So, you’re considering online homeschool programs. Good choice! Online homeschooling is a great way to keep your child fully engaged without having to teach everything yourself. But, choosing an online homeschool can be scary, especially if you’re not already in the homeschool world. Should you take live online classes or pre-recorded videos as lessons? How long will your child be at the computer each day? Is online school really as effective as traditional methods? If you’re trying your hand at online homeschooling, read on to find out what you need to know when choosing the best online homeschool program.
Though you may be unfamiliar with them, online homeschool programs have been around for a while.
Because the benefits are great! The Internet has blown the world of knowledge and learning wide open. So, it’s no wonder that homeschooling (which grows every year) has gone online. Online homeschool can provide your child with an engaging, interactive, and challenging homeschool experience without you having to do all of the teaching and grading. You’ll get instant feedback on your child’s progress and have the latest and greatest topics and classes to choose from (Literature through Lord of the Rings Series, yes please!). And, the mixture of visual and auditory learning has been shown to increase both engagement and academic retention. But, choosing an online homeschool program can be tricky, and all is not as it seems.
Here are the 5 things you need to know when choosing an online homeschool program that will best fit your needs.
- Online homeschool programs present a huge switch from tactile, book programs. Your child is used to working with a textbook, workbook, and manipulatives in the classroom. So, you may want to take it slowly. It’s OK to choose just one online homeschool course to start with to get used to the platform and the program. Another option is to find an all-in-one homeschool program that allows you to mix and match traditional curriculum and online homeschool classes until you’re fully comfortable with the platform and online learning. Best yet, choose an online homeschool class that includes written materials that will keep your child on track and allow you to monitor progress and help with studying.
- Online homeschool programs don’t always include record-keeping and support. If you’re homeschooling for the first time, be aware that not all programs include your grades and transcripts. If you’re used to doing this on your own, awesome! But if not, you’ll need to choose a program that includes record-keeping and a transcript that ensures your child can transition into college or a traditional school with no problems.
- Online homeschooling can be isolating. Your child is used to working around and with others if you’re just transitioning from traditional school settings. You’ll need to find an online program that includes interaction with both a teacher and other students. This is especially important if your child is a social butterfly. Look for an online program that allows for student collaboration and offers live classes or opportunities for students to meet and work with one another. If you want some Live Online options, check these out!
- Online homeschooling can lead to students falling behind. This typically happens because a student is left to his or her own devices, which usually means watching thousands of YouTube videos all day instead of doing geography. How do you ensure that your child is learning online and making progress? The best online homeschool programs have advisors or teachers that follow your student throughout the year and answer questions, motivate him or her to keep going, and help guide pacing to ensure you stay on track.
- Online homeschool programs can be expensive. Because of the price tag that comes with online learning, you’ll need to do your homework. The best online programs will include pacing, advising, record-keeping, and some sort of paper or printable guides. Don’t settle for less than this when spending your money on online homeschool programs.
If you’re ready to homeschool online, don’t waste time and money without knowing what’s most important. Remember, now that you’re homeschooling, you’re the captain of your child’s education. Right your ship and set sail on an amazing educational adventure with the right coordinates.
Stay tuned for our next post in our online homeschool series: Online High School Programs!