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The Do’s and Don’ts of Online Homeschooling High School

by Jessica Parnell | Feb 27, 2018 | 3 min read

In this ever-expanding age of technology, online learning has become a new normal in education. When it comes to online homeschooling high school, there are so many possibilities to choose from. From Learning Labs to blended learning courses, your teen’s curiosity and love for learning will grow!

Benefits of Online Learning

Online learning gives high school students a chance to explore their own interests while gaining knowledge at the same time. Another benefit of online learning is that it’s great for visual learners! If your teen does well with a textbook program, consider online homeschooling as an alternative or an addition to their current program (we’ll discuss this more later).
Whether you’re new to online homeschooling or you already use an online program, there are do’s and don’ts of online learning. Check out our list below!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Online Homeschooling High School

  • DO choose an accredited program. It is CRUCIAL when choosing an online homeschooling program, that you choose one that is accredited. Bridgeway Academy offers online homeschooling accredited programs. What does “accredited” mean? It means your transcripts are 100% official and certified by Pennsylvania Department of Education, National Association of Private Schools, and more. Have peace of mind that your high schooler’s classes will be accepted by college or university of their choice. Did you know 92% of our graduates go on to a college or university? Accredited programs make all the difference!
  • DO choose a program with support. Sometimes, you don’t have all the answers (only sometimes though!). That’s where support comes in. Bridgeway Academy has a great team ready to assist you at any point in your online homeschooling journey. If you’re not sure how to help your teen in a particular subject, an advisor can readily assist you with any questions you or your child have. Your advisor will also monitor your teen’s progress, complete grade reports, and stay on top your teen’s progress so you can rest assured that your child will succeed!
  • DO consider your state’s laws. Each state has different homeschooling laws, so it’s a must to research your state’s laws before you choose online homeschooling. Bridgeway Academy has a great resource guide that allows you to access all 50 states’ homeschooling laws. It’s important to know what your state wants, especially when it comes to graduation requirements, in order for your teen to graduate on time.
  • DO consider “mixing it up.” Online homeschooling is cool and all, but sometimes your teen needs a break from the screen. Consider a blended learning program, where textbooks and online learning combine for a different experience. Your child can take a different approach toward learning, but yet still have the online homeschooling experience. Check out our blended learning programs here.

And now for the “don’ts”…

  • DON’T bail your student out. If your child is having a tough time in a class, it’s easy to think, “I’ll do the work for them.” NOPE. Do not pass go. Do not collect your child’s homework. It’s their responsibility to keep up with assignments, not your’s. There will be some difficult lessons to be learned, but those mistakes will prepare your student for the future.
  • DON’T be hands-off, either. It’s okay to be a little hands-on with your student. Help them the best you can with their classes and homework. Work with your child to build self-discipline, especially with monitoring screen time. Teach them a good work ethic so they can learn what it’s like to be completely self-monitored. It’s also super important to encourage them to take breaks. When it comes to college prep, let your student know it’s okay to put down the pencil. I know I was pretty stubborn when it came to studying for the ACT, so having someone let me know that the sunshine was waiting for me was great.
  • DON’T handle responsibilities. This is a time in your student’s life that learning life skills should never be ignored. Have them make their own class schedule, pick out their own classes, and learn time management skills. Here’s a great time management technique that makes it easier to focus on one task at a time. This is their time to shine – so don’t handle the responsibilities!
  • DON’T forget to be encouraging! High school can be rough. From preparing for standardized tests to college visits, online homeschooling in high school can get a bit overwhelming. But, you can be the voice that turns the tide. It’s the little things that count, like “encouragement notes” that you post on the computer screen. Or, reward your student with a trip to their favorite store, library, etc. when they have a great day, ace the exam, or meet a new goal. Your voice should be the loudest, and filled with encouragement, to ensure the success of your child’s online homeschooling.

And lastly…

DO be your child’s coach. Imagine you’re a football coach for the Philadelphia Eagles (Go Eagles!) and it’s the last play of the Super Bowl. Your best quarterback, your child, is nervous. But the play is won – the Eagles have won! Your child holds the trophy. You blink, and that trophy becomes a diploma.
Sometimes, being your child’s coach means encouraging them to move forward, guide them toward the right play, and watching success unfold before you. Time goes quickly, especially in high school. Make the most of it with your child.

Jessica Parnell
Hello everyone! I’m Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and CEO of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success. When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
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