High school is a pivotal time in your child’s life. It’s where they learn, explore, grow, and prepare for success in college and life beyond. They begin to develop responsibility and start to make the important transition from childhood to adulthood. And while a status quo approach might work for many parents, if you want something more for your student, an online Christian high school may be the best approach. A relatively new option, online Christian high schools provide faith-based, character-driven learning through a flexible delivery method. But before your child applies, consider the full range of factors that will make this family decision a successful one, starting with whether the online format will be a good fit for your child.
Why an Online High School
Gone are the days where your student had only two choices: public or private on-campus high school. Those two options were never for all students. Home schooling and online education had already made significant inroads as viable alternatives even before the pandemic hit. Working and learning from home are no longer temporary fixes for businesses and schools—they’re here to stay. In education, the flexibility of online learning allows you to take advantage of the best possible education for your child no matter where you’re located, and also tap into a host of other benefits.
- Transcend the barriers of traditional learning models
- Learn in a more comfortable environment
- Enroll according to your individual lifestyle and schedule
- Gain useful online skills
- Dedicate more time to passion subjects
- Work at your own pace
- Check out new academic topics
- Gain greater, individualized access to instructors
- Access programs that may not be available at a local school
Why a Christian High School
Christian schools not only offer your child a strong education, they also help them develop a Christian worldview, grow in their faith, and strengthen their character. High school is a time when kids are exposed to temptations, and they sometimes make foolish decisions that can affect their whole lives. An environment that intentionally cultivates wisdom and Christ-like character will help your child continue forward on the right path. As Proverbs 22:6 states, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Christian schools understand this kind of whole-child formation as central to their missions.
How to Choose an Online Christian High School
- Affirm Accreditation: Make sure you only consider accredited online schools. These institutions go through a rigorous review and approval process that pits them against national standards of excellence. Plus, most colleges and universities will not accept courses from a non-accredited institution.
- Consider the Institutional Philosophy: Determine whether the school’s philosophy and mission align with your own. In addition to academic excellence, what drives the school? Will it help your student grow intellectually, morally, and spiritually? If you’re considering a Christian high school, it’s important to determine if the school will support the values you teach at home. Look at how they integrate those values into their curriculum and student support.
- Review Course Curriculum: Review the school’s curriculum and academics. Check out the course catalog and look at individual courses and content. Will the courses provide your student with the rigor and challenge to take them to the next level? Are there honors and advanced options? Does the school offer Bible, theology, ethics, and philosophy courses that allow your student to explore their faith while expanding their mind? Be sure to look at electives. One of the benefits of online learning is tapping into learning your child wouldn’t get anywhere else, so see what unique classes and structured programs are offered.
- Review Class Size and Individualized Attention: Especially in an online format, you want to make certain that your student will receive the one-on-one support and attention that will ensure positive learning outcomes. Ask about teacher-to-student ratios, policies for the virtual classroom, and teacher office hours.
- Compare Student Outcomes: Compare graduation rates, college acceptance numbers, the caliber of the school’s graduates attend, and the types of jobs they get later in life. Since many private high schools have taken their programs online, you may want to look at the parent institution for reputation and results.
- Access Reviews from Students and Other Sources: Try to hear from current and former students and parents. This gives you a first-hand look into the school experience. Most schools will either list testimonials right on their website or will be happy to put you in touch with students and graduates.
- Inquire about Class Diversity: Diversity exposes your child to different viewpoints, perspectives, and backgrounds. Even in an online learning environment made up mostly of Christian students, your child will benefit from hearing multiple sides of a topic. With the right support, your child can listen to new ideas and allow their beliefs to be challenged and strengthened in preparation for living out their faith in college and in the world.
- Look into Support Services: From mental health counseling to college and career guidance, schools should provide a wealth of support services that will help your child during their time at school and beyond.
Gravitas is an online Christian prep school. As an extension of The Stony Brook School, Gravitas values character over career and is dedicated to helping young men and women prepare for college and life after graduation.