Some pros of online schools for children are that kids can actively direct their own learning, teachers can individualize the learning pace and activities to fit each student, and kids have access to a wider variety of subjects than in traditional school. Some cons of online schools are that kids spend more time in front of the computer screen and less in face-to-face contact with teachers and peers. Parents must take on more active roles monitoring and coaching their children.
Kids have more time to learn as they are not commuting to school or spending class time waiting for other students to finish working or asking questions. They can choose when to do each lesson, because online courses are often partly self-paced. Students with special needs can fit study time around therapy appointments or the demands of a movie role.
Kids can choose to delve more deeply into an interesting subject, or they can take more time if they are struggling with materials. Teachers keep close tabs on student progress and intervene as needed. Teachers say they have more contact with online students than in a traditional classroom.
Students may elect subjects not available in their school district. Advanced young scientists may take special enrichment courses or higher level courses. Students may collaborate with others around the world on class projects.
Limited socialization is often cited as a con for online schooling, but online students often participate in face-to-face activities as part of their school programs and can interact with neighborhood friends after regular school hours. Much of online learning takes place away from the computer screen, as students still have books to read, worksheets to complete and physical art and science assignments.