Advanced search

Online high school

(13 Posts)
sweetteamum Tue 16-Oct-12 23:01:28

Hello, I'm just visiting for the first time as it was suggested this could be the best section.

I have just (by chance) found an Online High School.

I've never heard of them but after reading their prospectus it sounds perfect for my DD who has SEN and huge anxiety issues, which are school related.

Is this even worth considering or am I grasping at straws.

Saracen Wed 17-Oct-12 02:15:10

Anything is worth considering if you think it could make your daughter happier!!

There are a few of these online schools available. Some are popular and well respected and some aren't. Do you want to say which one it is in case anyone has recommendations for or against? Does it offer a free trial period so you can decide whether you like it before sinking much money in it?

I don't really know anything about the subject of online schools because I prefer the flexibility of an individual DIY approach to home education rather than following a complete curriculum. So I always tune out when the subject of online schools comes up! We are very informal, reading whatever takes our fancy and going along to any museums that appeal to my girls. That could be another alternative, if you think it would suit you and your daughter.

If you'd rather follow a curriculum, there are other alternatives too. You could get a more flexible package by buying in separate materials for each subject (pick-and-mix). You might find that you like one provider's maths materials but would rather go elsewhere for history, for example. Among my friends who follow a formal style of home education, that seems to be the most common approach.

The main advice always is to have a good look around before spending much money. You don't want to be lumbered with something which doesn't work for your daughter.

If she is really miserable in school and you've decided to try something else but you haven't yet figured out the details, you could remove her from school straightaway and then take some time to find your feet. There is no requirement for you to have everything arranged before your dd comes out of school, though some Local Authorities imply that there is. You can give your daughter some time out to relax and recover while you do your research.

Good luck figuring it out!!

AMumInScotland Wed 17-Oct-12 09:30:29

Hi - DS was in an online school for the equivalent of Yr10 & 11 - InterHigh in his case. It worked very well for him, but it depends really what things your daughter finds good or bad about school, whether this is an option she'll do well with.

You get little choice, there's a set timetable over the week and the year, and a set collection of subjects, each with a specific teacher for that class. So you don't get the kinds of flexibility that suit some children who have had issues with school. OTOH you have a group of children to interact with, in a fairly controlled environment, which DS preferred over studying alone (personally I'd sooner have my nose in a book and could happily do without other people when I'm studying, so it's really a matter of personal preference whether that's a pro or a con) and you get subject-expert teachers who can teach the exam syllabus/NC if that's what you want and what suits her.

But as Saracen says, there are other ways of doing HE which would provide a lot more flexibility, and would allow you and her to adapt to new ways of doing things, so please don't feel that it has to be school or online school or "HE looking just like school" - even if you and she wanted that in the longer term, you could still take 6 months or a year to develop her skills in other areas without worrying about curriculum or exams and then reconsider your options.

We went with the online school option as it was only going to be for the 2 years, school as an overall thing suited DS fine, and we wanted him to get an ordinary set of qualifications at the ordinary sort of age so that he would slot easily back in for S5 or Highers at college. If there had been other complexities, I'm not sure it would have been such an obvious fit for him.

mumof4darlings Thu 18-Oct-12 21:05:10

My daughter is 14 and attends Interhigh. Highly recommend it, she loves the learning environment they provide. She has anxiety and aspergers. She has gained friendships and self esteem from being there. Very friendly school, with great extra curricular activities including a yearly meet up in Brecon if they would like. They even put on a end of year performance online :-)

bochead Mon 22-Oct-12 02:04:34

My preferred option at present for ASD DS is Interhigh, he's year 4 and I just don't see him coping in a London comprehensive with any success. I like the He likes having a set routine etc to follow, so Interhigh seems a good fit.

ASD kids have 2 curriculii to follow, the social one, and the academic. At the moment we are focussing on the social, sadly to the detriment of his academic studies - there will come a time when that balance needs to shift if he is to have any hope of a decent independent adult life.

For those of you who have gone thru the Interlink system - did your children get the time to do the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, join any sports teams or follow any RL organised social leisure activities given the workload the school set? I'd like DS to have the time to join the sea cadets/St Johns ambulance or follow his own interests while at this school for a couple of afternoons/evenings a week. Am I being unrealistic, especially in year10/11?

FionaJNicholson Mon 22-Oct-12 09:05:57

Info about Interhigh fees here (£2K+ a year)

It seems that the student logs on every morning (in term time?)

The prospectus says "Parents of InterHigh pupils can be issued with their own login to
monitor the progress of their children. The parent’s Control Panel allows parents to check on login times of their children. Parents can also read any of the issued reports, check what homework has been issued, what has been handed in and what is overdue as well as read
the grades awarded."

Depends what floats your boat, I guess...

AMumInScotland Mon 22-Oct-12 10:55:22

bochhead - DS was at Interhigh for Yr10/11 - the timetable at that stage had him in lessons from 9 till 1 most days. There was homework, but not that much, and the schedule left him free to spend a lot of time on music, which was what he really wanted. So he fitted in 2 instrumental lessons a week plus an evening at orchestra, alongside his academic work. Plus time for practice every day.

You'd need to check with them what their current hours are for different year-groups, but they tend to be "school hours" so it shouldn't be hard to fit in "after-school" activities, though I know they have also tried to increase their social side over the past few years.

It is very much "school on the internet" with the pros and cons you can probably guess for yourself. They work to ordinary school weeks/terms/years and aim for the children doing IGCSEs at the end of Yr11.

It depends really what aspects of the school system work or don't work for your individual child whether that's going to be a route which will suit them. DS thrived on it, but he'd been fine in school and it was just the need to find a new school place plus his passion for music which decided us on Interhigh.

IslaValargeone Mon 22-Oct-12 11:00:08

Can I ask whether your child has to join their specific year group, or are they assessed beforehand so that they can join the class that suits their academic fit?

AMumInScotland Mon 22-Oct-12 12:04:51

I'm not sure - DS just joined his year group. We found they were very happy to answer odd questions by email, without any kind of committment. They understand this is a new experience for most people and want to give you the info you need to make the right choice.

mumof4darlings Tue 23-Oct-12 13:56:23

yes it is possible to join a different year group as i have known people do that. If people are after primary internet school Briteschool offer that from 9 years.

diplomaticspouse Fri 22-Mar-13 21:48:31

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

whynotgoorienteering Wed 15-Jul-15 20:48:59

This thread really helped me when I was looking for lessons for my daughter when she had chronic fatigue syndrome (age 13-14). So even though it's pretty old, I thought I would add a few hopefully helpful comments for anyone else desperately wondering what to do about their child's education.

After giving up with her secondary school who were unable to help her much, we tried out a private tutor, Briteschool and we eventually ended up at Interhigh during 2014/15.

For children who cannot access mainstream school but are reasonably motivated to learn and can concentrate in a structured environment for a few hours a day, Interhigh provides a great alternative. The lessons are (nearly all) of high quality, the teachers are enthusiastic, organised and responsive to individual needs/requests, the admin is efficient and the timetable is usually quite flexible. My daughter took Year 10 in most subjects and Year 11 in 2 other subjects, which enabled her to feel less frustrated (which she did at her previous school) at sitting through stuff she already knew. Although already conscientious, at Interhigh she has learnt how to study by herself and write 'proper' essays in a way that school did not manage. She sat the 2 iGCSEs this summer and is feeling confident about the results - Interhigh are very focused on exam preparation/support in these 2 year groups.

It is very good for children with chronic fatigue or other illnesses, because if you are not feeling well, you can just listen or if very ill or you have to go to medical appts etc, you can catch up using the slides in the lesson library (there are now also more recorded lessons there). The core timetable is approx 3 hrs/day and the structure/daily human contact means that you still feel part of something and have done something useful/fun, rather than staying at home feeling ill and knowing that you are getting more and more behind and out of touch from a bricks'n'mortar school.

The main downside (apart from cost - approx 2400 per year) is the difficulty of making close friends. Although everyone is very friendly/open-minded and there is a lot of text chat but it is not the same as having local friends.

Not sure if it is possible on this site, but happy for anyone to pm for any questions.

Schrodingersmum Thu 16-Jul-15 10:05:59

Its lovely to hear of your experience at Interhigh. Our DD is also at Inter after many years of struggling to cope in the usual education system

This school has been a lifesaver in so many ways, she has made so many friends who she skypes with daily and the teaching is fab

I would say to anyone with a child who has health problems or is a square peg in a round hole take a look, and for information this last year at least 20 LEA's have funded places either directly or indirectly for students with health criteria

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: