Online Learning Provides Appropriate, Individualized Academic Challenge
Many parents become concerned their children aren’t getting enough academic challenge in school. Symptoms in otherwise smart and capable students can vary from boredom in the classroom and lack of enthusiasm for school to complaints about assignments or teachers. The work is simply too easy or not creative or deep enough for these students to retain their motivation.
At K12 network schools, these students often become re-invigorated through engaging curriculum and programs that offer the academic challenge they need and allow the opportunity for advancement they want in order to remain motivated in school.
The following stories showcase why and how online learning can help awaken motivation in previously unchallenged students and provide the appropriate level of academic challenge. Some also include observations and scenarios involving previously unchallenged students who enroll at K12 schools:
You may have witnessed apathy, indifference or malaise in your student that can manifest in daydreams, yawns, and even misbehavior. All can point to a prime enemy of education and it is classroom boredom. For overachievers, boredom can result from the teaching pace. These students already know the material and can’t wait to move ahead. Their need to be challenged is simply not being met. Read more
In addition to boredom, you may notice unchallenged students needing minimal time to study, skipping class, behavior problems, lack of homework, and a disinterest in the class or subject. Speaking with your child’s teacher may uncover options to better challenge your student during the day. There may be advanced programs he can take or the teacher may offer to challenge him with extra assignments and lessons. For some students, it may mean switching schools, like K12 student Kelsey W. Read more
Among the key elements of a dynamic curriculum is its appropriateness for your learner. The key is providing students with material that is challenging but not too difficult. K12 curriculum builds in assessments at the activity, lesson, and unit levels, providing frequent checks on a student’s progress and the ability to make adaptations. For students who crave more academic challenge, they may work ahead if they have already mastered the concept or create a project that investigates a concept more deeply. Working at the appropriate pace for their proficiency level keeps students from both extremes: boredom and frustration. Read more
Educator Melissa King says providing student engagement that will ignite a fire inside, motivating learners to dig in and charge full speed ahead is also key. How does this differ from sitting in a high school classroom? King uses the example of Amelia, a bright and conscientious student who moves through lessons at a rapid pace. Without time spent waiting for other students to keep up, Amelia has time for in-depth investigation of topics that interest her, thus providing the appropriate level of academic challenge for her. Read more
More academic focus is one of the top reasons students opt to switch to a K12 school mid-year. When a child is able to learn more quickly than his/her peers, virtual education allows them to move through content and lessons at a quicker pace rather than that of their classmates. K12’s curriculum is challenging and encourages thorough learning. Read more
Read 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.
Deanna Glick has spent two decades as a writer and editor, covering education policy, adoption, and other issues of interest to children and families. Deanna has also worked and volunteered for youth-focused nonprofits, including Students Run LA and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. A California native, Deanna loves to hike sections of the Appalachian Trail and spend time on the Shenandoah River near her Northern Virginia home. She often finds writing inspiration through her 8-year-old daughter, who loves to read, paint, play sports, and learn.