In a 2022 Pew Research poll, 69% of parents were worried about the chance of a school shooting happening at their child’s school. Other studies have found that 44% of parents are worried about general safety at their child’s school, and 27% of K-12 students are unsatisfied with the state of public education. Educators report that they also feel less safe in their schools than they did even a few years ago, and only about half of students say that they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms, and locker rooms of their schools.
When it comes to motivating factors for moving away from a traditional academic setting, no one can deny the pull of keeping your children safe and focused on learning rather than being left with a generalized fear for their safety. If you’re among the parents planning to pull your children out of a traditional school setting in order to move them into a more focused, flexible online academic setting, Excel High School has some tips about how to talk to your kids about switching to an online school.
Choose The Right Timing
First of all, timing is everything. Just like any other important conversation, considering when to talk to your student about switching schools can greatly impact the outcome. This means that you’ll want to select the calmest time possible to have this important conversation, not after your teen has gotten into trouble for something at home or had a rough day at school. You want to find a time when everyone is clear-headed and not riding high on any significant emotional experience.
One option is to plan the conversation around a pleasant activity that you enjoy doing together. By approaching the topic while you’re working together on a task, playing a game, or walking the dog, part of everyone’s energy will be able to go into an optional coping skill rather than it being completely focused on the topic. Having a bit of a distraction to burn energy while talking can avoid any unnecessary anxiety.
When you approach the topic, be sure you’re able to keep a positive tone, too. Rather than being an authoritarian in this situation, you’ll want to remain open to your child’s thoughts and concerns, allowing them to have input so that they can maintain necessary control over their own life. Listening to your student and taking the time to respond with thoughtful answers is essential for setting the tone for the entire online learning experience. You don’t want to ruin any motivation they might have before they even begin.
Emphasize The Benefits
With that positive attitude, you’ll also want to present a solid case that focuses on the benefits of online school. You can focus on the flexibility that online school offers them. Online students can work anywhere in the world where they have high speed internet service. This means your student can visit friends and family who live further away while staying on track with their academics.
The flexibility of online education generally means your student will have more free time to explore their interests. They will have time to learn or enhance their skills in art, music, or athletics. Because online classes don’t waste time with attendance taking, peer behavioral issues, and the many other side-quests of traditional academic settings, your student is going to have plenty of time to explore their interests to become a well-rounded individual.
Online course offerings are not dependent on class schedule and teacher availability, so your student will also find many more options. They’re sure to find some specialized classes that will allow them to get a sneak peek into possible career opportunities for their future or to learn more about special interests they have.
Explain Your Plan
Your student will probably be concerned about their social life during this conversation, so one important consideration to be prepared for is how you’re going to keep your students connected to friends. They will need social opportunities, so be sure to have options in place. You will want to offer them group lessons that will help them interact with their peers, clubs, community groups, youth organizations, or volunteer opportunities.
Online education offers many opportunities for your student to grow as an individual in a safe environment that allows them to develop their own healthy personal interests.
About Excel High School
Excel High School is an accredited online school that offers high school aged students and adults who want to earn their high school diploma a fully online, flexible, and self-paced program that fits around their schedules, with a support team to help them along the way. If you’re not already a student with Excel High School but would like to learn more, feel free to check out our programs on our website. Still have questions? Feel free to reach out to us by text at 952-465-3700 or call us at 800-620-3844. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you have and guide you to the best program for your individual needs.