Online Learning and Home Schooling

Online Learning and Home Schooling

Not long ago, parents who chose to educate their children at home were responsible for purchasing textbooks and teaching all subject matter. Thanks to the Internet, however, the process of home schooling is rapidly changing, and students can now learn from schoolteachers near and far, and count as their classmates children from all over the world.

At least a quarter million home-schooled students in the United States are now incorporating distance learning into their education: expect that number to grow throughout this decade. Using online learning, parents may select each of their child’s teachers – something they can’t do in either public or private schools – and customize lesson plans to suit their child’s needs.

The first thing to do if you want to provide your children with distance learning is go to the department of education website that your home state has set up. If you don’t find anything relevant there, try looking at reputable websites that offer home schooling resources. Such sites will give you the names of e-teachers across the country, though you may have to pay a modest fee to employ the services of a teacher who doesn’t live near you.

Once you’ve put together a list of accredited teachers, you might email a number of them for more information on their classroom (so to speak) expectations, their qualifications and their teaching styles. Don’t be afraid to ask for sample lesson plans or syllabi, or for references. Testimonials from satisfied parents can be persuasive.

The combination of home schooling and e-learning offers families a great degree of flexibility. Your child might have a math teacher from Wyoming and an English teacher from New Hampshire. Or you could choose to teach math yourself if that’s your strong suit and have a distance learning teacher instruct your child in history. And if your child doesn’t take well to a certain online teacher, you can simply turn off your computer and teach that course for the rest of the school year. (And haven’t we all had a teacher we wished would just disappear like that?)  

Better still, if you happen to live near one of your child’s educators, that teacher may host a group of distance learning students for field trips or other hands-on learning activities. These events can become opportunities for your child to meet other home-schooled children, and for you to meet other home-schooling parents as well.

Online learning market place

Apr 27, 2012