One of the most common responses to parents and grandparents asking for help or guidance with online learning is a repeated reminder about the quality of the lesson. Even with the attention to detail you’ve put into the lesson, one failed answer or a loss of key information can throw parents’ already anxious perceptions out of whack.
How To Include Parents With K-12 Online Learning
Do you have a student who’s enrolled in an online school? And that student is supposed to be home schooling themselves? Think again. An unlicensed online school is still an unlicensed online school and therefore poses major risks to students and parents alike. An online school is supposed to follow federal regulations in such things as advertising and how much money it brings in.
These private online schools in the US do not have federal oversight like public schools, however. And when a school does violate federal law, it can lead to serious consequences, even jail time. The Department of Education has the power to suspend online schools if they’re not following the law.
How to Make Sure Your Parenting Isn’t Getting Better
There are a few signs to watch out for when reading signs of a fraudulent online school. First, do not trust ads promising enrollees a scholarship or the opportunity to win scholarships. It is very uncommon for a scholarship to work its way through these channels. Rather, the most common source of scholarships and financial aid is through parental financial responsibility or a GoFundMe page.
Some scams claim to win big scholarship. But those will simply instruct the student to pay his or her tuition upfront with credit card in exchange for a scholarship, otherwise the parent will be held responsible for the full cost. This is very expensive to sue, and financial damages are easily disregarded.
In fact, if a parent is faking receiving a scholarship through a fraudulent online school, there may be other ways of documenting that arrangement. For example, the student could have to sign a legal document to identify which school offered the scholarship.
Also, an illegal school may claim that a student must have a minimum GPA or be on track to graduate. In reality, federal authorities will never accept that a student can simply obtain a failing grade. If you find this out, check their website for references and other confirmation of your suspicion.
Another red flag to look out for is a lack of transparency about who operates online schools. Most online schools fail to disclose whether they have a registered teacher, are accredited, provide tuition refunds, or have professional accreditation.
Schools that claim to have academic and career certification rarely do. Indeed, many even operate without these things, which is a big risk for parents who are financially responsible.
While many illegal online schools don’t admit students to their classes, another unregistered online school in California does. However, this school is an affiliate of a local university and is only getting paid to teach the university’s students. While this is shady, it is possible that other schools are actually helping students.
Make Sure Your Child Understands You Require Requests
The biggest red flag for parents regarding unlicensed online schools is that it’s an unknown and has no rules in place. Nor, as a parent, are you totally at liberty to inspect the online school’s classroom practices or schedule. This means you need to have some trust in your child that what she is seeing online is exactly what will happen in the classroom when she arrives.
Instead of relying on the school’s promises of a great learning experience, remind your child that you are always responsible for her school safety. Instruct her that it’s okay to speak up about major changes in her education. Never leave your child alone with an online school.
Your child must be involved in every aspect of her education. Go over the online school schedule, check the grading worksheet to make sure grades aren’t changing often and get a set of strong assignments to review and make sure your child is meeting her academic and peer expectations.
Make Sure Your Child Understands the Unknown
If your child is in online school, they must come to you for input on the schedule, grading, materials, lessons, and other schoolwork. Always be the guiding light behind your child’s education in an online school.
If your child is in an unlicensed online school, you should not become a parent. If you spend your time tutoring or working at home, there is no value in doing so in an illegal online school. Furthermore, the probability of unlicensed online schools finding room for underage children in their classes is high.
There are many reasons why unlicensed online schools may exist. No one knows why. Most large companies encourage unlicensed online schools to start, so the public may not even know if a virtual school is legitimate or not. For this reason, ensure your child is aware of what you expect in her education and not treated like a novelty.