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October 25, 2010

Cyber Homeschooling essay

The new age is upon us, and with it has come new ideas in areas such as education. Cyber schooling is a new educational option available (R., Barb). Cyber home schooling can hold many benefits to a child that public or private schooling cannot. Although home schooling a child has been around for quite some time, the idea of letting the child learn on his or her own, over the internet, is a rather large accomplishment.

The country’s first online secondary school is not a regular public school, though it is funded by public dollars. It’s not a private school either, though it operates largely outside the realm of state regulations and district polices. Rather, it is a new kind of school, a sort of public/private hybrid known as a charter school. Charter schools are independent, results-oriented, publicly funded schools or choice designed and run by teachers or others under contract with a public sponsor. Teachers, parents, social service organizations, or others develop a contract, or charter, to convert an existing school to a charter school or start a new one. The organizers then seek a sponsor, a local school board, state board of education, State University, or some other public entity, to determine if the school is worth approving and to make sure approved schools abide by the charter terms. If a school fails to live up to its promises, particularly those addressing student performance, the charter may be revoked (Buechler). Now if we take this explanation and add a computer and the Internet, we have Cyber Charter Schools.

The last thing every mother wants is having her son or daughter sitting behind a computer all day. Parents may be concerned with their child staying on track and actually getting a full education. Cyberschoolers follow the requirements of their individual cyberschool regarding attendance. There are different ways of making sure that students stay on track. Most of the cyberschools maintain regular contact with parents and students through email or phone calls and some cyberschools require that samples of student work be sent to the cyberschool periodically (R., Barb). Cyberschools can offer the same education as a public or private school. In a cyberschool a student can work at his or hers own pace. Charter School students learn in both traditional and nontraditional settings employing flexible schedules. Some cyber students can access lessons and perform educational activities on a twenty-four hour day basis seven days per week. This open access to the educational environment permits students to move between home activities, community responsibilities and Charter School programs (SusQ).

Why would a mother or father have their child go through a cyber charter school rather than a public or private school where there is at least some social interaction? Some parents just don’t feel safe sending their children to a public school with all the violence in the world today. Some families may live on farms and need help working the farm, they have their child there to help during the day and do their studies at night. Some teens choose to leave the social burden that public schools offer. There are even occasions where a student could be training for a sport or activity that he or she participates in and homeschooling is a great idea for them to improve their skills. But why cyber homeschool? There are some occasions where there is no parent home or the parent has no time to teach their child lessons, and is best for them to do it on their own. Some kids may even prefer to teach themselves and remain on track through their cyberschool’s deadlines (Wenger).

A cyberschooled student will receive books for each class and a laptop computer or regular computer. Courses may be delivered through the Internet or traditional media. Reading remains a major part of most courses. Physical education is a requirement and is accomplished through utilization of community facilities on a contractual basis (SusQ). It takes a lot of hard work and determination to do cyberschooling and is not for everyone. Tests are given after a student has finished a chapter or section in their class. The tests usually include two sections, a subjective and an objective. The objective section includes your basic true/false and multiple choice questions. The subjective is where the student will write or type the answer in the form of an essay to receive credit. Unlike some classes in public or private schools, when a student submits a test he or she will receive a grade right away. On certain tests there may be an opportunity for the student to retake them (Twenty).

The idea of cyberschooling doesn’t seem fair to some and they have stood up against it. In order for a cybershool to have permission to set up at school they must first be approved by the County’s school district. There have been School Board members in favor and some against the idea. Those that are against cyberschooling are upset because the money to pay the cyberschools comes out of the school district’s budget. It is the tax money that pays for a child to be educated. But a school district also has to dish out some money, money they wish they had. It is also possible for a cyberschool student to participate in a public school sporting event. If there is no team for the cyberschool then the student is able to go out for the team in his school district.

Charter Schools offer the benefits of both public and private schools (Finn). Cyberschooling isn’t for everyone though. Keep in mind that it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifices. There are strict guidelines that must be followed. Who knows what the rest of the Twenty-first Century will hold? Now that it is possible to educate a child over the Internet who knows what may be next? Maybe there will someday be a virtual classroom that will take the place of public schools. Only time will tell.

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