How to Talk to
Your Parents about online school
A Helpful Tool Kit from Connections Academy*
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Quiz: Is Online School Right for Me?
Workbook: Finding the Right School
Decide Whether Online School Is Right for You
If you’ve already done your research and have determined that online school (and Connections Academy) is the best choice for you—congratulations! You can move on to the next step of this guide.
But if you’re a little less sure, that’s OK! Here are some resources that might help you decide whether online school is the right fit:
Online school isn’t just for one kind of student—it’s for students with all different types of goals, dreams, and needs!
Make a List of Benefits—
for You and Your Family
Switching schools is a big decision—one that will affect both you and your other family members in a big way. It’s important to do your research and really think about the opportunities—and possible challenges—this will bring into your family’s life.
To help get you started, we’ve put together a list of questions to ask yourself. If you feel comfortable, ask your friends, family members, counselors, or other trusted adults to tell you what they think too!
1. Why do I want to switch to
2. How will online school impact my daily schedule or routine?
3. How will it impact the daily schedule or routine of my family members?
5. What can online school offer
me and my family that an
in-person school can’t?
6. What are some of the positives of online school?
7. What are some of the potential challenges?
Arrow through the questions to ask yourself:
4. How will online school help me achieve my goals?
4. How will online school help me achieve my goals?
Map Out the Facts and Benefits of Online School
There are a lot of great things about online school. Although each one is a little bit different, online school generally gives you more freedom to learn when you want, where you want—and gives you the space and time you need to pursue your interests and passions.
Although we can’t tell you about every other online school option out there, we can tell you more about us. Below are just some of the benefits of Connections Academy that you and your parents might want to consider.
Check off the benefits of Connections Academy that you think will be most important to you and your family.
a safe, collaborative environment focused on student success
a focus on students' social and emotional well-being
state-certified, specially-trained online teachers offering one-on-one support
more than 20 years of online education expertise
support services to help students find the right path
students can learn at their own pace
ability to earn a high school diploma from your state
high-quality curriculum aligned to state standards
fun ways to connect with other students, such as virtual clubs and optional in-person events like field trips, prom, and graduation*
the ability to infuse family values into students' education
*Social offerings vary by school.
If you have two parents or caretakers, do you want to talk to both of them at the same time or would it be easier to have a conversation with just one first?
Who you want to approach?
Would it feel easier to bring up your desire to attend online school in a more casual environment (like when you’re driving somewhere together in the car) or in a formal setting (by calling a family meeting)?
When is a good time for this conversation?
Some things to consider:
Click on each box.
Changing schools is a big change—for you and your entire family. Don’t worry if you don’t get an immediate yes; it’s likely that your caretakers will want to have more than one follow-up conversation, either privately or with you.
How your parents/
caregivers typically make decisions?
Try to accept a no or even a maybe. Ultimately, they might decide that online school isn’t the right option for you—and that’s OK! Or they might just need some time to process or get used to the idea.
If they say no, try not to get angry or upset—show that you respect their opinion and ask if they’d be open to talking about it again another time. If they have specific concerns or questions, write them down so you can research some answers and discuss them at another time.
What happens if they don’t immediately say yes?
Prepare for the Conversation
Now that you’ve done some research—and identified some of the best reasons to switch to online school—it’s time to prepare for the conversation.
Yes, Connections Academy is a division of Connections Education®, which is accredited by Cognia, formerly AdvancED. It is also directly supported by Pearson, the world’s learning company. Many of the Connections Academy–supported schools are also accredited by one or more of six regional accrediting organizations for higher-education institutions, recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the United States Department of Education.
Q: Is online school legitimate?
Answer Your Parents’ Most Pressing Questions
As we mentioned, it’s likely that once you bring up the idea of transferring to an online school like Connections Academy, your parents and caretakers are going to have some questions. Below are a few of the most common ones for your family to review and discuss together.
Q: How much will it cost?
Connections Academy is an online public school, with no tuition costs for our students or their families. In addition to required texts and instructional materials, many Connections Academy schools provide computers to their students at no cost. Other schools require or allow students to use their own computer. Families are responsible for optional expenses, which may include extra school supplies and field trips.
Q: Do Connections Academy students learn the same things?
All of our lessons follow the education and curriculum requirements of the state they operate in. Designed by experts in online learning, our curriculum inspires curiosity; helps students become resilient learners capable of thriving in a changing world; and can be tailored to each student's unique interests, goals, and abilities.
Q: How is Connections Academy different from homeschooling?
In a typical homeschool environment, parents are responsible for creating (or purchasing) curriculum, teaching, and grading homework. Connections Academy, on the other hand, operates as an at-home, online public school, with an established curriculum and dedicated teachers.
Q: If they’re learning at home, who does the actual teaching?
While many of our lessons are self-paced by students, they also keep in regular communication with dedicated, certified teachers who are specially trained to teach in an online environment. Regularly scheduled LiveLesson® sessions enhance materials and help students master subjects and collaborate with peers.
Parents and caregivers act as their student’s Learning Coach, offering additional support. The time commitment associated with being your student’s Learning Coach depends on their grade level and specific needs or learning style.
Q: If they’re learning on their own, how are students held accountable?
Like most schools, we conduct regular assessments to monitor growth and check knowledge. In addition to regularly evaluated assignments, students are tested in math, reading, and English/language arts to help measure progress and establish learning goals. Parents acts as the Learning Coach to make sure their student stays on track and fully understands concepts as they learn.
When approaching your parents/caregivers about this decision, it’s important to come as well prepared as possible, which will show how seriously you are taking this conversation. Below are some resources to help you start the discussion in a fun and productive way.
A PowerPoint Presentation
A Written Letter
The PowerPoint template below is designed to help you organize your thoughts. While it was built to help you talk to your parent/caregiver about the benefits of Connections Academy, you can also use it to start conversations about other things, from why your family should adopt a new pet to extending your curfew, and everything in between!
If you’re more comfortable expressing yourself in long form, try writing down your thoughts in a traditional letter, whether you deliver it on paper or send it in an email. We suggest telling your parents it’s on the way
(“I want to talk to you about the possibility of transferring to online school. I’ve written down my reasons for you to consider. Can we talk about it as a family this weekend?”)
Start Your PowerPoint
Draft Your Letter