“Training to be an Olympic gymnast means spending hours on practice without sacrificing my grades. Bridgeway Academy worked with me and my family to create a flexible homeschool schedule. That takes off a lot of pressure and my grades have never been better!”
Amber, 12th grade
Home Education is taking the country by storm
As more and more parents are turning to home education as their chosen mode for educating their children, museums, fine arts centers, and businesses are realizing the need to cater programs to home education.
In fact, with the growth and development of technology, home education is taking many different forms.
From the traditional method of textbooks and workbooks, home education now encompasses:
- online education
- project oriented education
- early childhood education
- classical education
- and much more.
Some home educators teach their children through unit studies where a focus on the Civil War might include projects to cover grammar and writing, math, science discoveries and scientists, history and Bible. Other home educators choose to teach a group of students close in age the same material and simply require more advanced responses and projects from the older students. This is especially popular in science and social studies where topics are generally repeated year after year anyway. Still other home educators choose to use online instruction to provide a combination of lecture and interaction to their program. And there are those home educators who love the “unschooling” approach, where they allow their children to determine what and when they study different concepts and find that when a student is interested in learning something, he is more apt to dig deep into the learning process.
But even with all of the different approaches to home education, the facts are undeniable. Home education is on the rise, home educated students are statistically more successful academically than their public school counterparts, and colleges and universities recognize home educated students as successful, motivated, and self-directed.
And with that recognition comes the growth of college level online home education—Dual Enrollment—where students take college courses for both high school and college credit. A pioneer in online dual enrollment is Bridgeway Homeschool Academy, whose home education program helps students earn college credits as juniors and seniors (and exceptional sophomores). In fact, in some cases home education has helped Bridgeway graduates complete high school with an associate degree already under their belt.
With this expansion of home education, many organizations are finding ways to reach out to the home education community. Museums offer special programs during the school day where students involved in home education can take part in classes, obtain discount memberships or take advantage of programs once reserved for school groups. Athletic training centers offer special home education classes in areas like gymnastics, ice skating, skiing and snowboarding, horseback riding, and much more. And fine arts organizations are finding ways to reach out to the home education community as well with morning and afternoon art classes, drama, music lessons, theatre programs, band training, voice, and other specialized areas.
Home education, defined as distance education at the college and university level is now such an accepted option that the
National Center for Education Statistics reported that more than
67% of students enrolled in a 2 or 4 year college or university
were enrolled in a home education program (distance learning).
With the growth at the college and university level and the continuing development of technology, we can project that education as a whole needs to change in order to succeed.
Home Education via e-learning can be defined as the delivery of education through applications and processes such as:
- web-based learning
- computer-based learning
- virtual classrooms
- digital collaboration
It includes the delivery of the home education content via the internet/extranet, audio and video, satellite broadcast, interactive TV and CD-ROM. It is beginning to define the education of the future.
With the shift from the perception of home schooling as a religious movement to home education as a serious and more advanced method of training our children, home education is growing in popularity. No longer do advanced students need to wait for an entire classroom to catch up before moving on to new concepts; no longer do struggling students need to get lost in the shuffle as classes move on before they have mastered the current material, and no longer do parents need to give their children over to a failing school system.
With so many options in home education, parents can now cater their teaching to the specific needs of their child. Whether they need a pencil and paper approach or a fully online program, there are alternatives for parents seeking a better education for their child.
Companies specializing in home education include Bridgeway Academy, a fully individualized home education program offering all different approaches to home education. Parents can opt to take on the role of teacher and teach from carefully laid out lesson plans or as partner and work beside their student throughout the learning process. Parents may also take the role of facilitator and register their children for a fully online home education program.
They may opt to start their home education journey in pre-school, elementary school, middle school or high school. They may opt to take advantage of online classes or dual enrollment options, allowing their child to get a head start on college. Or they may opt to work slowly to ensure that their child truly masters what he or she is learning and is fully prepared to succeed at higher levels of study.
No matter the approach, home education is proving to the world that children can succeed outside of the traditional classroom. Home education works. And that is reason to ensure that home education continues to grow and evolve with the development of technology.