Online and home-schooled students start a new school year

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — While many prepare to head back to the traditional “brick and mortar” schools, they aren’t the only ones starting a new school year. Some students attend school wherever they have internet access.

Corbin Hyde is entering the 3rd grade and dreams of being a pediatric surgeon. With big dream comes a lot of learning, but he is taught outside of a traditional classroom. Because of health issues, he’s homeschooled.

Corbin’s mother Laura Hyde says in a traditional school, it can be difficult to check out students for doctor’s appointments and call out when sick. “With Corbin constantly being sick, this really helps him not to miss out on school and not to miss any lessons,” says Laura.

They use a system called Alabama Connections Academy which is a free, online public school for students in grades K-12.

Even with the school being held online, Corbin is still taught by live teachers, with other live students.

“As soon as the teacher is done teaching the lesson, she goes and breaks off into breakout rooms, and then she allows them to mingle and talk about their day or their weekend,” says Laura. “They also have field trips every single month that these groups meet up with.”

Corbin says when he turns in papers at the end of the year, he gets to see some of his teachers then as well.

Like many home school families, the Hyde family gets a lot of questions. Laura says she gets asked how students can learn without being inside of a classroom.

“I have to explain to them: he learns just as much as your child does,” she says.

Corbin says his favorite thing about online school is getting to sleep in later and play outside more.

Since Alabama Connections Academy is an accredited public school, students receive real textbooks and other learning materials, like science kits and P.E. equipment at no cost.

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