Let’s talk about how technology has affected the homeschool movement, how it has driven homeschooling online, and how parents can benefit from it to plan their daily activities.
In other words, we are going to show you how to embrace the online world to boost your home school efforts and don’t get burnout in this joyful journey of taking your child’s education in your own hands.
First, we will outline online homeschooling, second we discuss how it works, then we provide an analysis of how technology has affected homeschooling, and lastly we show you how to take advantage of the online world.
Keep in mind that several year ago (maybe twenty year ago) the homeschool spectrum was very different from the one now on, in those days informational resources were more difficult to find, discouraging many to take the plunge into a new way of life.
Online Home schooling: An introduction
The homeschool movement is gaining steam year on year in the United States. It goes beyond any demographic or social/economical background as it has been widely adopted by households. This home based education approach is led by parents who decided to educate their children at home.
Creativity, flexibility and freedom of exploiting the child’s inner passion, may be few of the reasons for homeschooling. However, according to the National Education Research Institute, parents have different reasons to choose homeschool their children:
- Individualize learning, focusing on individual strengths.
- Achievement, homeschoolers sometimes accomplish more than traditional schools students.
- Better family relationships, by interacting in a daily basis with the family the relationship becomes stronger.
- Socialization with younger and elderly equally.
- Safety, reduce exposure to violence, drugs, alcohol, racism and others contemporary matters.
- Educate according to a particular set of beliefs (Religion or culture)
With the proliferation of the internet, the easy access and the wide adoption. Online learning resources for homeschoolers are growing at a fast pace. Today, there are more material to help parents – teachers to be better or complement their homeschool curriculum. Making homeschooling online a popular option to consider.
Although, finding the right homeschooling online learning resource for each household may take some experimentation, reading reviews or hands on experience. Remember every kid likes to learn in a different way.
From our point of view a simple definition for Online Homeschooling is: education led by parents at home, who takes advantage of the online world to improve their children experience and knowledge.
How does homeschooling online works?
At this point it is very important to make clear the difference between online schools and homeschooling with online resources.
First of all, online school is when you decide to take public school to your home.
Well, because when you do online school you need to follow all the government curriculum guidelines, you have someone else monitoring your child’s performance, children needs to comply with a timetable, and you have little input in this process.
But, if you decide to homeschooling online, you can get advantage of the online learning resources available to support your educational process. Here you have the control 100% of what your children do and how they should go forward.
Be aware, not because it is online learning at home, means it is homeschooling.
Now, there are parents who decided to jump to online school to give them a glance of what it is like having the children every day at home. Trying online schooling in the short run gives confidence and in the long run gives some experience, as many decide to go for homeschooling full time and leave all the public school rules behind.
Online school Vs Homeschool
Homeschooling with online resources
Technology and the internet has changed many industries and the way we all live. We also believe they have helped to develop the success of the homeschooling online movement.
The internet as the gathering information place it is, creates communities or niches among different topics. Homeschooling speaking, the internet has provided a space where many parents turn to get confidence, support and the important feeling of belonging to a group of people with same ideas, believes and thinking. People can get in touch easily with one another, scattering fear and doubt of trying out home school and see its benefits.
Nowadays, the internet is bursting with information, guides, wikis, social media and videos… that empowers parents to take the chance of starting homeschooling. As you can see, information is no longer a problem, in fact, the challenge is how parents apply all the information they find on the internet in pro of a better learning experience for their children.
Technology has not only brought homeschooling closer to society, it also helped parents to be more organized, be part of a community, get the encouragement to carry on and never desist in their attempt to embrace home school education.
Benefits of technology in homeschooling:
As we have been seen, technology and the internet has influence much in the adoption of homeschooling in the American households. Technology can complement, extend and engage the learning journey.
Here we are going to layout the benefits of using the online world and the technology to take advantage of home school based learning.
Online learning tools are convenient for your daily activities
One of the many benefits of online learning is the ability to choose what to study, when to study and from where to study.
Online learning programs are flexible to use on the go or while you are at home. Whereas you do the shopping, wait for the appointment or do some housework. It is also a very handy tool for homeschoolers on the road.
Custom to each child’s needs
Children can benefit from technological tools as they can easily be adapted to their specific needs and interests. If your software can’t be customize, you can find subject dedicated programs that specialize in specific subjects, or few subjects – such as: math and language arts. This allows parents to find a solution to a topic that may be having difficulties.
Interactivity and fun activities – increase engagement levels, keep children focused on the task and help to boost their confidence as they feel they are doing it all by themselves. The software will take them through every explanation, exercise or activity given.
Get your child prepare for the future
We live in a technology driven world and it’s crucial that kids get to known and to use technology. Computers and smartphones are going to be their working tool in the future.
A simple thing such as teach them how to use the Microsoft suite (Word, Excel and Power Point) and search correctly in the internet, will help your work to be easier at times and will help them in their future. Let them experiment, play and learn.
However, always keep an eye, safety should always come first.
Online educational software as complement for your homeschooling
To homeschooling online we believe the right approach is to have an online software as a complementary tool or aid to your teaching style. You should introduce the topic first before recurring to the program. Use it mainly for revising and practicing what you already explained them.
Remember that children cannot learn by relying on 100% in an online software. They need interaction and challenges to incentive their quick thinking.
Does homeschool promote creativity?
Yes, as long as you encourage creativity every day and in every opportunity. To be creative, children need to be exposed to unique situations, to problems that need solving. The objective is finding new ways of doing things, leaving behind the monotony and dull approach.
The environment where all this activities are taking place is also important. In one hand, at school, children have to be sitting and listening most of their school time, leaving little room for spontaneous expressions. In the other, homeschooling allows children to express what they think easily, as they have the time and the freedom to express themselves at any minute.
The above allow children to experiment and find the answers to the questions: who am I? and what are my passions? As a result, home school led education encourage children to flourish their creativity.
You should always let your child discover their talent, and support it.
In the following short TED video, the speaker stress the importance of creativity in educations as a foundation for the future. Children are not afraid to be wrong, but as they become adults they lose this capacity.
Now you may be asking:
What does creativity has to do with online resources ?
Online resources are based on activities for children to think, do and solve. Among the large pool of homeschooling online resources available these days, you can find different types of tools that goes with your children’ learning style.
By allowing children to practice on their own, you’ll help them to become more independent, and with independence comes creative thinking.
Independent kids likes to express their thinking and come up with their own ideas of how they should be doing something. This is a new topic, which we won’t be addressing here.
How can homeschoolers take advantage of the online world?
As previously said, by embracing a homeschool education at your household, you are the intellectual author of what your children learn and what they focus on. You are in charge of creating, choosing and teaching the curriculum. Also, you are the one supervising that the basics are covered, understood and learnt.
As a parent you have to juggle with a lot of stuff – educational and not educational related. That is why many of homeschool parents turns to the internet to get support or to support others.
You can use the online world to:
1. Be part of a community:
Homeschooling is a lifestyle many choose to follow, is a tribe that needs to be supported, heard and encouraged among themselves.
Online tools to embrace: Facebook groups, Forums and your favorite homeschool blog.
All the mentioned tools allows you to have a two way conversation with people that are more experience than you, solve your questions or get inspired by other people comments, writings or contribution.
Don’t forget you have to be always looking for new ways of doing everyday fun and enjoyable to keep children enthusiastic about learning.
2. Find local based organization that supports or have activities for homeschoolers:
For many homeschoolers socialization takes place in a regular basis. You as the parent needs to find out those spaces to keep updated for your child’s social life.
Online tools to embrace: The internet in general for research purposes.
Google search is the best tool to find all the activities going in your area. Keep an eye on museums, libraries and local parks. Don’t miss any important activity for your children.
3. Inspired yourself and have access to information:
Sometimes you can struggle to be original, to create new activities or to introduce a new topic to your children. By looking at the right place you can find a lot of healthy information for you to adopt and take action on.
Online Tools to embrace: Pinterest, blogs of homeschool mums/dads and YouTube
In general, social media will help you to discover new activities. Pinterest and Instagram are social platforms driven by images. In YouTube you can see step by step how to create something from scratch. That is why YouTube is the second largest search engine today.
Also, there are many blogs in the homeschool industry. Choose those ones that best resonate with your way of homeschooling.
We are all unique and original parents striving for our children’ education.
4. Ally with an educational online software:
You as the parent also needs support, by allying yourself with an online learning software you will be:
1. Complementing your homeschool curriculum, as you can tackle here those subjects that you might not be an expert in.
2. Comply with all the topics for the standardized state test.
3. Keep your child’s interest with fun activities, which have been developed by professionals
Online tool to embrace: LearnAlly
1. Performance tracker: you need to supervise you child, to know what is working and what needs improving.
2. Ease of use: it is important for your children to be comfortable while operating it. Also, you also needs to be comfortable using it.
3. Feedback: your child needs to know immediately if their answer is right or wrong and the respective reason.
As a conclusion, homeschooling has been changing the way we educate our children, empowering us to be the intellectual author of our own creation (Literally speaking).
Likeewise, homeschooling online has been leveraged by technology and the internet, which at the same time motivate us to undertake this amazing journey. Enabling us to read, share each other histories and incentivize children’s creative side.
Moreover, the online world has created tools that support our educational efforts.
You can connect with us over on Twitter: @learnally
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