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What’s the difference between homeschool and online school?

Written by James Madison High School on Wednesday, 19 August 2020. Posted in For Parents, Helpful Tips, Homeschooler

Girls at table writing.

Homeschool and online learning are becoming increasingly popular options for parents in our busy world. But homeschooling may seem intimidating: is there enough time in the day to work and be your child’s teacher? With advancing technology, it’s easier than ever to learn outside of a traditional classroom. James Madison High School offers affordable online options that can make learning from home easy for your student and you.

What’s the difference between homeschool and online school?

Traditionally, homeschooling means that not only do parents have to instruct their children, but they also need to come up with various lesson plans while constructing the curriculum. This can be challenging for working parents and guardians or those that don’t have a teaching background.

Online school takes the same principle of learning from home (or some other convenient location), but without the need for parents to act as their child’s teacher. With James Madison’s High School Diploma program, the curriculum and lessons are already designed and taught by certified instructors. That doesn’t mean you can’t be part of your child’s learning process. You can still be active in studying, exam preparation, and emotional support, but a team of credentialed teachers and academic advisors are also there to help guide your student on their academic journey.

Why choose online school instead of homeschool?

No two students are alike, so homeschool might be preferable to some. But online school takes a lot of the pressure off parents while providing quality, affordable education to kids. Parents won’t have to research and study state curriculum mandates, nor will they have to plan and teach lessons on every subject.

With James Madison High School, students have the ability to study at their own pace, so learning is convenient. Students also have the option of attending year round. This means that by finishing earlier than their brick-and-mortar school counterparts, they can get on the path to starting their futures faster.

Options for online learning

James Madison High School knows that every student is unique. Not everyone learns at the same pace or has the same long-term goals in mind. Unlike traditional homeschooling, James Madison offers three diploma programs to suit your child’s future plans.

Some students already know what their career goals are. With our Career Pathways track, they can get a jump on real-world, hands-on experience in a variety of fields like veterinary assistance, child care, and carpentry. Other students may not be sure of what career they want to follow, but know they want to attend a four-year college. Our College Prep track offers rigorous classes to prepare your student for their journey towards an academic degree. Finally, our General Diploma track is geared for students who haven’t quite yet decided where life after high school will take them. It’s also an option for students looking to fulfill high school requirements for technical carers or junior and community colleges.

Regardless of which works best for your student, each track is self-paced, so one course can be mastered at a time before moving on to the next. They can also choose where and when studying is right for them. Traditional homeschool often requires textbooks and other materials, but with James Madison’s completely virtual courses all they need is a computer and internet.

Enroll in online high school today

Reach out to our expert Admissions Specialists today at to take your next steps towards a flexible, online high school diploma.

About the Author

James Madison High School

James Madison High School

Our blog comes to you live from our high school students and community. Dive in to hear more from current students, alumni, and experts as we celebrate our student's accomplishments, persistence, and passions.