Top 10 Benefits of Enrolling Early in an Online School
Spring and early summer may not be the peak time that parents think about the next school year, but maybe that’s because they aren’t aware of the many benefits of enrolling early in an online school. If you’ve made the decision to enroll your child in an online school—or you are planning to return to a virtual school next year—you may want to take advantage of these benefits by enrolling early, rather than waiting until the fall. Finish the enrollment process now and enjoy all of the eight benefits listed below!
1. Enjoy Online Summer Camps
Once enrolled in an online school, students can attend free K12 summer camps, which will connect them to the online community and provide an opportunity for summer learning. These virtual camps begin in June and include a variety of fun summer activities kids can enjoy at home or on the go. Each educational and engaging session lasts less than an hour and features topics like space travel, gardening, science, crafts, geometry, chemistry, and art. Enrolled students will have access to all the camps in their grade level, and they can choose just their favorites or attend them all to explore new topics!
Summer camp topics include:
Adventures in Space
Science in the Kitchen
Geometry in the World
Inspired by the Masters: Claude Monet’s Water Lilies
Can You Keep Your Boat Afloat?
Wonders of the World
2. Exclusive Access to Learning Coach University
Learning Coaches also benefit from an early enrollment process! As your student’s Learning Coach, you can join live sessions, workshops, and events via the K12 Learning Coach University™ (LCU) once your student has registered for next year. Feedback on these courses has been overwhelmingly positive according to a recent K12 survey. “This is valuable for working with my children as a Learning Coach,” wrote one mom after taking the Identifying the Love Languages in Kids class, “but VERY important as a parent.” Some of the individual courses included in the free Learning Coach University offerings include:
Setting Up Your Student for Success
Social Media for Parents
Roles and Responsibilities of the Learning Coach
Motivating Reluctant Readers
Identifying Your Student’s Learning Style
3. Become Acquainted with Online Learning and Other Students
Students enrolled in K12-powered schools have the option to attend live Walk-to-Class sessions that provide helpful information about online learning in preparation for the new school year. Topics include setting up student and Learning Coach accounts, and instructions regarding using the online platform as well as other tools and resources. Students and their Learning Coaches who can set up their accounts and learn the platform early can be better prepared when the school year begins. Plus, K12’s national student ambassadors offer new and returning students their best advice concerning how to become high achievers in an online school environment. And K12’s “Meet and Greet” and “I’m New” sessions offer further resources for students to have a successful academic year, including topics on interacting with teachers and engaging with other online students. These classes run through June, July, and August.
4. Secure your seat in class!
Some virtual schools have enrollment caps for each year, which means space is limited to a set number of students. Once the enrollment cap is met, additional student applications will be placed on a wait-list and those students can only enroll if space becomes available. Families who enroll early can avoid the disappointment of being placed on a wait-list if the school reaches its limit. Now is the time to save your student’s seat in class.
5. Avoid the Summer Slide with Free Strong Start Summer Activities
Experts say it’s important for kids to get in some learning during the break to avoid summer learning loss. According to the Brookings Institution, recent research found that “students’ achievement scores declined over summer vacation by one month’s worth of school-year learning.” K12’s Strong Start Summer Fun program helps offset this “summer slide” by providing several fun but educational courses and activities for enrolled students beginning July 15. There are optional courses for every age group that includes challenges and games to encourage student participation. Students in kindergarten through 6th grade can play Stride Academy, Space Coaster, and Koofu’s Quest—while students in grades 6 to 12 can take daily challenges designed to encourage independent thinking, build healthy habits, and spark creativity. Online discussion boards will be available for some of the challenges so students can connect with each other and share their results.
6. Encourage Summer Reading with the Big Universe Digital Library
A world of great literature at the touch of a button awaits students who enroll before the fall! As part of Strong Start Summer Fun, students enrolled in grades kindergarten through 5th will gain access to the Big Universe digital library of 15,000 books at various reading levels. Consistent reading over the summer is critical to ensure that kids retain their reading skills and don’t suffer from learning loss in the fall. The Big Universe program features reading challenges that will make reading fun and encourage an early love of books.
7. Set Up Your Learning Space over the Summer
One advantage of learning at home is that you can customize the learning space your child will use. Take the time over the summer months to create a comfortable setting where your student will be able to focus and be inspired to learn. Ideally, you’ll want to set up a designated space just for learning—a space that is functional but still reflects your student’s personal interests. Make sure it has good lighting and proper seating and try to avoid clutter. Studies have shown that the learning environment affects student success, so you’ll want plenty of time over the summer to plan and organize your space!
8. Be Better Prepared for when Classes Start
When you enroll your student in a virtual school, you’ll be given resources and videos to help you be fully prepared for the first day of school. Once registered, you’ll become part of a nationwide community of Learning Coaches, teachers, staff, and students. One of the benefits of being part of this community includes access to national programming, engagement opportunities, and support—all aimed at helping your student reach their goals. Registering early will give you and your child plenty of time to take advantage of all these resources. When classes begin in the fall, your student will be prepared to reach his or her full academic potential!
9. Get Your Student ID Early to Take Advantage of Discounts
All students will receive their own ID card, with an individual student number, once they’ve enrolled in a virtual school. These ID cards can be used throughout the summer to take advantage of the many discounts available to students. Many clothing and shoe stores, such as American Eagle and Adidas, offer discounts to students who present their ID cards. And many brands and stores offer lower prices on tech devices for students. Even some movie theaters, such as AMC, offer discounts with proof of a student ID. Kids who enroll early can take advantage of these discounts all summer long!
10. Enjoy the Summer Knowing Everything Is Set for School
It can be hard to enjoy taking time off when deadlines are looming. Enrolling your student in school prior to July and August will allow your whole family to relax and enjoy the summer months without worrying about registering for school on time. And when school begins, you’ll all be confident that you enrolled early and had plenty of time to complete all the steps necessary to be fully prepared for a successful year!
If you’ve chosen a K12-powered school for your child to attend next year, your family can look forward to caring teachers, engaging courses, a committed community, and a personalized education for your student. Make this coming school year the best ever by preparing for it in advance! Enroll today.
If you’re not sure whether an online school is right for your child, visit K12.com to learn more about bringing public school home. You can see what a day in the life of an online student is like and find out which virtual schools are available in your state.
Elizabeth Street is a writer and managing editor for Learning Liftoff. For the past 20 years, she has written newsletter and website content for nonprofit and corporate organizations on such topics as the plight of children of prisoners worldwide, the lack of prenatal care for mothers in developing countries, and child mentoring programs. She has a particular interest in the importance of providing all children with a quality education regardless of their family’s financial status or background. A native of Virginia, Elizabeth is a graduate of James Madison University and loves animals, with particular fondness for her two cats, Oscar and Emmy.