icon for advanced learnersIs your child done with workbook problems ahead of other students? Then twiddles her fingers as everyone catches up? Does he complain that school is “too easy”?

Ever worry that school won’t be enough of a challenge, holding back your student’s potential? This is a serious concern for a significant group of families.

As I know from my days as a high school English teacher, most brick-and-mortar schools are designed to teach groups of 25 to 30 students per class, at a level geared for the average student. I was painfully aware that a few students in my classes were not given enough of a challenge.

What about the online school model, which promises to deliver individualized learning? Sometimes dubbed the “classroom of one,” online schools have an ability to tailor an education program precisely to each student’s level. So, for instance, advanced students can be consistently challenged and their potential fulfilled.

The question is: how well do they do that? See for yourself, with these stories from the front lines of online learning.

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How Zoe Rediscovered Her Love of Learning

Six-year-old Zoe was frustrated with school. Already reading at a fifth grade level in the first grade, Zoe regularly finished with her work well before the rest of her class. Rather than continue learning, she was told to color on the back of her worksheets until the rest of her class caught up. Despite her mom Jennifer’s frequent requests to her teacher that something be done, and offers to send supplemental work for her, nothing changed.

Faced with the prospect of her bright, inquisitive daughter losing her passion for learning, Jennifer took action. She enrolled Zoe in Escambia Virtual Academy, her local K12 online school and, as she shares in our interview, the change has been remarkable. Read More

 

Three Graduates of Online School Reflect on Their Journey

At the other end of the age spectrum from first-grader Zoe, three K12 graduates and their families reflect on attending virtual school from kindergarten through 12th grade, how the program helps advanced learners, and how it has prepared them for the future.

 

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Gifted Students: Who Are They and What Does It Mean?

The beginning of the school year will be here before long. When it comes, many parents might be told that their child is “gifted.” Some may know what that means, others may think they know, and a few might have no idea at all.

Educator and author Joseph Renzulli considers three factors important for the development of gifted behavior: a student has an above average ability, possesses creativity, and is committed to working through and completing tasks.

Only when characteristics from all three rings work together is high achievement or gifted behavior possible.

Many have found online school offers the challenge and support they need to address the various characteristics of a gifted child. Read More

 

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Top 5 Ways to Get an Early Start on College

You might not think of online schooling as a way to save time and money by getting an early start on college. But for the motivated, advanced student, it can be. A surprising number of public, tuition-free online schools offer dozens of Advanced Placement® courses.

Even more surprising is how many offer dual-enrollment courses: with dual enrollment, students are simultaneously enrolled at both a college and a high school and earn both high school and college credit for the same courses. Some students are even able to complete an associate’s degree before they have graduated from high school! Read More

 

Read more about students who excel with online learningRead about other students in this series who do particularly well learning in an individualized, flexible, online learning environment. This seven-part series includes Advanced Learners, Elite Athletes and Performers, Bullied Students, College-Bound Students, Homeschoolers, Military Children, and Students who are not Challenged in Traditional Schools.

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