Online School vs. Physical School: What’s Better for Students?

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At Cambridge Home School Online, we’re often approached by parents who are struggling to decide which mode of schooling is best for their children.

Should you opt for online classes? Or should your children continue to attend physical classes? What are the key differences between both modes of learning? And which takes precedence over the other?

This blog will juxtapose online and physical learning to help you understand which approach is right for your children. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment towards the end of the blog, give us a call, or drop us an email. Let’s begin.

1. Safety and Comfort

As a parent, you should have a razor-sharp focus on ensuring that your children have a safe, comfortable, and enriching online learning experience. Physical schooling fails to check this box off the list. While some schools have strong safety measures in place, most physical institutions aren’t too concerned about safety in a broader sense.

It’s important to note that simply hiring an experienced and qualified security team to guard the premises isn’t enough. Other forms of student safety and comfort must also be taken into account.

As the risk of school bullying increases globally, especially in the UK, schools are being urged to take strict action. Today, millions of students are at risk of being bullied, racially targeted, peer pressured, abused, harassed, and ostracised by their peers.

These instances go unnoticed in most physical schools owing to the high student-teacher ratio. There are simply too many students in the classroom. No matter how qualified a teacher may be, they cannot focus on up to 25 or 30 students simultaneously. If a student bullies another in the back row of a classroom, the teacher may never find out.

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Online schooling deviates from this approach. Today, most online schools have a low student-teacher ratio. At CHS Online, we maintain small groups of 8–10 pupils, no more. This helps our teachers provide individualised attention to every pupil. They closely track student interactions and identify any odd behaviour, activity, or speech.

Students who perpetrate bullying against other pupils are given an immediate warning. If they fail to take the warning into account, they’re promptly removed from the classroom. Our teachers, education specialists, and student counsellors have a meeting with the student’s parents to determine the most suitable course of action. The student may be given counselling, suspended, or expelled.

Online schools also eliminate the risk of virus contraction. Students attend classes from the safety and comfort of their homes. As a result, parents don’t have to worry about their children catching the flu or any other illness from another student.

2. Academic Excellence

Every parent wants their children to succeed in school. Student success is contingent on the resources, support, guidance, and knowledge provided in school. Of course, the student’s own commitment to learning also determines their performance. However, external moulding plays the biggest role in facilitating good grades.

Both physical and online schools help students secure good grades. The quality of the institution ultimately determines how well students perform. Many parents are of the impression that online learning isn’t effective. They worry that students cannot secure good grades if they attend online classes without physical interaction.

This is a common misconception. Students perform exceptionally well in online institutions, provided they’re equipped with the right tools. At CHS Online, we have an illustrious team of MA/MSc/PhD qualified subject specialist teachers on board. We also use an advanced, independent, well-rounded, and interdisciplinary curriculum to help students develop an academic edge.

Our curriculum covers more ground than the national curriculum used in most physical schools. As a result, we help students develop proficiency in their respective subjects. This isn’t to say that physical schools fail to help students achieve academic excellence. Today, many physical schools provide students with the tools they need to succeed. Whether you opt for online or physical learning for your children, choose an institution that maintains a high standard of education.

Recommended: A Closer Look at Our Curriculum

3. Flexibility

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Many students prefer online schooling owing to its ample flexibility. Compared to physical school, online school doesn’t have many constraints. Students aren’t required to commute to/from school and sit in classrooms for unnecessary long durations. As a result, they don’t return home feeling exhausted.

Online schooling gives students the freedom to enjoy other activities, hobbies, interests, and pursuits. This is essential for personal and social growth. While academic growth is extremely important, it’s not enough. If students don’t get a chance to learn, grow, and evolve beyond the academic bubble, they may grow up lacking essential soft and hard skills.

The online schooling model helps strike a healthy balance between academic growth and extracurricular development. Students socialise with their friends, play sports, go on excursions and explorations, spend time with their family, do part-time jobs, do volunteer work, and develop new skills. The learning process never stops. Students can plan the rest of their day as they please.

4. Social Interaction

Physical schools obviously leave ample room for social interaction. Students get a chance to interact with their teachers, peers, and counsellors. As a result, they learn important social skills. You may think online schools cannot compare to physical classrooms’ social structure. However, this isn’t true.

Today, the best online schools leverage advanced technology to facilitate realistic interactions. The video and audio quality are top-notch. As a result, students have meaningful, naturalistic exchanges. Since the student-teacher ratio is low, pupils get a chance to connect with their peers on a deeper level. They develop good friendships that further strengthen as the academic year progresses. Moreover, online students often meet in person.

At Cambridge Home School Online, we encourage this. Our students go on adventures, plan hangouts, and visit each other’s homes. As an online school, we also plan a wide range of in-class activities, exercises, group presentations, and games to maximise class engagement and interactivity.

As our students work, play, study, and learn together, they develop strong social skills. We believe that skill-building is very important. Our teachers focus on the importance of strong teamwork to ensure students are more forthcoming when their peers need help.

5. Cost-Effectiveness

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Online schooling is significantly more cost-effective than physical schooling. As a parent, you should provide your children with the best quality of education possible. This also means investing more savings into higher education, i.e., undergraduate university, grad school, and so on. Our fee structure helps parents save a significant amount of money and invest it into their children’s future study.

In comparison, conventional schools can be very expensive. Many parents shell out an exorbitant sum during their children’s primary, lower school, and secondary schooling years. When their children are accepted to prestigious undergraduate or graduate programs, parents may have trouble paying the high tuition fee.

Switching to a reputable online school during your children’s formative years is the ideal approach. Your children will receive a quality education and secure good grades. When it’s time for higher education, you can fund their undergrad/grad programs without hesitation.

At CHS Online, our students attend prestigious universities across the globe, including Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley, Columbia, MIT, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, and John Hopkins, among others.

6. Responsibility and Organisation

Online schooling teaches students how to become responsible and organised. In most conventional schools today, students are provided a set schedule that they must follow. Everything is already laid out for them; they just need to follow it.

The same can be said for online schooling. While students are equipped with all the basics, it is ultimately up to them to stay on track. They can create their own schedule and determine how their day pans out. In other words, students are in charge. They learn how to become independent from a young age, which also boosts maturity levels.

Students become more responsible, organised, self-aware, conscientious, attentive, punctual, and detail-oriented. The ball is essentially in their court. They must allocate the right chunks of time to homework and revision. They must attend their classes on time. They must fit healthy activities like sports and skill-building in the rest of their day.

At CHS Online, we help students learn important soft skills like discipline, time management, orderliness, and diligence to ensure that their routine is on track. Students learn how to become self-accountable. As they enter adulthood, they’re a lot more punctilious, focused, and self-disciplined.

Recommended Read: How to Create a Sporting Timetable for Children Who Attend Homeschool

8. Mental Health

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Every institution should have a strong focus on equipping students with the tools they need to maintain good mental health. Many physical and online schools have a team of qualified student counsellors on board. As a parent, make sure you inquire into this.

At CHS Online, we provide one-on-one success coaching and pastoral support to all students. If a pupil is struggling at any point, we schedule an urgent counselling session to understand which obstacles they’re facing. Our counsellors are experienced, extensively trained, empathetic, and respectful. They maintain complete confidentiality during the sessions.

9. Location

Physical schools are restricted to a certain location. If students plan to travel alone or with their family, their education is disrupted. Online schooling doesn’t present the same dilemma. Students can attend classes from virtually anywhere in the world, provided that the new time zone is close to their original city’s time zone.

If you’re a working parent who travels frequently, your children can accompany you. We encourage this! Students are allowed to travel if the trip isn’t too long and doesn’t recur frequently.

We believe that visiting different countries is a great way to meet new people, learn about different cultures and traditions, and develop a better understanding of how cosmopolitan the world is. This helps students become more accepting of other people and their differences. Instead of being judgmental or critical, our students are respectful and appreciative.

They also learn how things are done in different places across the world. As they travel for undergrad or graduate studies in the future, they don’t feel out of place. Instead, they quickly adapt to the new environment and start making the most of their experience!

Traveling helps students become more confident, curious, independent, and self-aware. Students learn how to navigate a foreign city, socialise with people, and solve common problems that arise in a new place. The online schooling model facilitates travel-based growth.

10. Afterschool Resources

Both physical and online schools equip students with afterschool resources. However, online schools have a greater focus on providing afterschool support. At CHS Online, we equip students with 24/7 access to our online repository. They can access thousands of quality resources, including previous catch-up lessons, past papers, PowerPoint presentations, videos, study guides, worksheets, activities, exercises, educational games, and more.

These tools come in handy throughout the day, especially when students revise or complete their homework. We believe that additional tools help students sharpen their skills and become better learners. They also play a big role in increasing knowledge absorption and retention levels. Over time, students retain more knowledge owing to optimal revision at home. This improves their grades.

At CHS Online, our students secure one and a half grades higher than other students. As they enter adulthood, they start successful careers and reap the benefits of career progression.

Recommended Read: 20 Students Discuss Their Online Schooling Experiences

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Are you considering switching to Cambridge Home School Online? As one of the most prestigious online British schools across the globe, we help our students succeed.

Explore our four homeschooling programs: Primary Prep/Key Stage 2 (ages 7 to 10), Lower School/Key Stage 3 (ages 11 to 13), Upper School/IGCSEs (ages 14 to 16), and Sixth Form/AS & A-Levels (ages 17 to 19).

For more information, take a closer look at the following resources:

Thank you for joining us! Whether you’re interested in high school online learning, school options for working parents, secondary schools in the UK, or primary school programs, CHS Online is the right choice. Explore our reviews for more insight. Let’s begin.


How does online schooling at CHS Online ensure student safety and comfort?

At CHS Online, there’s a strong focus on student safety and comfort. The school maintains a low student-to-teacher ratio, which allows teachers to monitor student interactions closely. Bullying and other types of harassment are dealt with swiftly, and various measures are in place to consult parents and take appropriate action. Furthermore, attending classes online reduces the risk of illness, as students participate from the comfort of their homes.

Does online schooling compromise academic excellence?

No, online schooling does not compromise on academic excellence. At CHS Online, the curriculum is well-rounded and advanced, covering more subjects than the typical physical school’s national curriculum. The faculty includes MA/MSc/PhD qualified subject specialists who provide comprehensive support and guidance to help students excel academically.

What advantages does the online schooling model offer in terms of flexibility?

Online schooling offers considerable flexibility, freeing students from the constraints of commuting and fixed timetables. This allows for a better work-life balance, enabling students to engage in extracurricular activities, spend time with family, or work part-time. They can also plan their days as they see fit.

Is social interaction limited in an online schooling environment?

Contrary to common belief, online schooling doesn’t limit social interaction. CHS Online uses advanced technology to facilitate realistic, meaningful interactions among students. Activities, group presentations, and games are all a part of the curriculum to encourage social interaction. Additionally, students are encouraged to meet in person for various activities.

Is online schooling more cost-effective than traditional schooling?

Yes, online schooling is generally more cost-effective. At CHS Online, the fee structure is designed to help parents save money that can later be invested in higher education. Conventional physical schooling can be significantly more expensive, which might make it challenging to afford higher educational opportunities.