How to Pick the Right Online Study programme for Your Child

How to Pick the Right Online Study programme for Your Child

Choosing the right online study programme for your child is an important decision that can have long-lasting impacts on their educational journey. With the growing popularity of online education, parents have a plethora of choices, but this also poses challenges in making an informed selection. Online learning offers undeniable benefits such as flexibility, convenience, and access to a broad range of courses.

Table of Contents

Factors to Consider

Choosing the right online study programme is a multi-faceted decision that goes beyond just the age and grade level of your child. Below, we delve deeper into some of the critical factors that you should consider when making this significant choice.

Age and Grade Level

First and foremost, ensure that the online programme is age-appropriate and matches your child’s educational level. This isn’t just about the complexity of the material; it’s also about the psychological and emotional readiness of your child for a certain curriculum.

Consideration Table for Age and Grade Level

Age Group Curriculum Focus Level of Support
Primary Prep Online Primary subjects including Maths, Science and English Interactive sessions and guidance
11–14 Online Secondary School Online Core subjects and introduction to specialised courses Enhanced academic and emotional support
14–16 Online IGCSE IGCSE courses focusing on chosen subjects Structured assessments and academic guidance
16–18 Online A Levels A Levels focusing on university preparation Detailed feedback and university application assistance

Subject Matter

Choose a programme that not only aligns with your child’s interests but also helps them achieve their educational and career goals. Look for programmes that offer a balanced curriculum including both academic subjects and arts such as Music, Drama, and Art & Design.

Learning Style

Understanding your child’s learning style can be key to their success in an online environment. Some kids are visual learners, others auditory, and yet others learn best through reading or hands-on activities. The ideal programme should offer a variety of teaching methodologies to cater to various learning styles.

Learning Style Table

Learning Style Programme Features
Visual Infographics, Video Lectures
Auditory Podcasts, Interactive Webinars
Kinesthetic Interactive Quizzes, Hands-on Projects
Reading/Writing Downloadable Material, Reading Assignments


While it’s tempting to go for the most economical option, consider what you’re getting for the price. Compare the cost against the features, the quality of education, and the level of support offered.

Relevant Link:


The reputation of the online school can give you a lot of insight into the quality of education your child will receive. Look for certified programmes with experienced educators. Reviews and testimonials can offer a glimpse into the experiences of other parents and students.

Relevant Link:

Accreditation and Certifications

Ensure that the chosen programme is accredited by relevant educational bodies. This not only guarantees a certain standard of education but also ensures that the credits earned could be transferred to other educational institutions if needed.

Relevant Link:

Flexibility and Accessibility

A major benefit of online learning is the flexibility it offers. Ensure the programme you choose provides easily accessible material that your child can access at times that work best for them.

Technology Used

Understand the technology requirements for the course. This includes the type of device needed, software requirements, and the quality of internet connection.

How to Research Online Study Programmes

Choosing the right online study programme for your child can be overwhelming, given the plethora of options available. A meticulous research process can help you make an informed decision. Below are steps and strategies to guide you.

Seek Recommendations from Trusted Sources

Your first port of call should be people you know who have experience with online education. Their first-hand knowledge can be invaluable.

  • Family and Friends: If you have relatives or friends who have enrolled their children in online programmes, their insights could be valuable.
  • Educational Consultants: Professionals in the field can offer expert recommendations based on your child’s needs and your specific requirements.

Relevant Link:

Use Online Reviews and Ratings

Multiple platforms offer reviews from parents and students who have experience with particular programmes.

  • Educational Forums: Online forums can offer uncensored opinions.
  • Social Media: Some parents share their experiences on platforms like Facebook or parenting blogs.
  • Official Websites: Some online schools, like Cambridge Home School Online, publish testimonials and reviews.

Useful Websites for Reviews

Website Why It’s Useful
Trustpilot Independent reviews from verified users
Mumsnet Parent-focused discussions
Educational Review Websites Expert analyses of curricula and teaching methods

Contact the Programme Directly

If possible, directly speak to the admissions team or even the teachers to clarify any questions you may have.

  • Open Days: Virtual open days can offer a taste of the programme.
  • One-on-One Consultations: Some schools offer individual discussions to address specific concerns.

Relevant Link:

Compare Curricula

Different programmes may offer different curricula, even for the same subjects. Make sure the programme aligns with your child’s academic needs.

Relevant Link:

Check for Accreditations and Affiliations

Ensure the online programme you’re considering is accredited or affiliated with reputable educational bodies. This adds a layer of credibility.

Key Accreditations to Look for

Accreditation What It Signifies
Ofsted UK standard educational quality assurance
International Accreditations Globally recognised educational standards

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Be sure to evaluate what you are getting for the fees you will be paying. This could include materials, student support services, and extracurricular activities.

Relevant Link:

Special Focus: Students with Unique Requirements

Online study programmes can be particularly beneficial for children with special educational needs or those who are academically gifted.

Type of Student Benefits
Special Needs Customised learning paths
Gifted Advanced courses for enrichment

Utilising Statistics: A Snapshot

  • 75% increase in the number of UK children registering for home education in 2020-21.
  • 92% rise in north-west England attributed to “Covid anxiety.”
  • 40% increase in homeschooling in the UK over three years.
  • 87% of parents reported homeschooling during May and June 2020.

How to Support Your Child’s Online Learning at Home

Navigating the landscape of online learning is not just a responsibility that falls upon your child; as a parent, your role is instrumental in ensuring a conducive learning environment and effective study routine. Here are some crucial aspects to consider.

Create a Designated Learning Space

A suitable learning space helps your child focus better and treats online classes with the same seriousness as traditional classrooms. This space should be quiet, comfortable, and free from distractions.

Relevant Link:

Features of a Good Learning Space

Feature Why it’s Important
Good Lighting Reduces eye strain during study
Ergonomic Chair Maintains good posture
No Distractions Aids in better concentration
Necessary Tools Quick access to study materials

Keep Track of Their Schedule

Be aware of your child’s timetable, including class times, assignment due dates, and exams. This will help you understand their workload and better plan family activities that do not interfere with study time.

Offer Emotional Support

Online learning can sometimes feel isolating. Regular check-ins can make a big difference in your child’s educational journey. Encourage open communication about their experiences, challenges, and any issues they may be facing.

Encourage Breaks and Physical Activity

Studies show that regular breaks can significantly improve concentration and performance. Encourage your child to take short breaks to walk, stretch, or engage in any physical activity.

Monitor Screen Time

While screen time is inevitable in online learning, it’s crucial to monitor it to avoid eye strain and cognitive fatigue. Encourage reading from books or physical activity as alternatives to break up long study sessions.

Be Involved but Don’t Hover

There’s a fine line between being supportive and micromanaging. It’s important to respect your child’s independence while offering your support.

Relevant Link:

Parental Involvement Table

Level of Involvement What It Involves
Low Not aware of child’s timetable or assignments
Moderate Knows the timetable but not actively involved
High Actively participates in child’s education, but doesn’t interfere
Overbearing Manages every aspect of child’s learning, risks hindering independence

Use Educational Tools and Resources

Many online programmes offer supplementary educational tools. Familiarise yourself and your child with these tools as they can significantly enhance the learning experience.

Relevant Link:


Choosing the right online study programme is a critical decision that should be made with thoughtful research and consideration. Each child is unique, and finding a programme that caters to their individual needs is crucial for their academic success.

Statistics Sources:

  1. BBC News
  2. BBC England
  3. The Guardian
  4. ONS


1. What are the key factors to consider when selecting an online study programme for my child?

When selecting an online study programme, consider various aspects like age and grade level, subject matter, and learning style. Also, examine the cost, reputation, and accreditations of the programme. Finally, assess the technology required for the course and its level of flexibility.

2. How can I effectively research various online study programmes?

Start by seeking recommendations from family and friends who have experience in online education. Online platforms, educational forums, and social media can provide valuable reviews. You can also contact the programmes directly to get more insights, including attending their virtual open days.

3. Are online study programmes suitable for children with unique educational requirements?

Yes, online study programmes can cater to the needs of children who have special educational requirements or are academically gifted. These programmes often offer customised learning paths or advanced courses to meet specific needs.

4. How can I support my child in their online learning journey at home?

Create a conducive learning environment at home and track their schedule. Offer emotional support, encourage breaks, and monitor screen time. Familiarise yourself with supplementary educational tools provided by the programme to enhance your child’s learning experience.

5. How should I assess the cost-effectiveness of an online study programme?

Don’t simply opt for the cheapest option. Consider what you get for the price, like the quality of education, student support, and extracurricular activities. Conduct a cost-benefit analysis to ensure you’re making an informed decision.