Ultimate Guide to Picking the Best Online High School for Your Child’s Success

Is your child a self-motivated learner who thrives in a flexible environment?  Maybe you want your child to excel at...
Ultimate Guide to Picking the Best Online High School for Your Child's Success

Is your child a self-motivated learner who thrives in a flexible environment?  Maybe you want your child to excel at school while letting him pursue his passion for art or sports? 


Parents only want the best for their children, especially when it comes to education. Some students may find traditional high school settings conducive for learning but it is not for everyone. Choosing an outstanding online high school in the U.S. will surely set up your child for success. 

Why Your Child Deserves Only the Best Online High School

Quality and comprehensive high school curricula equip students with the skills they need to handle the demands of college coursework. While academic excellence is a major ingredient to success, your chosen online high school should be able to go the extra mile in nurturing students to become well-rounded individuals. 

To achieve this, the best online high schools strive to offer the following: 


  • Personalized Learning

    Students have different learning styles and needs and leading online high schools know that they should do away with a “one size fits all approach” in education. By offering self-paced online courses, students get the opportunity to control their learning experience. Teachers can also offer personalized feedback to help students understand their strengths and weaknesses. In this way, students will have a more engaging and fulfilling learning experience. 


  • Flexibility and Support

    Students enrolled in online high schools can learn at their own pace, wherever they are. In a flexible learning setup, students can find time to attend to their other obligations, such as work or extracurricular activities. Leading online high schools that offer flexible and self-paced learning options support their students in their academic journey by providing readily available fully online resources 24/7.


  • College and Career Readiness

    Ensure that your child is fully prepared to tackle the challenges of higher education by enrolling him in the best online high school you can find. Some online high schools have advanced placement courses and dual enrollment/dual credit programs. As such, students can take advantage of such programs to earn college credits before leaving high school to save time and money.  Dedicated academic coaches are also ready to assist students in setting their goals and following the plan to achieve success. 


Criteria for Finding the Best Online High School: A Step-by-Step Guide

It might seem overwhelming to find the best online high school for your child but it doesn’t have to be. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you with your search: 


Step 1: Consider Your Child’s Needs and Preferences


  • Learning Style

    Does your child work best in a structured setting with clear deadlines or does he prefer a more independent approach with a chance for self-directed learning?


  • Academic Goals

     Is your child aiming to enroll in a top university or a vocational training program?


  • Interests and Activities

    Does your child participate in extracurricular activities that require a flexible schedule?

Step 2: Research and Evaluate Schools


  • Accreditation

    Try to find online high schools that are accredited by reputable agencies like Cognia or Accreditation International. Accredited online high schools are compliant with stringent academic standards. Moreover, credits earned in these institutions are transferable to colleges and universities across the U.S. 


  • Curriculum and Coursework

    The online high school curriculum should be aligned with your child’s academic needs and learning pattern. It is recommended that parents look for a school that offers an excellent curriculum with advanced placement or dual enrollment/dual credit programs to help prepare their child for the most prestigious universities.

    It is also good to know whether the school offers elective courses that align with your child’s specific interests, such as creative writing, astronomy, TV productions, or zoology. A balanced curriculum provides a strong foundation in core subjects while cultivating the student’s love for learning through discovery and exploration. 


  • Flexibility and Support

    Online high schools offer flexible learning options. Examine the various scheduling options offered in different schools that also allow your child to learn at his own pace. Top online high schools will be flexible enough to accommodate your needs, and the provision of round-the-clock online learning resources will make self-paced virtual learning easier for you. 


  • Cost

    Acquiring a quality online high school education without costing a fortune is no longer a dream.  Even online private high schools now offer their services at a much lower rate than the average.  Other schools also consider accepting Empowerment Scholarships from participating states.  


Step 3: Making the Final Decision

After finding out what you need to know about online high schools and considering what your child needs, it is now time for you to make the final decision. 

Let us help you navigate this crucial step:


1.  Prioritize and Compare


  • Create a Comparison Chart

    List the top 2-3 possible schools that you are seriously considering. Assess different factors such as the curriculum, style of teaching, cost, and extracurricular activities. Assign a rating system to each feature depending on how important is the particular feature for you and your child. 


  • Discuss with Your Child

    Show a comparison chart and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of enrolling in each school. Work with your child to determine which features should be prioritized. 


  • Consider the “Gut Feeling”

    While it’s important to be analytical, sometimes a school environment just feels right. If your child feels particularly engaged or excited about a specific school, consider that a positive sign.


2. Apply and Enroll


  • Read Application Requirements Carefully

    Each school has its own application procedure. Ensure you understand deadlines, comply with the submission of required documents such as transcripts, and pay the application fees, if necessary. 


  • Prepare for Admissions Interviews

    Some schools might conduct interviews. Practice interview questions with your child beforehand so they feel confident. Focus on highlighting their academic achievements, interests, and goals for online learning.


  • Contact the School

    If you feel that there is something that is not clear during the application process, do not hesitate to contact the school’s admissions office.


3. Preparing Your Child for Online Learning


  • Setting Up a Dedicated Workspace

    Create a quiet, well-lit space with minimal distractions. Provide your child with a comfortable chair and desk with a computer and reliable internet access.


  • Invest in the Right Equipment

    Provide your child with a good headset for online classes and video conferencing. Explore educational apps or software that can enhance the learning experience.


  • Developing Time Management Skills

    Online learning requires self-discipline. Assist your kid in making a schedule that he will follow every day, to help him/her tackle classes, homework, breaks, and personal time.


  • Establishing Communication Routines

    Discuss how your child will stay connected with teachers. Encourage him to participate in online discussions and ask questions. 


  • Technical Support

    Familiarize yourself and your child with the school’s learning platform and sort out any technical issues that may arise before online classes start.


By following these steps, you and your child can make an informed decision in picking the best online high school that can provide the quality online high school education that your child needs. 


Unlock Your Child’s Potential at Forest Trail Academy 

Finding the perfect online learning environment is an investment in your child’s future. Forest Trail Academy, one of the leading K-12 accredited private online schools in the U.S., provides a holistic, innovative, and world-class education for children from all walks of life.


It offers flexible, self-paced learning and a comprehensive curriculum tailor-fitted to your needs. Enroll your child in the best online high school today. Contact us now to learn more and embark on your child’s exciting academic journey!

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