As a homeschool parent, it can be difficult to find the best online resources for your high school student. The internet is filled with a wide array of online homeschool resources, and it can be overwhelming to decide which ones are the most beneficial.
To make the process easier, it’s important to consider a few important factors when choosing online resources.
First, make sure the online resources for high school students align with your student’s learning style and interests.
Different students learn differently and have different interests, so tailor your search to these preferences.
Second, look for online resources for high school students that are interactive and engaging.
A student’s attention span is limited and they’ll be more likely to remember information if it’s presented in an interesting way.
Finally, look for online resources for high school students that are suitable for the grade level. Don’t be afraid to challenge your student, but make sure the material is age appropriate.
There are a variety of websites that offer great online resources for high school students, especially those who are homeschooling high school. Keep reading for more info to help you choose the best online resources for high school students and get more info about one of our favorite resources!
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Here are 4 things to keep in mind when choosing the best online resources for high school students:
1. Technology has glitches
Teens today are pretty comfortable with computers, tablets, phones, and all the apps that accompany them. Teachers tend to be a bit older and may still be learning the technology as they go.
Whether you’re using an established program or newer one, expect a hitch here and there along the way.
That doesn’t mean these are poor online resources for high school students, but the teachers tend to be from a different era.
There will be times when a PDF may not download correctly, a glitch will appear in an assignment, or the internet just doesn’t want to work properly.
Which leads us to communication, because keeping an open line goes a long way when the student experiences glitches…
2. Communication is crucial
Online online resources for high school students put you in contact with potential friends and mentors, but you have to be proactive in forming those relationships.
Many online teachers will have students introduce themselves to the class at the beginning of class.
At Sparks Academy, we provide a (monitored) open forum in every class for students to chat amongst themselves and form those connections.
It’s also a good idea to introduce yourself and stay in contact with your teacher, whether through email or a classroom portal-based chat. Communicating promptly whenever you have an illness, question about classwork, or other issues is crucial.
3. Time management is key
While sitting at a computer, taking a class, it’s easy to get caught up in another page, a notification ping, or a chat thread. It’s the nature of our distraction-filled world.
It is the student’s responsibility to find a groove that works for them, learn their best focusing techniques, and develop an organizer / scheduling plan that works. While we make suggestions at Sparks Academy, ultimately we know that every student is different and must find what works best for them.
Procrastination is the number one grade-affecter in the first semester of enrollment, but students typically find a groove by second semester.
4. Online doesn’t equate to an “Easy A”
While it’s true that the online resources for high school students are more flexible, you still have to put in the time and effort.
There are probably ‘pay for play’ classes out there that will give you credit in exchange for money, but those aren’t going to pay off in the long run. After all, what are you really learning in that situation?
Online courses take roughly about the same amount of “work time” as traditional courses to study for and complete.
So how do you know which online resources for high school students are best for you?
Full Program vs Individual Classes
Are you wanting to take all of your classes in one location, essentially creating a school-at-home scenario? Or are you wanting to pick and choose classes that are tailored to your needs and interests? Do you want to have one sole point of contact, or one contact for each class? (Even with an all-in-one situation, you might still have an array of contacts.)
In the wake of Covid, there are more full program schools than just a few years ago, but you’ll want to research them to get a thorough look at the curricula being used, any ideology being included, and any required testing or data collection that is included with that tuition. (As you would with any school, camp, or program you utilize.)
Synchronous vs Asynchronous
This is one of the biggest factors for students – do they want to take a class that is on a schedule, or work at their own pace?
There are pros and cons to each, and not every course will give you the option. If the course follows a set schedule (synchronous), be prepared to stay on task and caught up with your work.
If the course is self-paced, you’ll need to be diligent and responsible for keeping on track. At Sparks Academy, every course is offered in both a scheduled and self-paced format.
Live vs Threaded
If you’ve opted for synchronous classes, your next question is whether you want video-chat classes that are scheduled at a particular time, or should you take text-based classes that can be streamed at any point within the time frame?
Again, it’s a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer to chat face to face, while others are more comfortable in the online forum.
Sparks Academy provides a combination, with live, face-to-face (via internet) classes each quarter and forum-based classes the rest of the year.
This allows students to get to know each other and form connections, but doesn’t commit them to a particular time slot for an entire year.
Accreditation and Certification
Curriculum is not accredited. Homeschools are not accredited. SOME schools (most public schools) are accredited, however not all are.
Accreditation is awarded to schools after so many years of operation, plus completing a lengthy application and submitting a recurring fee.
Most online homeschool providers are not going to be accredited, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as good. However, if you are applying for an NCAA scholarship or another program that requires an accredited diploma, you will want to keep this in mind.
Why Sparks Academy?
At Sparks, middle and high school students from around the world come together for language arts, history, and science courses. Students have the option of either self-paced or synchronous class format, and all work is teacher-graded.
Students form connections with each other via class chats and open discussion forums, and have the option of meeting one-on-one with teachers when extra help is needed.
Over half of enrollment each year is comprised of returning students from the previous year.
One Sparks Academy parent says, “My son used this last year for HS1 & World History. It was great with teaching him accountability & responsibility. He loved being able to communicate with others using the discussions (he thought it was cool that everyone lived in so many different places and they were all able to communicate with each other). He also enjoyed the live class with Yvie, and I liked it because it kept him on his toes with making sure all his assignments were completed when it was time for that live class in case he was called on to report it. As “mom” I still had to keep on him to make sure he was current and went over his assignments with him, but that’s to be expected. Overall we love it! My son will be using it again this year for HS2, American History, and Science.”
By keeping these factors in mind, you can easily find the best online resources for high school students. With the right resources, your student will have the tools to learn and succeed in their homeschool journey.
Choosing the best online resources for high school students can be a challenge. There are numerous options available, so it’s important to do your research and find the resources that best fit your needs.
From online courses to study guides and more, there are plenty of options to help you succeed in your studies.
Taking the time to find the best online resources can help you stay on top of your studies and give you the best chance of success. Good luck!
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