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This High School Just Redefined the Term “Home School”

February 19, 2016
by Jamie Cattanach
Contributor

This morning I rolled out of bed, slipped into my yoga pants (the really stretchy ones), and sat down at my computer… to start my day’s work.

I’m enjoying a remote work day, one of the many perks of working for The Penny Hoarder.

I’ll be honest: It’s pretty awesome. The flexibility allows me to travel, spend more time with my family, and just get out of the office when I need to.

Maybe your dream gig involves working from home.

But would you want your kids to do it, too?

Goodbye, Snow Days — Hello, Virtual Days

Some schools are making student work-from-home days a reality.

On select “virtual days,” school halls remain empty — and hundreds of students log in to classrooms from the comfort of home.

School officials claim this new policy has several benefits.

It cuts down on transportation and operation costs for the school, creates a productive option during emergencies and snowstorms and exposes kids to what the working world is like in the 21st century.

“Almost every college has some type of online or virtual course, and a lot of companies now tell employees they can work remotely, so we are exposing students to that,” Troy Lederman told Education Week. He’s the principal of a Park Ridge, New Jersey, high school that just held its first virtual day.

While this would have been a dream come true for my nerdy, chubby, high school self, Lederman’s logic makes me go, hmm.

It’s true online college courses are a thing, although there’s some controversy about whether or not they provide the same level of education as traditional classroom work.

And although the marketplace is becoming increasingly mobile, many of us only wish we could work at home.

How much will things change in the two to eight years that separate today’s high schoolers from the full-time workforce?

How Would Student Work-From-Home Days Affect Your Family?

Although it might be nice to have something to divert your kids’ attention during snow days, the issue is complicated because the workers are, well, students.

They’re still living in their parents’ houses and use their parents’ computers and WiFi.

What if your family only has one computer?

Or shoddy (or non-existent) Internet?

What if you don’t want to leave your 13-year-old child unsupervised at home, and can’t take off work or afford a babysitter?

Also — and this is a dirty little secret, so promise you won’t tell anyone I told you — sometimes, focusing on work when you’re at home is difficult… even for adults.

We’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.

So far, only a handful of secondary schools have implemented virtual days.

But it might not be long until your own child comes downstairs in her pajamas, laptop in hand, and says, “I’m ready for school!”

Your Turn: What do you think of student work-from-home days? Would you want your children to be able to work from home?

Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She also writes other stuff, like wine reviews and poems.

by Jamie Cattanach
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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