Dec 9, 2008

Virtual Schooling for ADHD Children

In my local paper today I read an article about virtual schooling. It is offered in a nearby county. Non-residents of that county (and reside in Virginia) can pay a fee of $600 per child and attend the virtual school as well.

The article mentioned two children who began the school 2008-2009 school year in an actual public school. However, after suddenly hating school after previously loving it, the children's mother took them out of the public school. She paid the required fee ($1200 total) and enrolled them in the virtual school. After eight weeks, she reports that her children are much happier and performing better academically.

I know what you are thinking... what is the difference between home schooling and virtual schooling? Per, homeschooling is "An educational alternative in which children are educated at home and in the community, in contrast to a compulsory education which takes place in an institution such as a publicly-run or privately run school." Virtual schooling on the other hand is a web-based program where students complete the required work at home. The students are under the supervision of an accredited teacher.

The school mentioned in the piece, Bedford Academy of Virtual Learning, has students enrolled from 20 counties in Virginia. The Academy is a part of the Bedford county school system. Therefore, enrolled students are required to take the standardized Standards of Learning (SOL) tests like other public school children in Virginia.

I can definitely see how this type of learning environment could benefit some ADHD students. Many are well behind their peers and perform below grade level. While IEP's can help some ADHD students who are struggling, teacher cut backs and lack of funding can often make individualized attention impossible. Many ADHD children also have low self esteem and are targets for bullies. By attending school virtually, this problem would all but be eliminated. The only drawback I can see is not being able to participate in extracurricular activities. However, this could be attained through community activities I suppose.

My ADHD son is happy in public school. In fact, he absolutely loves it! He would absolutely hate to be taken out of it. But, if your child is struggling and you have wondered what other options are out there, you may want to consider virtual schooling as an option. For more information you can visit the K12 website (this is the curriculum that Bedford County uses).

1 comment:

  1. How fascinating. I've recently found your blog and am enjoying it very much. I am a public educatior of special needs children and am always seeking new, more productive methods of keeping parents informed as well as working together as a team.


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