Sunday, May 5, 2013

Taking a Look at Online Homeschool Programs

Online home school programs are growing in popularity and with good reason. I think it's partly due to the fact that colleges and universities have had great success with offering college courses online. I'd like to think that it is partly because of homeschooling mommies who've said, we want the best for our children's education at every level.

Still though, it's no wonder that these same institutions are now offering online courses like the one offered for homeschoolers by  Liberty University. Some online offerings begin as early as kindergarten and others start at 3rd grade and then there are those that only offer high school online learning.


In my own happenings about, I have come into contact with several parents through our co-op, our small group and online who draw the line at homeschooling their high school children. It is at that point that they have turned to either a hybrid school or flex school to help with transcripts and course or credit requirements or; they turn to online homeschool programs.

I've researched a few of the online programs being offered. K12 online was a program that a friend of mine tried and another friend is considering for her kindergartener. My advice to her was that most home school parents are passionate about being their child's teacher and providing a biblical perspective to their child or children's educational experience. I was honest though and told her that it would definitely make her job easier in that there's no searching for a home school curriculum and your lesson plans are already done for you.

That has to be one of the greatest appeals of online homeschooling; lesson plans are done and no searching for curriculum (well that's two, but you get my drift) :). I'd say that those two items may be the least enjoyable part of homeschooling for some moms. To me, teaching, is what is fun, exciting and rewarding. However, I know that I have my detractors where that is concerned also.

For instance, last month I was talking with a parent at my daughter's ballet class who uses the Abeka Academy for her 4th grader. She loves the fact that he has videos to pop into the dvd player or laptop that gives instructions on which books to use for the lessons for the day and teaching instructions for the material he has to learn. The Jubilee Academy offers similar benefits with their online homeschool and virtual school. She's thrilled that her program of choice frees her up so that she can give her 5 year old a good educational foundation. This mom also works full time while homeschooling both kids. I can definitely understand her draw to have assistance in her home school by using an online home school program.

At the end of the day...and this post coincidentally...it still is choosing what is right and best for your teaching style, your child's learning stye and your lifestyle. These types of programs are making it easier and easier for parents of ALL types to home school their children if they desire to do so.

One of my favorite articles on parents being "able" to homeschool was written by Mary Prather at Homegrown Learners called  Stop Telling Me Why You Can't Homeschool. Check it out!

As always, thanks for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts on alternative homeschooling methods.

Stephanie.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on online homeschooling. We are at the very beginning of our homeschooling journey (considering options), so this is helpful!

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    1. Yes Shaunna a super great benefit to homeschooling is the flexibility in being able to test for different methods in order to find what works for your family...or not.

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  2. I absolutely couldn't agree more. At the end of the day it's what works for each family- but I also agree that there are definitely pros and cons to each choice. We just have to weigh our options. Good post!

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  3. I can tell you that my kids would LOVE to do all their school on a computer, but I am not so keen on it. I don't like the idea of them staring at a screen that long. I don't like the ease of computer work (as opposed to having to creatively think about each bit of that you need to do). We have used 'computer school' (as my kids call it), and I'm fine with it as a supplement, but for young kids, I'd be wary of making it their full curriculum. There are definitely pros and cons of each choice, like the lady above said!

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    1. Well said Amy...I agree completely!

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  4. We have used lots of different modes of learning and online has been one of them. We used Time4Learning for about four years and really loved it. We have used a charter school, K-12, and hated it.

    I hear lots of people say they don't want their child in front of a computer all day. In reality, daily online lessons don't take that long, and there are usually hands-on activities included. Using things like Teaching Textbooks and Kahn Academy (we use both) also require sitting in front of a computer, but the results are worth it for my student.

    Let's face it, our world is a techy world these days. College kids sit in class with a laptop right on the desk. College kids and lots of adults take online classes. Workers take online classes to advance in their career. I am not sure we can get away from it.

    If computer time is something you are concerned with, maybe do the computer lessons every other day. Do the supplemental lessons the days you don't use the computer.

    Joyfully,
    Jackie

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    1. Wow! Thank you Jackie for taking the time leave such an insightful comment! I love it! I am an online college student right now and I LOVE it! I don't know if I was ever made for the classroom. LOL!

      Thanks for sharing your experience with online learning for your students.

      I tend to be old fashion and prefer my kids to be outside, running and jumping, and yelling; I also enjoy them taking their bikes and scooters for a spin around the block.

      However, I am no fool, we are in a techy world and to keep them away from such tools as laptops, electronic readers, and the like would be a most tragic blow dealt to them considering the type of environment we live in today.

      Thanks again and please do stop by often!

      Stephanie

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  5. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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