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Top 5 Benefits of Enrolling Early in an Online School

When it comes to enrolling in online schooling, the old adage that the early bird gets the worm is especially true. While it may feel far off now, the next school year will begin, bringing with it stressful decisions about where to enroll based on your child’s needs. In addition to avoiding that last-minute stress, enrolling now offers some other unique benefits.

1. Secure your student’s seat in class.

As Heidi Higgins explains in the most recent On Learning podcast episode, some virtual schools have enrollment caps for each year, which means that space is limited. Julie Emerson, the Operations Manager for Idaho Career Academy, says that early enrollment isn’t just important for families, it also helps school administrators and instructors prepare for the following year. “Knowing your student is coming back for the next year helps us plan for our teachers and make sure we have the adequate staffing to help your student learn if you have any needs arise,” Emerson explains.  Adelita Shepherd, the Compliance and Family Engagement Coordinator at Destinations Career Academy, says that they can also help families make decisions about the fall if they’re not sure yet: “If they’re undecided, we will certainly help them make that decision depending on what’s best for their child.”

2. Receive your materials earlier.

In a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom, students don’t know exactly what they’re studying until the first day of class. However, students who enroll in online school early will receive their materials early. Families who enroll early will have materials delivered right to their door over the summer to get a sneak peak at the exciting things they’ll learn in the fall and the innovative tools they’ll have to learn them.

3. You’ll have time to prepare your student’s learning space.

When you enroll early, you have plenty of time to create a learning space that serves your children and the rest of the family well. As a family, you can divvy up space and figure out how daily routines work. This might take the form of setting up the physical learning environment or divvying up daily chores. For the Learning Coaches who are helping to facilitate their child’s learning at home, there are plenty of creative ideas for meal planning and other at-home learning logistics. The Learning Coach group’s Facebook page, which is over 12,000 members strong, is certainly worth joining for new and seasoned Learning Coaches alike.

4. Your student will be ready to hit the ground running in the fall.

Education may not be a race, but getting a head start never hurts. Students who re-register or enroll for the first time early are able to gain access to a number of different resources provided by Stride K12’s national community. James Rhyu, the CEO of Stride K12, explains, “There’s a whole community around online learning. It’s not just about going to a website. It’s not just about a digital tool. It’s not even just about the digital curriculum. Online Learning is still a community. And it’s a community that we support fervently.”

5. Gain access to innovative career prep programs.

In addition to the schooling supports, there are also entire communities centered around Stride K12’s career prep programs. Your student can learn essential career skills regardless of whether or not they already know which career they would like to pursue. At Stride Career Prep, students get exposure to project-based learning, which helps students to develop important problem-solving skills that are broadly applicable to their lives beyond their K-12 schooling.  In this week’s podcast, Kaylee Porter, a senior at Texas Virtual Academy at Hallsville, says that she’s been able to earn certificates as she pursues the business pathway.

You can hear more about the journeys of current Stride K12 students like Kaylee on this week’s podcast.

If you would like to secure your student’s education for next year and enjoy the benefits of enrolling early in an online school, use this school finder to explore your options with a Stride K12-powered school in your area!

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AnnElise Hatjakes

AnnElise Hatjakes is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff. Her career in education began in 2010 when she worked as a teaching assistant while earning her master’s degree in writing. She has taught in a wide range of educational settings, including a public school, a school for gifted students, a university, and a county jail. She’s interested in issues of equity in education, which she strives to address through her own teaching practices and writing. AnnElise is the recipient of the University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educator Award, and her fiction has appeared in literary journals. As a third generation Nevadan, she loves all things Western, from wide open spaces to wild horses.

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