technology progresses, the popularity of online education continues to increase. Online education is a great resource for your homeschooled teen to use as they begin to plan the rest of their high school careers and beyond. College preparation courses, Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and a variety of university degrees are all available online for students.
Myths about Online Learning
Technology continues to transform both traditional and online classrooms, but many fail to understand the merits of online learning. There are many misconceptions about online education, despite its continual growth. Some believe online degrees don’t require as much work or time as a traditional degree, but online students must meet the same standards as on-campus students. Arizona State University states their “online degree programs adhere to the same rigorous standards and accreditation requirements as ASU’s in-person courses.”
Don’t be afraid of online courses or degrees! Technology makes college more accessible to everyone. The advantages are similar to homeschooling: they offer more independence, more time for extracurricular activities, and more control over your learning environment. Online learning can be a great way to earn college credit or to prepare for university-level academics. Worried about a lack of supporting resources? Certain programs are beginning to offer traditional services to their online students, such as career counseling and online tutoring. These services make it even easier for homeschooled students to be successful in college-level or prep courses.
Resources for Students Taking AP-Level Courses
Official AP courses, which are college-level classes available for high school students, provide opportunities to boost their grade point average (GPA) and earn college credit. Each university has its own policy, but students can begin college with certain course requirements already complete if they pass an AP exam. Students may take less time to complete their degrees, have a lighter course load in school, or take difficult subjects sooner.
For homeschooled students, AP courses can be taken online through College Board. Students have an instructor to help with the advanced material, but can “go” to class when it fits into their schedules. If your student cannot find a course for the subject they’d like to take or would prefer to study on their own, they can still take an AP exam without enrolling in a class. Contact AP Services to register!
Homeschooled students should prepare for the AP test as much as possible, whether or not they take an AP class. Practice books and exams, local tutors, and study groups are all useful ways to prepare. The tests are difficult, but they really are a great chance for college-bound students to experience college-level academics.
Vocational/Trade Careers as a Viable Option
Of course, another non-traditional route for homeschooled students is vocational or trade school. College isn’t the right fit for all students, and there are many advantages of going to a trade school. Many people believe college is the only choice for students today, but trade schools are just as relevant. Do you know a hairdresser or a plumber? Have them discuss their experience with your teen. Chances are, your student can learn about trade careers by talking with a community or family member. Additionally, there are many resources available online, from preliminary information to scholarships.
Homeschooling already opens students’ minds to educational alternatives. Whether that’s college, an online university, or even a trade school, exploring different post-graduation options is important to student success. No matter which of the many options your student chooses to pursue, being organized, prepared, and well-informed is the best way to plan the next phase of their lives.