Blog

What is the Right Age for Online Learning?

As online schooling gains traction across the globe, many parents are making the switch for their children. However, most parents are encouraging their older children to make this transition. While online learning is excellent for IGCSE and A Level students, it’s also particularly effective and beneficial for younger students.

At Cambridge Home School Online, we provide a quality British online education across 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).

We believe that students as young as 7 can benefit from online classes owing to their flexibility, balance, and efficacy. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the benefits of online learning for the homeschooling groups highlighted above. If your children fall into these categories, you can rest assured that they’re not too young for online schooling. Let’s get started.

1. Ages 7 to 10

a student working on an activity during class

Young children are in an active learning and growing stage. Their minds are actively developing. As they have varied experiences and interact with new people, they absorb knowledge and develop their personalities. At this critical juncture, students require individualised support and guidance.

Unfortunately, conventional (in-person) schooling fails to provide this. Most conventional schools have a high student-teacher ratio. In some cases, as many as 30 students are taught in a single classroom. Students fail to receive one-on-one attention from their teachers. This can be detrimental for young students. If their curiosity isn’t satiated and further increased, students can become complacent and lose interest in their studies.

At Cambridge Home School Online, we have a team of MA/MSc/PhD qualified subject specialist teachers on board. They go the extra mile to offer engaging, stimulating, retentive, and—most importantly—individualised lessons to students. We keep the classroom size as small as possible. Students are taught in groups of 8–10 pupils, no more. This further increases class engagement and interactivity lessons.

Students don’t zone out and lose interest. Instead, they remain focused and develop a genuine interest in their lessons. This is imperative for young students as they generally have a shorter attention span. As we grow older, our attention span gradually increases. Children between the ages of 7 and 10 struggle to pay attention to the task at hand and easily fixate their attention to other objects, people, and activities.

Keeping this in mind, our teachers leverage advanced audio-visual technology. Our lessons are more exciting, fun, compelling, and engrossing. We use animations to build even greater interest among younger students (ages 7 and 8). This approach plays a big role in keeping students focused, attentive, and on track.

If your child is between the ages of 7 and 10, you may also feel unsettled by the number of times you’ll have to intervene during their classes. Since young children require more help, parents worry that they’ll be unable to focus on work and other responsibilities during the day. At Cambridge Home School Online, we don’t require parents to check in on their children in between classes. You can resume work, take care of chores, and fulfill other duties without worrying about whether your child is veering off track.

Our experienced, qualified, detail-oriented, and diligent teachers keep students immersed in their lessons through and through. We don’t require parental intervention at all. You may check in on your child from time to time if you wish. However, this isn’t compulsory. As long as you’ve set up your child’s study station and equipped them with the resources needed for the day, you’re good to go. We help parents heave a big sigh of relief and students enjoy themselves!

Recommended Read: 6 Key Steps to Homeschooling Success: A Guide for Parents

2. Ages 11 to 13

a child attending online school

Online schooling is also suitable for children between the ages of 11 and 13. We call this age the foundational age. At this juncture, our teachers start creating a firm, secure academic foundation. We set the building blocks for the foundation in the preceding stage. However, we do all the heavy lifting during this stage.

This age group requires close attention from its teachers. Students learn new concepts that are more advanced than the beginner-level knowledge they received in the earlier stage. This age group is also the most active. The conventional schooling model isn’t appropriate for 11–13-year-old students as there is little to no flexibility granted. Students return home feeling tired, overwhelmed, and fatigued.

As a result, they’re unable to focus on afterschool activities like sports, skill development, socialising with friends, exploring new hobbies, etc. Students are simply too drained to grow personally and socially. In fact, their academic growth is also affected.

There’s a very common misconception that students who are taught rigorously in school perform better than pupils who are taught more balanced and well-paced lessons. More isn’t better in this case. If students are overworked in school, they are unable to complete their homework and revise as well as they should at home. This affects their academic growth in the long run.

At Cambridge Home School Online, we have a razor-sharp focus on helping students enjoy a healthy school-life balanced. Students between the age of 11 and 13 can easily lose interest in school if they’re overworked or unable to enjoy personal and social growth. We make sure this doesn’t happen. Our students don’t attend protracted lessons like they would in the conventional schooling setting.

Since we have a team of qualified teachers on board, we don’t have to deliver unnecessarily long lessons that do more harm than good. Instead, our lessons are well-timed, well-structured, and balanced. Students earn between two and three additional hours in the day. These can be utilised for personal and social development.

We understand that this age group can also be tricky for parents. Pre-teens and young teens are prone to acting out and pushing boundaries. At Cambridge Home School Online, we believe that academic growth should always be combined with moral and ethical development. We help students develop critical soft skills like respect, empathy, honesty, and teamwork, to name a few.

We don’t just want students to perform well on their exams, we also want them to become well-rounded, respectful, and compassionate individuals who care about their family, friends, and the world around them. Our students understand their moral and ethical responsibilities and become responsible learners.

As a parent, you don’t have to worry about your children lashing out at home. Our teachers work hard to help students become respectful, understanding, and emotionally intelligent individuals. When combined with academic, personal, and social growth, moral and ethical development goes a long way in helping students become good citizens.

3. Ages 14 to 16

a student accessing afterschool online resources

The IGCSE junction is one of the most critical academic stages. If students fail to secure excellent grades, they may be unable to study their dream program at a prestigious university. This can ultimately affect their career and future. At Cambridge Home School Online, we believe that focused online learning isn’t just important at this stage, it’s imperative.

As we highlighted earlier, the conventional schooling system simply isn’t as individualised and focused as it should be. Students are often left hanging when it comes to receiving answers to their questions or being challenged by their teachers. Our MA/MSc/PhD qualified teachers work hard to understand each student’s unique learning strengths, weaknesses, and habits. Utilising these insights, our teachers individualise their teaching approach accordingly.

Let’s consider an example. Time management is an important soft skill for everyone, especially IGCSE students. If students cannot allocate the right amount of time to each section of their exam, they may rush through some questions or leave them unanswered. This can affect their grades.

If a student is struggling with time management, our teachers are perceptive enough to pick up on this weakness. They plan in-class activities to help struggling students polish their time management skills. They also recommend afterschool exercises and track the student’s progress to understand how well they’re doing.

This level of involvement isn’t common in most conventional schools. It can make a big difference in learning outcomes, which makes it extremely important. However, it’s also important to note that many online schools don’t use this approach. As a parent, you shoulder the responsibility of finding an institution that prioritises educational quality.

At Cambridge Home School Online, this is our primary focus. We want each pupil to have an enriching online learning experience. We don’t chase numbers, we chase experiences. By helping students have positive virtual schooling experiences, we help them succeed across the board.

Recommended Read: How to Secure Top Grades in Your IGCSE Examinations in 2022

4. Ages 17 to 19

a student attending online school on his laptop

Online schooling is strongly recommended to A Level students, perhaps more so than any other age group. Let’s understand why. Most conventional schools use the national curriculum. Unfortunately, it lacks curricular breadth and depth. It’s also subject to political turbulence. Students who study the national curriculum fail to develop detailed insights that are needed to ace the demanding A Level examinations.

At Cambridge Home School Online, we believe that institutions that teach the national curriculum to A Level students inadvertently set them up for failure. As an online school, we teach a well-rounded, independent, and interdisciplinary curriculum. It covers more ground, enabling students to secure top grades and apply their knowledge and skills more effectively in the future.

Students also perform better in university. This junction is undeniably the most critical academic stage. If students secure poor grades in their IGCSE examinations, they can still cover up the damage to some extent by performing well in their A Level exams. However, poor performance in the A Level exams cannot be mitigated. If you wish to attend one of the top universities (Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, etc.), you must perform exceptionally well in your A Level exams.

Quality online learning facilitates this. At Cambridge Home School Online, we provide each student access to a vast online library of educational resources, including past papers, study guides, exam notes, PowerPoint presentations, videos, and previous lessons. Students can access these resources to revise after school. This additional measures goes a long way in helping them prepare well for their exams and secure As.

While mental health is extremely important across any academic stage, it’s particularly imperative among IGCSE and A Level students. We provide one-on-one success coaching and pastoral support to each pupil. We understand that students face a range of obstacles today. They may experience stress, anxiety, and self-doubt. They may also face bullying by their peers. These issues are common across all academic stages.

By providing guidance to students, our school counsellors help them address and overcome any issues they’re facing. This approach helps students enjoy good mental health. If they’re experiencing any academic problems, issues in their personal life, or social obstacles, they can safely, comfortably, and unhesitatingly open up to their counsellors. We protect student privacy and confidentiality.

By providing support when students need it most, we help them get back on track and have a healthy schooling experience. Collectively, these measures enable our students to secure top grades. Our track record reflects this.

In June 2021, 86% of our IGCSE students secured A*s and As in their target subjects. 83% of our A Level students secured two As and a B or higher, as requested by top universities. Moreover, all students who applied received offers from some of the best universities across the globe. As we continue to provide a quality British online education to students, we’re excited to watch our students succeed!

a student interacting with his teacher

Are you considering making the switch to Cambridge Home School Online? Established in 2002, we have over 20 years of experience. You can rest assured that you’re choosing the best online school for your children. Explore the following resources to get started:

If you have any questions, we’re happy to help! Call us or drop a message by clicking on the button towards the end of the page (bottom right). We’ll get back to you shortly.