The foundation of a child’s educational journey begins in elementary school. In that case, finding a great school with all of the amenities necessary for a positive learning experience appears to be a difficult task. Parents now see online elementary schooling as a viable option, thanks to the introduction of online schools and learning platforms. The number of children enrolled in an online elementary school is rapidly increasing, according to a 2015 report by Keeping Pace with K12 Digital Learning.
Online elementary schools, without a doubt, provide the ideal environment for students transitioning to homeschooling. Parents frequently choose online elementary school programs to supplement their child’s reading, math, and writing skills. Many students enroll in online schools in order to avoid academic loss as a result of illness or injury. Overall, online elementary school programs allow young minds to learn at their own pace. It also gives them a technological foundation that will aid them throughout the rest of their education.
On the other hand, parents have a lot of questions about online elementary programs. How would your ideal elementary school look? What is the educational program like? Which ones are the most effective? We’ve written this article to dispel any concerns parents might have about online elementary schooling with their curiosity in mind.
What Are the Characteristics of Online Elementary Schools?
Like higher educational levels, elementary schools come in a variety of packages. Online public elementary schools and online private elementary schools are both options for students. Students can take advantage of opportunities that would not be available in traditional schools. Parents are turning to online elementary schools because elementary school lays the foundation for a child’s overall education. Children learn in an interactive way thanks to one-on-one interactions with teachers and computerized, animated resources.
Additionally, parents can customize lessons, ensuring both academic enrichment and remedial assistance. Online elementary schools frequently use various Learning Management System (LMS) platforms. Students will have a more personalized learning experience, and parents will be able to track their progress through lessons. In addition, many online elementary schools allow students to learn at their own pace.
As a result, students can devote more time to difficult subjects while moving quickly through easier ones. Online elementary schools are popular among parents because they follow state or federal education standards, provide flexibility, and provide a wealth of resources.
What Is the Content Covered in Online Elementary Schools?
All accredited online private and public elementary schools follow the state’s policies when it comes to curriculum. All of the core subject areas and concepts are covered in these schools. On the other hand, students have a lot of freedom in terms of delivery methods and topics. Most online elementary schools follow a common grade-by-grade curriculum that includes:
The kindergarten curriculum focuses on laying a strong foundation for a child’s overall education by focusing on basic learning blocks. The concepts covered are all fundamental, allowing students to learn while having fun. Language arts, math, science, and social studies are all part of a typical kindergarten curriculum. The language arts curriculum aims to structure a child’s reading and writing abilities. Students learn about basic punctuation, sentence structure, and word usage from everyday conversations.
They also learn about nouns, prepositions, and the use of interrogative words like “what,” “when,” and “how.” The online kindergarten math curriculum covers counting by ones and tens, identifying shapes, and other concepts. The terms “putting together and adding to” and “taking apart and taking from” are used to introduce the concepts of addition and subtraction. The Common Core State Math Standards are used to teach all of these concepts. The online kindergarten curriculum focuses on improving math, literacy, and socialization skills. Students do, however, learn basic science and social studies skills.
2. First Grade
Students can improve their math and literacy skills in first grade. They also continue to learn about various scientific and social concepts. The language arts skill curriculum focuses on expanding vocabulary, writing answers to questions, etc. Counting by fives and tens, measuring, ordering, and comparing are all part of the first-grade math curriculum. Students also learn how to work with halves, quarters, and wholes to create two-dimensional shapes. Life science, states of matter, earth science, and space science are all part of the first-grade science curriculum.
Furthermore, students can broaden their general science knowledge by learning about different animal habitats, plant parts, and functions, etc. The first-grade social studies curriculum, on the other hand, covers topics such as maps, cultures, economics, the state, and community helpers.
3. Second Grade
The second-grade curriculum emphasizes concepts that help students develop critical thinking abilities. Science, math, language arts, and social studies are all covered in the curriculum. The language arts curriculum covers decoding two-syllable words, prefixes and suffixes, glossaries, and other topics. Solving word problems, reading analog clocks, and partitioning shapes into halves, thirds, and fourths are among the math topics.
Energy, force and motion, space, and changes in matter are all covered in the second-grade science curriculum. Furthermore, human needs, work in society, national identity, and other topics are covered in the second-grade social studies curriculum.
4. Third Grade
Improved writing and reading skills are emphasized in the third-grade curriculum. Furthermore, students have the opportunity to investigate core subject areas in greater depth and complexity. Math, science, language arts, and social studies are among the core subjects. Comparing themes, plots, and settings of stories, drawing connections within the text, and other language art skills for third graders Topics include describing events, correcting words, writing opinions, and reading multi-syllable words.
Fractions, two-step word problems, identifying math patterns, and using graphs and rulers are all part of the third-grade math curriculum. Various ecosystems, matter properties, plant and animal life cycles, and the solar system are among the science topics. The third-grade social studies curriculum is quite extensive. The 50 states and their capitals are taught, as well as how to read maps and the differences between rural, suburban, and urban areas. They also learned about Native American communities, migration history, and other economic concepts.
5. Fourth Grade
The fourth-grade curriculum emphasizes students’ ability to memorize math facts. It also promotes higher levels of reading comprehension and improves problem-solving skills. Like the previous grades, the fourth-grade curriculum focuses on a set of core subject areas. Math, science, language arts, and social studies are among these subjects. The fourth-grade language arts skills curriculum covers a wide range of topics, emphasizing improving reading and writing skills. Common topics are producing narrative pieces, summarizing a text, and decoding multi-syllable and irregular words.
Converting measurements, classifying and analyzing geometrical shapes, and so on are all part of the math curriculum. The majority of the science curriculum focuses on animal adaptations, force and motion, and lunar phases. Fourth graders study the geography of various locations and the culture of various regions in social studies.
6. Fifth Grade
All of the elements that prepare elementary school students for the challenges of middle school are included in the fifth-grade curriculum. Participating in group discussions, understanding similes, metaphors, and other language arts skills are part of the curriculum. Students also learn to use quotes to support claims, follow proper grammatical rules, and analyze various texts. Fifth-graders learn to multiply and divide fractions, measure volume, and plot graphs on the coordinate plane as part of their math curriculum.
Plant and animal cells, the periodic table, and plate tectonics are all covered in the science curriculum. Fifth-graders study the westward expansion, European exploration, and the American Revolution as part of their social studies curriculum.
What Characteristics Should You Seek in An Online Elementary School?
With so many options, each online elementary school should be thoroughly investigated for curriculum, resources, materials, and academic instruction before enrolling. However, determining your needs is the first step in finding the ideal “online elementary school.” Consider what your expectations are for your child’s virtual elementary school experience. Making a list of what you want it to have and what you don’t will make your search much easier. Researching the types of programs offered by the online elementary schools can be beneficial.
However, there are a number of other factors and criteria that influence the overall quality of education provided by an online elementary school. Parents should review the criteria listed below to find an ideal online elementary school.
1. The School’s Accreditation
What accreditation does the online elementary school you’ve chosen have? Is it certified or uncertified? Accreditation is a necessary criterion for determining the quality of an elementary school’s education. While distance learning platforms are often regarded as “less than” their traditional brick-and-mortar counterparts, receiving accreditation can significantly increase the virtual elementary school’s value. AdvancED, a nonprofit organization, has accredited many online elementary schools. This organization is reliable because it conducts extensive research and on-site inspections to ensure that the school provides high-quality education to a diverse group of students.
Individual factors that make an online elementary school program affordable vary. Examining the tuition fees, payment plans, additional fees, and discounts, on the other hand, is a good idea. Furthermore, most schools charge shipping fees and applicable taxes for resources and materials. Parents will also be responsible for paying for field trips on occasion. Some schools also charge Pre-enrollment registration fees. These registration costs apply to both full-time and part-time students.
3. Well-qualified teachers
Teachers are crucial in laying the educational groundwork for elementary school students. Teachers in online elementary schools must be certified by the state. Certification is not required for the majority of teachers in charter and private online elementary schools. As a result, it is necessary to investigate the qualifications of the online school teacher. Check their credentials to see if they have a master’s or bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
If not, do they have a background in education and a degree in any subject? What level of experience do they have? Do they take part in professional development regularly? Before choosing an online elementary school for your child, it is critical to understand the qualifications of the teachers.
What Are the Top Online Elementary School Programs in 2021?
The K12 academy combines an engaging, interactive curriculum with online sessions and activities for elementary school students. Students benefit from the guidance of a caring school community. By connecting with one another, K12-powered schools expose students to extracurricular clubs and activities. Stride K12 also has over 50 national online clubs where elementary school students can interact and learn with their peers. The online elementary schools powered by K12 provide a strong foundation in the core subjects when it comes to curriculum.
Students can also take courses in music, the arts, and world languages. The Keystone School (K12-powered school) charges around $2000 per year for full-time elementary students. A parent must create a parent portal account and provide basic information to enroll. They can then select a school from a list of K12-powered schools and respond to admissions questions. The final step will be for parents to submit the required documents.
ABCMouse is an online learning tool that offers educational resources and materials to children between the ages of two and eight. More than 10,000 activities are available on the platform, which also includes a step-by-step curriculum created by qualified teachers. The platform is divided into ten levels of activities based on age and difficulty. While level one is appropriate for 2-year-olds, level 10 is appropriate for children aged 8 years. All of ABCMouse’s activities cover math, reading, social studies, science, and health concepts. Under each subject area, each level has specific goals.
These objectives could include sound recognition, color recognition, and number counting. The monthly fee is around $9.95, but parents can save money by paying in advance.
3. Connections Academy
The Connections Academy’s online elementary curriculum aids in the development of study skills and a love of learning in young minds. The curriculum emphasizes the development of fundamental skills in math, science, reading, writing, and social studies. The platform includes printed course materials as well as online resources. The educational platform also includes an online elementary gifted and talented program. Beginning in third grade, students who qualify can participate in this program.
Younger students, on the other hand, can qualify and accelerate their learning to a higher grade level. Connections Academy, like online public elementary schools, is tuition-free when it comes to costs. The only expenses are the optional field trips and the required school supplies.
4. Time 4 Learning
Time 4 Learning has an elementary curriculum that can be used for homeschooling, summer study, afterschool, and skill development. The program is divided into different grade levels and includes core subjects such as math, language arts, social studies, and science. Time 4 Learning offers foreign language courses for elementary school students and core subjects. These courses, however, come with additional costs. The customizable nature of Time 4 Learning’s elementary school program sets it apart from others.
Parents can mix, match, and combine various elementary homeschool programs and educational resources. For grades PreK through 8, the tuition fee is only $19.95 per month. Parents can enroll their children in Time 4 Learning’s elementary school program full-time or part-time. The lesson plans are also printable, and parents can get help from an online parental forum.
5. The Laurel Springs School
The Laurel Springs School is an online private school that offers an excellent elementary school curriculum. The school focuses on nurturing a child’s learning journey with well-qualified and caring teachers. The online elementary school’s program encourages exploration, fosters positive learning experiences, and emphasizes emotional development. English, Maths, Science, History, and World Language are all part of the elementary school curriculum at Laurel Springs. At a young age, the school emphasizes the importance of touch, listening, talking, and moving while learning.
As a result, the combination of curriculum and teacher guidance nurtures young minds and aids in the development of an early love of learning. The program follows an asynchronous learning model and has a flexible schedule. Laurel Springs also recommends that students create a schedule that guides when assignments and coursework should be completed. Furthermore, students in kindergarten through grade two can take online courses to learn Chinese, Spanish, or French.
For grades K-2, the tuition costs are $425 for a semester and $625 for a full year. In addition, a semester or full-year Physical Education course costs between $160 and $320. The tuition fee for grades 3-5 is $685 for a single course semester and $935 for a single course full year. Physical Education and health courses cost $200 and $400 per semester and full year, respectively.
6. Keystone Elementary School
For students in grades K–5, the Keystone elementary school program inspires and motivates them to learn the skills they need to succeed in school and beyond. They provide a full elementary education and individual courses to supplement a student’s traditional or homeschooling education. Each grade level in the Keystone Elementary Program requires completion of one full-year math, science, language arts, and social studies course and one art or music course. Each course consists of 36 weeks of instruction. Individual courses can be purchased for $500 each, or a grade-level bundle can be purchased for $2375.
7. American High School
The American High School’s Online Elementary School aims to provide a new and unique learning experience for children by providing an engaging educational curriculum that supports Preschool, Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st and 2nd Grade. The site’s extensive curriculum covers all aspects of early childhood education, with each subject taught through various activities. The curriculum was created with the goal of assisting young children in learning the fundamentals of reading, math, science, social studies, art, and music.
8. Virtual Elementary School (VES)
VES is a recognized Ontario Ministry of Education private school that provides high-quality online courses based on the Ontario curriculum. Students can complete their course work at their own pace in a secure and safe learning environment with the VES online learning experience. VES bridges the gap between online learners and high-quality course content created and designed by certified education experts. VES’s feature:
- Enroll at any time during the year.
- Make your own plans and work at your own pace.
- Create your own learning experience.
- Use the course(s) as your child’s sole source of learning or as a supplement to their traditional classroom education.
- You can either work with a certified teacher to finish the course or teach it yourself.
- With a separate parent login, you can keep track of your child’s progress.
- Complete the entire course online.
- Access course materials 365 days a year, 24 hours a day
9. Khan School
Now is the time to join Khan Academy. Khan Academy stood out because of its free video lessons, quizzes, and tests that cover a wide range of topics from Kindergarten to 12th grade (and beyond). Khan Academy, an award-winning nonprofit that provides free educational resources for students, parents, teachers, and homeschoolers, first gained international attention for its high-quality, completely free SAT prep materials, which were an appealing alternative to much more expensive competitors.
Khan Academy, on the other hand, has since expanded to include a curriculum for children and teenagers of all ages. Simply choose your child’s grade level and subject—the AP or standardized test they’re studying for, or the specific skills they need to improve—and send them off to earn “mastery points” as they go. Practice quizzes and unit tests help you track your children’s progress with easy-to-follow video lessons. This site is noteworthy not only because it is free, but also because of the vast amount of content available.
10. CK-12 Foundation
Now is the time to sign up. Although other subjects are available, CK-12’s curriculum focuses on STEM courses, with games and interactive activities to help students learn. If you want your child to improve their math and science skills, look beyond the CK-12 Foundation’s interactive learning tools. One of the best online homeschool STEM programs is available through this free resource in terms of seamless technology integration and cutting-edge learning approaches.
While writing, spelling, and social studies are available, CK-12’s creative curriculum shines brightest in math and science topics (from arithmetic to earth science to calculus and engineering). Simulators and the PLIX (Play, Learn, Interact, Explore) series incorporate graphics and games into STEM lessons. Meanwhile, CK-12’s FlexBooks—interactive online textbooks that allow students to learn while playing and play while learning—condense complex concepts into manageable chunks.
Over the last decade, the online learning market has exploded. Parents now prefer online educational platforms over traditional ones. What better way to get started than in kindergarten? Enrolling in an online elementary school provides the necessary nurturing and care for a child’s early education. While some online elementary schools use a blended learning approach, others are completely online and asynchronous. Students can, however, always access resources and receive instructional assistance through the online learning system.
Frequently Asked Questions
Parents are responsible for their children’s education at home rather than sending them to a traditional public or private school. Some families homeschool because they are concerned about the school environment or for religious reasons, while others are dissatisfied with traditional educational options in their area or believe their child will benefit from a less structured approach. For each family, homeschooling is different, but researching and adhering to their state’s learning requirements is an important first step.
Homeschooling families value their freedom in determining how and what their children learn. The curriculum for children can be tailored to their unique learning styles, personalities, and interests. There are fewer distractions and less busywork because they are not in a classroom with 25 other students, which could lead to wasted time or boredom. Often, schoolwork can be completed in a shorter time frame, and students can progress based on their own temperament and schedule.
The cost of online homeschooling programs varies significantly depending on the curriculum, interactivity, and level of support provided. Some free online homeschooling programs are available. Others charge a flat rate per class or require a paid monthly or yearly subscription or tuition. The cost of a subscription can range from $10 per month to $7000 for yearly tuition at a private online academy.
Most homeschoolers participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, dance, and Scouting. Some homeschooling families collaborate with other homeschooling families to plan educational outings and physical fitness activities. Children can socialize and make friends through homeschool support groups, co-ops, field trip groups, public library programs, and park playdates.
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