Choosing Online Homeschooling Options For Your Students- Pt. 1

online-homeschool

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If you’re like some parents, online homeschooling is a reputable choice for many different reasons.

  • maybe you like to be hands-off with teaching subjects and record-keeping
  • perhaps having the added benefit of online instructors gives you a measure of security about your student’s education
  • maybe you have a student (as I do) who prefers independent study online at a self-directed pace

Although we enjoy using Sonlight (amongst several other workbooks and hands-on curricula options), as my daughter finishes up 6th grade this year we’ve discovered that online homeschooling may be a viable choice for her in the years to come- especially as we enter high school in a few years.  I am seriously considering tacking on a few online classes each year for subjects such as math and science.

What are the benefits of cyberschooling?  What are the downfalls? 

In this post, my goal is to keep an open-minded presentation about the different schools and what they offer.  I’ll present this to you in a way that is free of opinion, because I don’t believe it is my (or any other homeschool parent’s) right to influence a decision for your family.

Homeschooling comes in various shapes and forms and different seasons of our lives calls for different solutions.  So, first off- here are some pros and cons of online homeschooling, including cyberschools:

Pros and Cons of Online Homeschooling & Cyberschools

Pros of Online Homeschooling:

  • If a faith-based program is important to you, you can rest assure that the majority of what is being taught (in a religious school) probably lines up with your spiritual convictions.
  • As with online schools in general, the material is already selected for you.  All your child has to do is log in and get to work.
  • You might have access to both a child portal and a teacher portal, making it easy for you to keep up with your child’s progress and grades.
  • In many public virtual schools, tax payer dollars support and allow the school to ship out educational materials to families for free- including text books, school supplies, and in some cases, a computer and printer.
  • Some parents embrace and benefit from having  teacher support on particular subjects.  Many online homeschools offer this in the form of live, virtual classes and private teacher meet-ups.
  • If a child loves lots of discussion with peers, virtual clubs, and participating in events like virtual spelling bees or art competitions, many online schools offer these options.
  • Many cyberschools offer “booster” clubs where kids can meet in-person through academic events and fun fieldtrips.

Cons of Online Homeschooling:

  • If you are looking for a specific faith-based influence on your child’s education, a non-sectarian program will not offer that.
  • You don’t choose the curriculum- the school does.  So, if you prefer a particular math or language arts program, you’ll need to place that on the backburner.  The school chooses the curriculum.
  • Typically, the freedom to create your own schedule gets juggled around as your child needs to meet with online teachers, and in some cases, attend live classes.
  • There can be more rigidity in your child’s daily school schedule, depending, of course, on the school’s attendance policies.
  • If you’re using a public charter or cyberschool, all the materials you receive “for free”, are really not yours to keep in most cases.  You must return them at the end of the school year and keep them in good condition.
  • As kids get older, there is often a need to spend more time on the computer to finish up school work while the amount of school work will increase.
  • School work usually takes longer to complete since subject areas are not blended.
  • If you’re an independent type who doesn’t like the idea of “checking in” with anyone else, having a certified teacher to check in with every so often might not be so high on your list of favorite things.

So I’ve been doing my research.  Which schools should I consider?  What do online schools offer?  How can I select a program that is just right for my child?

In another post, I’m going to provide a list of a few non-sectarian cyberschools to consider- then I will follow up with faith-based online schools as well as public charter schools.

Again, I’m only here to provide information- but do your own research, of course, and make the decisions that are best for your family.  Be blessed in your homeschooling endeavors!

Read the entire series:

 

About Demetria Zinga

I'm a web success strategy coach and podcast consultant who enjoys helping female entrepreneurs and mompreneurs find success with online business. When I'm not producing my Web Success Strategies Podcast, I also run an encouragement blog for homeschooling moms of faith.

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