Homeschooling online provides a welcome solution with many benefits for busy families. Students can school anywhere, work on assignments, ask questions, and get answers with a simple click of a mouse.
As a home educator of both (graduated) high school students and young children, it was often difficult for me to meet the needs of my teens, while schooling my younger children.
My younger two took up much of my time, so my older children would work on their lessons independently.
Because I didn't actually teach my high schoolers their lessons each day, at times, it got hard for me to help them when problems arose. I wasn't exactly sure when or where the problem started, and with busy little ones, I often didn't have adequate time to refresh my memory on certain subjects, let alone think straight!
Although my teens took many high school classes at a co-op, not all the classes we needed help with, were offered.
If you're like me, you may not have the time to run your kids here and there for classes; many of us don't have the extra money for expensive tutoring programs either. Your student might not even really need a tutor, just more one-on-one attention than you can provide.
Like our family, homeschooling online - at least for some subjects, may be the perfect solution for you.
If you want to take your younger children on a field trip, or go on spontaneous vacation, older students can continue on in their studies, with minimal disruption.
One semester, my daughter took a college-level course online. Taking an online college course allowed us to let our daughter, who was fourteen at the time, get college credit off-campus, and it didn't disrupt our family-life, since she was too young to drive herself to class. She could complete her assignments around our family's schedule, and her other responsibilities and activities.
At anytime, you can log-in to your child's account to see where they are in their lessons, if they are on track, and if they are experiencing any problems. Depending on the program you use, you may or may not need to mark tests or other work.
The college course my daughter took did not require me to mark tests, however, the Algebra course through another company did, but it was very easy to do. Since most of her work was completed online, marking a written test allowed me to look at her work and evaluate how she was doing.
Online courses vary in cost. Typically, you purchase a course that will be completed by your student during the school year. Some companies, however, offer flexible payment and access options, like: one, three, six, or twelve-month subscriptions. If you have a very motivated (and thrifty-minded) student, and if the company offers it, consider a month-to-month subscription. The quicker you complete the course, the less you pay - a great incentive to save money!
Also, sometimes companies allow multiple children in the same family to access the same course - another money saving perk!
Although online courses may cost a little more than traditional curriculum, the time-saving benefits are definitely worth the monetary difference.
Homeschooling online eliminates... okay, minimizes... the childhood struggle of losing one's work after lessons. After every (traditional) lesson, I have my children put all their things (books, notebooks, writing utensils, etc.) away; each time reminding them to put everything in the correct place. Even with that, my children (teens included) often misplace their previous day's work, their notebook, etc. Sometimes things just get lost in the daily shuffle of transitioning from the kitchen-table classroom, to the kitchen-table dining room. Such is the struggle of a homeschooling family, right?
Another time-saving bonus for our family when homeschooling online was not having to drive across town to take our older children to classes during the week; one less disruption for our already busy family, less wear and tear on our family vehicle, AND we saved on gas too!
As I mentioned above, many courses and programs offer some level of teacher support services; many are included in the cost of the course. If your child struggles a lot with a specific subject, or you have teens taking advanced high school courses, teacher support is a welcome, and valued benefit.
However, with some programs, you will need to pay extra for teacher services including, support, grading, one-on-one help, report cards, and transcripts. Make sure you always read "the fine print" to know exactly what services are included and what services aren't.
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