Article October 18, 2022
How online learning fosters curiosity and self-directed learning
David and Jane have 13-year-old twins: son William, and daughter Mary*. While living in Singapore, they discovered King’s InterHigh after searching for a better learning experience for their son. Now in Australia, William continues to attend school online. This proved to suit his learning style well during the Covid-19 pandemic, with his engagement and grades rising.
David says online learning is great for children who wish to further explore the topics that interest them outside of the classroom. He also says he and William spend more time together now than when he used to attend physical school.
*Names have been changed to respect parents’ and learners’ privacy.
Mary still attends physical school during daytime hours, and Jane works a 9 – 5 office job. William’s day doesn’t start until 5:30pm, and finishes at around 1am. David works similar hours from home. “We’re night owls, and that works for us,” he explains. With free time in the morning, William can pursue his hobbies. This includes playing computer games and teaching himself how to code.
If it’s not raining, they’ll go out for a walk or head down to the beach before school and work begin. For David, this has been great. “I’m spending more time with William now than when he was in the physical school,” he says.
“Me and William now spend more time together than when he was in physical school. “When he's got his lunch break, he’ll come over to me and say, ‘Have you got some time?’”
“When he’s got his lunch break, he’ll come over to me and say, ‘Have you got some time?’ And we’ll go watch an episode of Band of Brothers or something.” He also notes William is becoming more interested in war history.
We asked David about King’s InterHigh’s parent portal, which lets parents see what their children are getting up to in the classroom and the homework they’ve been assigned. He says the new design makes it easy to use, and the online team respond to questions painlessly. “You never feel like you’re asking a stupid question. If there’s an issue, they’ll fix it.”
Learning After Hours
David says online learning benefits children who are self-directed, as they can explore topics they like after class on their own. William has become keen on English history. He’ll spend hours after his history classes researching Henry VIII, the Tudors and the Wars of the Roses.
This goes beyond what he’s learning at school, which David thinks is great for his curiosity. “He’ll ask us all these questions like ‘If you were living in this period with Henry VIII, would you rather…’ it’s so pleasing to see.”
What perks are there for David and Jane? He says not having to wash and iron uniforms, or rush around in the morning trying to get the kids out the door. That takes the stress out of the day. “That was probably the most stressful moment of the day for us,” he explains. “Now, that’s over.”
“Getting the kids out the door on-time was probably the most stressful moment of the day for us. Now, that’s over.”
This new system also benefits David’s working life. “I work from home most of the time and I spend my days working things out and writing emails, so it doesn’t matter where I am.”
And what does the future hold for William? He wants to do a PhD in Physics at Oxford University. “Physics is a tough one, it’s probably the toughest of all the sciences,” thinks David. But William definitely has the brain for it.
For the Curious and Self-driven
We finish by asking what advice David has for parents and learners considering King’s InterHigh. He says everyone has different learning styles, and that physical school works well for Mary.
Online learning, however, allows William to use his curiosity to go beyond what’s taught in the classroom. And at the end of the day, that’s who should consider online education and King’s InterHigh. “It’s for anyone who’s curious and self-driven. It works really well for those kinds of people.”
“Online learning is for anyone who’s curious and self-driven. It works really well for those kinds of people.”