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4 Factors to Consider When Navigating the World of Online Education




4 Factors to Consider When Navigating the World of Online Education


By Gretchen Pike


In this season of education, more choices are available than ever before. One growing in popularity and availability is online education. A quick internet search will yield information for hundreds of virtual schools. How do you know which to choose? Which will support you as you raise your family? Here are a few ideas to consider as you explore online education.


Worldview

Worldview is the most critical factor when considering education for your child. Education should complement and support the family and the church in your child’s education. The educator’s worldview—whether in a traditional classroom or online—will permeate everything your child learns. If the online program you are considering is on-demand, what books and materials are used? Just because there is no active teacher does not mean your child is exempt from the worldview of those who wrote the books and provided the materials.


Relationship

Will your child be able to develop a relationship with his or her teacher and classmates? We are relational creatures, made in God’s image, designed to exist in a community. Many parents are concerned about the isolative nature of online education. One solution is to find an online school with live courses, teachers who invest in the students, and an administration that values parents. These relational components create a community for the student and family.


Technology

Screen time can be a concern for many families. A quick search of statistics yields sobering information about how much time young people spend in front of screens. Look for a school that provides and encourages the use of physical textbooks and books. Hands-on science labs, math demonstrations, and art projects other than digital design should be part of the curriculum and are crucial for student engagement. These and other activities promote opportunities for creative and critical thinking necessary for every student.


Vision

What is the vision of the school? Does it end with supplying the student with information, or is the school invested in impacting your child’s life for eternity? Is the school interested in creating clones or critical thinkers? Does the vision of the school match the vision God has given you for your child?


As you research your options, pray for discernment and wisdom. Read the school’s literature and talk with the administration. Ask questions that reveal the hearts and minds of those who will impact your child.


Should you desire an online option with live, engaging classrooms designed to equip your child with a holistic biblical education so they can be virtuous cultural change agents, consider iLumenEd Online Christian Education. Learn more at iLumenEd.org.




Gretchen Pike has over 25 years of experience in the classroom and as an administrator in faith-based schools and is the administrator of iLumenEd Online Academy. She has degrees in Education, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and Intercultural Communication from Cedarville University and Columbia International University. Gretchen considers every classroom a mission field on which children may receive excellent academic instruction rooted in sound biblical principles while being loved with the love of Christ.



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