Why Online Learning Works for Parents and Kids

Parents and their children are choosing online schools more and more. What’s accounting for the trend?

Last week, Getting Smart Advocacy Partner and leading provider of online K-12 schools, Connections Academy released results from their annual parent survey. The results share why parents choose to enroll their students in full-time online public schools and also how satisfied their family is with the online experience.

The face of online learning has changed tremendously over the past 5 years. Thousands of families are now enrolling in online virtual school either full or part time and for a variety of reasons. Connections Education has students that are olympic athletes and need flexibility not available through traditional brick and mortar school so they can attend practices all over the world. There are also students pursuing careers in acting that have auditions during the normal school day. Some students simply learn better in a virtual environment and are able to reach their full potential thanks to the flexibility and experiences virtual schooling affords.

This year’s annual survey reports why families choose full-time online schooling:

Connections Parent Survey 2015

Other key stats from the survey include:

  • 93% of parents would recommend Connections Academy to other families
  • 95% feel the curriculum is high quality
  • 96% feel their child’s teacher was helpful throughout the year
  • 91% of parents agree that their child/children are making good progress at Connections Academy
  • 93% of parents agree that they are satisfied with the variety of learning activities provided by the program
  • 93% of parents agree that the use of technology is improving the learning experience
  • 92% of parents agree that the teachers improve the learning experience

Mickey Revenaugh, Executive Vice President of Connections Education, offers three pieces of advice for families who may be considering full time virtual school:

  • Do your homework. There are a lot of virtual schools out there, choose the one that’s right for your student, that has high quality, and elicits good outcomes
  • Start early. It’s never too soon to figure out how online learning can work best for your family.
  • Reach out to peers. There are a lot of families who’ve gone down the same path. Reach out and connect, they’ll be helpful to your family and can make your transition more successful.

“Beyond satisfaction as evidenced in enrollment growth, the parent survey provides vital information that helps shape the online school programs we deliver. Being responsive to families is central to our mission; we take the results very seriously,” commented Dr. Steven Guttentag, president and co-founder of Connections Academy. “Parents today have choices when it comes to K-12 education; they are forging individual education pathways that best meet the needs of their children. It’s really gratifying to hear directly from these parents that they love Connections schools, their teachers, the curriculum, and that we’re helping so many young people find success.”

As educational opportunities and options explode, families are faced with more important decisions related to education than ever. Parents nationwide are supporting their children in navigating a complex maze of new learning opportunities, new standards, new assessments, and new technology. As part of our Smart Parents blog series and culminating book (releasing in August) we’re helping tell parents’ stories, share lessons and create a resource that will help guide parents as they face the important educational decisions of tomorrow.

For more about Connections Education see:

This blog is part of our Smart Parents series in partnership with the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. For more information about the project, see Parents, Tell Your Story: How You Empower Student Learning as well as other blogs:

Jessica Slusser

Jessica is the Senior Director of Impact at Getting Smart. She leads business development and growth of advocacy campaigns, advisory services, product development, marketing, and Getting Smart's blog. As part of her role, Jessica also oversees team events, conferences, and speaking engagements.

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Lily Bridgers

There are several virtual schools available, and you mentioned that you should pick the one that is best for your student, is of high quality, and produces positive results. My daughter recently started to exhibit tics, and the doctor thinks she may be developing Tourette syndrome. Because of this, she is being tormented at school, so perhaps I should think about enrolling her in a cyber elementary school the next semester. Gratitude for this. https://www.palcs.org/curriculum/elementary-school-k-5

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