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Comparing Online High School and Homeschooling: Unraveling the Distinctions


Education began with teaching in traditional brick-and-mortar schools in physical classrooms. Over time, educators discovered that not all children were able to attend school for various reasons. As a result, distance learning and homeschooling programs were offered to such children who could then complete their education while staying at home. More recently, the advancement in technology has brought about even more innovative options for students in terms of online learning to help them complete their education in different environments without any hassle at all.

Of course, parents researching such options often encounter confusing information on account of the similarities between homeschooling and online schooling. When you begin comparing online high school and homeschooling, unraveling the distinctions can make all the difference. Here, we help you understand the nuances between the two and help you decide which option may be best for your child.


One of the primary differences between homeschooling and online high school lies in maintaining accountability. With homeschooling, the major responsibility of imparting education lies with the parent/guardian, whereas with an online school, that responsibility rests with the school. However, in terms of course curriculum and content, the entire responsibility lies with the school.

With homeschooling, parents/guardians are solely responsible for decisions regarding course curriculum, study timetables, maintaining records, evaluating their child’s progress, and meeting educational standards and requirements. On the other hand, reputable online high schools are typically accredited schools that provide students with a course curriculum meeting federal and state educational standards. They offer parents/guardians a support system allowing them to focus on their child’s education.

The Ogburn Online School is one such online learning school that provides students and parents with a dedicated support team, which includes teaching faculty, instructors, learning coaches, administrative professionals, academic guidance counselors, testing managers, course designers, success coaches, a registrar, admissions specialists, admissions directors, customer service representatives, billing and finance professionals, and support staff members. With the backing of such a strong and competent team, all parents have to do is focus on their child’s education while the school takes care of the rest.

Course Curriculum

With homeschooling, parents are responsible for developing their own course curriculum for their child’s education. This can often be time-consuming and cumbersome for many parents, especially those who are trying out homeschooling for the first time. Parents also have to deal with the added anxiety of making sure their child receives everything they need in terms of a quality education so that their child can cope in higher grades. When you factor in all the necessary costs for learning materials, stationery and other miscellaneous expenses, homeschooling also works out to be quite expensive. While students do have an immense amount of flexibility in terms of completing their coursework, it is up to their parents to stay on top of things to ensure they adhere to reasonable timelines. With homeschooling, students are limited in terms of the high school courses they can opt for. In many cases, they may be entirely dependent on their parents for coaching, which would further limit their options.

On the other hand, with online high schools, the course curriculum is typically designed by professional, qualified educators and teachers who have extensive experience in the field of education. Moreover, accredited high schools like The Ogburn Online School offer curriculums that adhere to federal and state educational standards, so parents do not have to worry about the quality of education their child receives in an accredited online high school. Students are evaluated periodically and updates are provided to parents on a regular basis via an online portal. Parents can log in and check in anytime they want.

What makes studying online even more appealing is the use of multimedia resources and interactive learning tools. With the help of technology, online schools are now able to provide students with a high-quality education at an extremely affordable cost. Also, students have immense flexibility and can log in from anywhere, anytime to complete their coursework online. All they need is a computer and an internet connection. Parents are also spared the hassle of worrying about timelines because the school itself stipulates certain timelines that typically correspond to a school year.

In terms of selecting courses, accredited schools like The Ogburn Online School ensure that each student is assigned the courses required for grade level completion and high school graduation. Students also have the option of choosing from a wide range of Honors courses as well as Elective courses, which allows them to pursue a holistic education at very affordable costs.

Overall, online high schools provide students with a high degree of flexibility and convenience to complete their coursework at their own pace. They also make life a lot easier for parents by taking care of a whole range of activities such as providing students with an accredited curriculum, grading assignments and providing feedback, offering teacher support and academic guidance counseling, maintaining academic records and transcripts, providing an engaging and interactive learning environment, monitoring academic progress – all this at a very affordable cost!

If you'd like to know more about how online schools work, visit our online school information page.

Tuition payments from $150/month


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