Life on the Farm: 3 Reasons Why Online Learning Works for My Family
By Connie Dickman, a parent at Indiana Gateway Digital Academy
Life on the farm is what some might consider unconventional. My family has seven horses that require a lot of attention, and we also breed dogs. As much work as it takes to maintain our farm, my daughter’s education is a top priority for our family. But balancing farm life and traditional schooling was a challenge.
Enter online school.
Since Zoey enrolled at Indiana Gateway Digital Academy (INGDA) this year, she has discovered a new level of independence, grown into a real love of school, and has more time to help on the farm. We are so proud of her academic success, and as her mother, I’m so happy to have found a school that is right for her. Here are three things that surprised us about online school:
1. Flexibility to Pursue Passions
Zoey’s love for riding horses stemmed from the riding lessons I would teach at the barn. I was a professional horse trainer for many years. Dozens of my clients, most of them young riders like Zoey herself, always came to our farm to learn. I was homeschooling Zoey at the time as well, which quickly became too time-consuming while balancing training. I decided that a change needed to be made in order to provide my daughter with the best individualized learning approach while maintaining a growing family business.
The transition to online school was the best move for my daughter’s education success. Zoey has the time to feed the horses and dogs before her classes begin in the morning, without the stress of ‘arriving’ to school on time. Zoey is visibly less overwhelmed now that she has the flexibility of completing classes at home. The results shown in her academic growth have been incredible.
2. Teachers are Our Learning Partners
The transition to online school has dramatically improved Zoey’s academic performance, thanks in large part to the personalized support she receives from her teachers. I have seen a huge difference in my daughter’s ability to work independently as her confidence in school has grown. When Zoey went to traditional public school, she was frequently overwhelmed with homework, and I would always have to remind her about getting her work done. Now that she has the opportunity to connect with her teachers in new ways, her learning experience could not be more positive. Now a freshman, Zoey enjoys her classes and can even get ahead of her assignments.
3. Education Without Boundaries
Zoey’s online school experience has provided my family with the opportunity to do more of what we love, including attending to the responsibilities of our farm and traveling as a family. With the flexibility Zoey’s classes offer, we can’t wait to explore new places together.
At INGDA, Zoey connects with students from all over the state. I often hear her laughter when she is chatting with friends during live classes or study sessions, and I know she is excited to meet her classmates in person. COVID-permitting, the school provides many opportunities for the students to get together. Roller-skating, for instance, is next on the agenda!
Online school allows my daughter to receive a quality education while supporting our “unconventional” life on the farm. With everything going on in the world right now we're glad to have this time together where we can continue to make Zoey’s education a top priority.
To learn more about Indiana Gateway Digital Academy, visit https://ingda.k12.com/
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