Technological advances have led to the development of several options for high school education. Instead of sitting in a physical classroom with twenty-five other students, online classes are now available to students at various times and locations. Most can be accessed through a personal computer at any time of the day or night. Parents and students should understand the differences in online courses to make an informed choice that is right for each individual learner.


More teens are homeschooled today than ever before. Parents who prefer to supervise their children's education are learning how to monitor and guide their teenagers' self-learning progress to ensure they master the required state learning outcomes. In addition to family homeschooling of their own children, homeschooled groups within a community are also forming to create small classrooms that can be taught by various parents or experts with specific academic expertise, such as math, English, science, a foreign language, art, etc. Field trips and sports programs are sometimes included in these groups to connect students with the world beyond their homes and neighborhoods.

Online education

Statewide online high schools are an excellent alternative to sending your child to a lackluster, local brick-and-mortar school. Students can enroll in one or several upper-level courses that are available in their school system. In some districts, criteria must be met, such as an above-average grade point average, to improve the odds of a student being responsible and motivated enough to complete an online course successfully. Since there is little to no direct supervision over online students except for occasional emails or video conferences, the students must be able to self-guide their progress to reach satisfactory performance levels in each course.

Hybrid courses

Some academic programs offer hybrid courses to high school students. A hybrid class is a blend of traditional classroom instruction and online self-paced learning as students work through course modules to meet learning outcomes. One example is for students to attend a regular campus class on Mondays and Fridays, but do the coursework on their computers on the other days of the week. Another example would be for students to attend class at the school one day a month to ask the instructor questions and discuss with their peers the concepts they are learning online.

Each of these learning formats has been proven to be effective among students who are willing to accept a course's designated structure and pace. Parents and students can explore each style to make the best choice. For more info on how to be successful in new school courses, check out our articles.