Having survived the first year of high school, 10th graders begin to feel the rigors of academia. As thoughts turn toward standardized testing--such as the PSAT--and looming career choices, online studies allow students to manage some of the stress by affording them flexibility.

Online 10th Grade Schools

Online high school can help 10th graders juggle an increasingly complex class schedule while allowing them the freedom to really investigate topics of interest. High schoolers who are far from stable, sophomores are in a unique position when it comes to school. Most notably, they have more control over the classes they take and how they spend their time. Online 10th grade programs are no exception, offering expanded choices of courses. While the core classes remain the same--Algebra II and geometry, world history, biology--rich electives and Advanced Placement opportunities abound. Add in PSAT, SAT and ACT prep, and you have the makings of an exciting, yet rigorous year.

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The distance learning edge for sophomores

Online learning is gaining momentum for a variety of reasons. Students in the 10th grade may discover that this method of instructional delivery gives them the autonomy of self-directed study under the guidance of an established program. Also, the online environment emphasizes a technology component that should serve students well as they advance to post-secondary studies. The International Association for K-12 Online Learning offers the following statistics about the popularity and direction of distance instruction:

  • 27 states, including Washington, DC, have statewide full-time online schools
  • 38 states have state virtual schools or state-led online initiatives
  • Many virtual schools show annual growth rates between 20 percent and 45 percent

For 10th grade online students managing a barrage of new information, the program format helps them to process topics in a way that encourages organization and recall. Also, preparation for the PSAT, SAT and ACT standardized tests is streamlined and responsive. Sites such as USATestPrep and CollegeBoard offer students the opportunity to take actual practice tests, providing results and feedback to better shape future learning efforts.

Online 10th grade essentials: Topics in the core curriculum

The 10th grade curriculum is a collage of topics that cover the spectrum of math, English, science and social studies. Students are introduced to the practice of learning across the curriculum--that is, examining themes that cut across courses in an effort to promote deeper understanding. Students also have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement courses and earn credits toward their first year of college. Making a 3 or 4 on these AP tests could translate into thousands of dollars and weeks of time saved.

The following is a brief list of typical courses to expect in 10th grade online programs:

  • English: World literature, grammar in context, business writing
  • Science: Biology, anatomy and physiology, conservation
  • Math: Algebra II, geometry, pre-calculus
  • Social studies: Geography, European history, world studies

From login to logout: The typical day for digital 10th graders

Sophomores in an online program spend most of their days reading digital texts, exchanging feedback and submitting work via a Web-based portal. Students typically spend about half of the school day in front of the computer on these activities with frequent breaks to avoid fatigue. The remaining hours vary widely as some students take field trips to learn about topics first-hand, while others spend time on standardized testing practice.

However, the goal behind online learning modules is that there is no ordinary day. The flexibility of digital school means that students and parents can construct days in a variety of patterns depending on the topics being learned and their complexity. For example, a student studying animal biology might complete computer-based lessons and then visit a local zoo for reinforcement.

Parents get in the game for their digital students

The parents of student in 10th grade online programs spend a great deal of time supervising their kids and helping them keep pace with program schedules. Parents also collaborate with other parents and professionals at brick and mortar schools to continually refine the course of study. Some parents take homeschooling certification courses in order to be able to build and supervise curricula in each of the core subjects. And while parents themselves don't assess their student's work, they do provide an extra eye and critical feedback to help shape the outcome of study.

The bottom line is that 10th grade online programs cater to this very unique age group as students continue toward graduation and eventually college and careers. The distance learning environment has shown to be effective in helping students manage the added stresses and demands on their time.

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Online 10th Grade Programs

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