The COVID-19 Pandemic taught us all a lot about adaptability and opened our minds to different ways of doing things that we may never have never considered before. Especially with regard to education, the rapid—albeit haphazard—switch to online learning may have been your child’s first foray into the format. Some school districts got it right. Some, not so much. Whatever your experience, as you consider what’s next, maybe it’s time to reconsider the possibilities.
Whether you hope for more challenging academics, better classroom diversity, or a more flexible schedule for your student, pursuing an alternate route can make it possible. One-size-fits-all education may be traditional, but it need not be the high school experience your child has.
Learning styles, strengths, challenges, personalities—rarely are these fully addressed in a traditional high school setting. Traditional public high schools are built to serve the needs of the masses. Conversely, a nontraditional high school looks at your child as a unique individual. Opening your mind—and theirs—to alternatives could have a profound and positive impact on their future. Just a few benefits to a nontraditional route include:
1. Flexibility of a Nontraditional High School
From how and when your child learns to the depth with which subjects will be explored, a nontraditional approach allows for more flexibility. Your student can pursue their passions, do schoolwork around their own schedule, and take classes at their own pace. With online delivery, they can also do all of it from the comfort of home or wherever you travel as a family. These options are made to fit your child, rather than forcing your child to fit into the box of a traditional high school.
2. Individualized Attention at a Nontraditional School
It’s easy for many schools to let kids get lost in the system. They teach to tests and are governed by standardized metrics, so students who don’t necessarily fit the mold can fall behind. There are also many, many students to serve. Nontraditional schools serve fewer students and are able to provide the kind of individualized attention your student deserves.
3. Non-Academic Skills from a Nontraditional High School
If you choose a nontraditional school that aligns with your values, you can be assured that your student is learning more than algebra, history, and science. They also learn how to be a good person, of sound character, with aspirations and goals. This kind of environment helps them become a more independent thinker willing to take the steps necessary to grow into their true self. Whether that’s through enhanced online computer skills or simply being more responsible, nontraditional schools put more of the onus on kids to succeed, which is great experience for their future lives.
4. Convenience of Nontraditional High Schools
If the nontraditional school you choose is online, you forgo long commutes and rigid schedules. That allows your child to plan their day, weeks, and year for optimum productivity in and out of the classroom. Maybe your child is a competitive amateur athlete with a rigorous training schedule, or maybe you and your family must travel extensively. Traditional schools penalize you for opportunities that can open a broader world that can be truly life-changing and affirming.
5. Comfort with Nontraditional High Schools
High school can be a lot of pressure. Kids often try to be something that they’re not, in an effort to fit in, and this can get in the way of their studies and long-term success. Nontraditional schools offer young people a more comfortable environment where they can be themselves and better excel without judgment.
No matter what kind of school your child goes to, it’s important to conduct research and do what’s best for your individual child—the options are out there. Don’t compromise on the rigor and quality of the education. Seek out a school that’s well-respected, provides diverse experiences, gives your child ample resources, and fits your and your child’s unique needs.
Gravitas is an online college preparatory school that is an extension of The Stony Brook School in New York. Backed by more than 100 years of prep school excellence, Gravitas was built to provide the same trusted experience, but in a virtual environment. We offer a flexible and rigorous academic curriculum that will better help your child succeed in college and life beyond. We pride ourselves on providing an interactive, supportive, and resource-rich environment that fits the unique needs of today’s youth. Contact us today to learn more about Gravitas and our promise to nurture character over career.