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Styles of Online Learning

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Many people are slower to consider online learning options for their students because they’re not always sure what it will look like. But there isn’t just one way to educate your student through online learning options. There are plenty of ways to incorporate online education into your family’s lifestyle.


Online Public School

Online public school is a simple alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar school options. K12-powered online public schools, for example, are tuition-free, full-time education solutions. They serve students of all grades, providing instruction from state-certified teachers, teaching materials, and adherence to state requirements for curriculum and assessments.

Online public schools follow a traditional academic schedule.


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Online Private School

Like online public schools, online private schools are an easy alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar school options. They are often tuition-based but can provide more opportunities for special interests, specializations, or more unconventional schedules.

In most cases, online private schools also follow a traditional academic calendar and have strong curriculums that meet state or national standards.


Homeschooling involves a responsible adult taking charge of their student’s education and helping their learning progress. There are many reasons you might choose to educate your student at home, but there are just as many ways to do it successfully. K12 provides homeschool curriculums for each grade level, so you have the support you need for your student to excel in your chosen style.


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Traditional homeschooling generally follows similar methods to those used in online public or private schools. A parent or guardian assumes primary responsibility for their child’s education, providing both curriculum and instruction. This is probably one of the homeschooling styles you’re most familiar with. Most traditional homeschoolers follow a lecture teaching style and have solidly scheduled days.

Roadschooling is pretty much what it sounds like: taking learning on the road. This homeschool style may be more popular for families who move often and want to integrate their student’s learning into their everyday lives. With roadschooling, certain landmarks or attractions are often opportunities for educational moments. This approach to homeschooling relies heavily on hands-on, experiential learning.

Worldschooling is the next step up from roadschooling and depends on incorporating travel (even international travel) into your student’s education. Again, this homeschooling style may be particularly pertinent to those families who find themselves moving regularly, like military families.

Of the different styles of homeschooling, eclectic homeschooling is the most individualized. It results from mixing and matching different homeschool styles depending on what works for your student. It might change from one semester to the next or even from one subject to another. This approach to online schooling is unique to each family and individual to each student.

How to Choose a Style of Online Learning

The best way to pursue your student’s education online is to make sure that the style or method you choose aligns with your goals. Here are some points to consider when making this decision:

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Personal Values

Is instilling your personal values an important part of your student’s education?

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Education Philosophy

Do you have a specific, concrete philosophy about how you want to approach your student’s education?

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Do you plan to have your child learning online for the long term or for a distinct period of time?

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What do you want your student to accomplish?

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Family Circumstances

Do specific familial circumstances (personal, financial, medical, etc.) impact your schooling approach?

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What level of flexibility do you need for your student’s learning?

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Find Your Style at K12

Every student is different, and the online learning style that works for them might be different too. K12 supports a diverse range of learners who all have different needs. Explore our programs to see what might be the best fit for you and your student.



Learn More About Midyear School Transfers

Switching schools midyear can bring up many questions. That’s why we’ve organized these pages to help provide information about how to get started. Click through to take advantage of these resources.