Debunking the Myths of Online Education
If you are a US citizen living in San Pedro and you have children who are approaching high school age, you may be concerned about enrolling them in a Belizean high school. The sad fact is, no matter how excellent the Belizean high schools are, if your teenager is a US citizen and is dreaming about attending a US college or university, it will be far easier to be accepted if he has a high school diploma from an accredited US high school. If you are Belizean dreaming of a US college diploma for your high school student, getting a US high school diploma might seem like the logical step in that direction.
Some people in San Pedro have looked at the situation and decided that the best solution to the problem is sending their high school children to the new online high school to be started this fall. The program is said to be accredited, the tuition is high (so it must be good) and students will be in school longer than the students attending San Pedro High School. While this appears to be the best solution to the problem, the fact is, for the US citizen, obtaining a US high school diploma is far easier, takes less time and is, in most cases, free. To the high school student who is a Belizean citizen, there is no benefit in obtaining a US high school diploma.
Myth #1 – Online high school is expensive
Did you know you that if you are a US citizen who files your annual taxes and retains a permanent address in the US you can homeschool your high school student absolutely free through the US public education system via your home State or and in some cases your home town? Books, teacher support, grading and a fully accredited diploma are available free of charge. In addition to the standard classes, most of the online schools offer AP honors classes, electives and college courses completely free of charge. In terms of online education, these programs are superior to any online US high school offered in San Pedro because they require far less time, the diploma comes from the student’s home State, and they allow the student to apply for State scholarships and grants.
For the US citizen looking for something a little more prestigious, college prep online high school programs administered by accredited private schools are also available to US citizens living in foreign countries at a tenth to one-half the cost of the new online high school in San Pedro. Again, teacher support, grading textbooks, etc. are all available to the students at a minimal cost.
Myth #2 – A high school education from the US will increase a Belizean’s chance of getting into a US college or university.
The truth is that for US colleges and universities acceptance of foreign students is primarily based on class rankings, test scores and ability to pay, regardless of where the student actually attended high school. Simply put there is little to no advantage for the Belizean to attend a US-based high school.
Myth #3 – Online school is just like home school, and we all know some of the best US colleges and universities are now recruiting home schooled students.
Home schooling and online schooling are not the same. While it is true that many parents who keep their children at home for high school opt to use online schooling, those students receive their diploma from the school providing the online
education, and colleges and universities do not recognize those students as being home schooled. Home schooling is more akin to private tutoring.
Myth #4—The more time a student spends in school, the better his grades will be
Time spent in school does not equal better when it comes to education. The fact is studies have shown that the students who attend schools with shorter days and shorter school years tend to do far better than students who are kept in school for long hours and for more days.
So, if you are a US citizen living in San Pedro (or anywhere else in Belize) you don’t have to return to the US to put your child in high school, nor do you have to pay ridiculously high tuition fees to put your child in the new online school to get your child a US high school diploma from an accredited high school. All you have to do is “sign up” on line — for free! And if you are Belizean, you might want to reconsider the local high school, because sending your student to an online US high school is not only costly, but a waste of time.