I've been watching the growing phenomenon of 'Virtual Schooling' for a few years now. It's a combination of home-schooling and traditional education. Students are home-based, but study online with accredited teachers through regular schools. They can mix-and-match their curricula to their needs and interests, and have professional help online, by telephone or through regular meetings when they need it.
I see it as the solution to many of the problems of home-schooling, where time and effort may be lacking, because it forced the students to adhere to a given timetable and be responsible to outside authorities. At the same time, it seems far better than the rigid, often over-secularized curricula and politically-correct agendas of many school systems. It may be the best (and avoid the worst) of both worlds. It costs a bit more than traditional home-schooling systems, but is far cheaper on a cost-per-student basis than most public school systems.
The indispensable Al Fin has just published a brief overview of the situation. He points out an advantage of 'virtual schooling' that I'd not thought about.
One interesting development in online education at college level, is the free access offering of selected Kaplan Higher Education courses as part of the Open Courseware Consortium. As the open courseware movement expands, options for free online learning will grow. And that should open the door for more independent certification organisations that can test and certify students for the benefit of potential employers and learning institutions.
College students can also use free online courses as preparation for challenging courses via test, or for taking knowledge assessment exams for college credit. Students could easily test out of a year or more of college using these free online courses.
There's more at the link.
If you have kids, or have friends who have kids, this is a very worthwhile educational option to explore, IMHO. I did two of my four University qualifications through distance education, back in the days when the World Wide Web wasn't a reality, and only paper- and telephone-based communications were possible. If I'd had this sort of online study assistance, those degrees would have been much more interesting and enjoyable, I think, and perhaps more rapidly completed too. If the Internet education revolution flows down to school level, I'm all in favor.