Many parents, in the present times, are seeking out alternative education options. The number of students who are homeschooled is showing a constant rise.
In most cases, the terms homeschooling and online schooling are used interchangeably. However, there are striking differences between the two modes of education. In the case of homeschooling, the parent is the teacher. He is usually in charge of finding the curriculum. On the other hand, an online school supplies the teachers and curriculum. Parents can intervene in their child’s education as well. It completely depends on them as to how much time they want to devote. Parental intervention is not a must in the latter.
At the time of choosing between homeschooling and online school, one needs to take many factors into consideration. These include the unique needs and circumstances of the child. There are certain very clear benefits to attending an online school, from an overall perspective. After all, it reduces a lot of load on the parents.
What are the basic differences between homeschooling and online education?
Involvement of teachers
In the case of homeschooling, parents are in charge of teaching all material to their kids. This can be pretty taxing on part of the parents. It is more so if the parent is not particularly well-versed in certain subjects. On the contrary, in an online school, state-certified teachers are employed to provide instruction as well as guidance and support.
Teachers can be available via online class sessions, phone, email, one-on-one tutoring and by multiple other means. Also, the pre-designed curriculum is provided that are pretty much customizable as per the student needs. Most of the online schools work on the thought process that each student has unique learning needs.
Pre-set curriculum provided
In the case of homeschooling, parents need to research to find the right curriculum for their child. They need to take up the task of making up their own schedule and lesson plans. They also need to make sure that they meet national and state standards. Usually, an online school comes with its own curriculum. It is approved by the state in general. The lesson plans are provided as well. These offer good structure to students’ learning, from an overall perspective. Many accredited online schools also provide hands-on materials to enable students to experience better learning.
Ways of testing
In the case of homeschooling, parents are responsible for researching state and national testing standards. This is mainly to ensure that their child complies. On the other hand, online school students need to take the same state assessments as their conventional counterparts.
Ways of socialization
Most of the homeschooling parents can take it upon themselves to make sure their children socialize well. They arrange various activities and get-togethers or events to ensure that their children interact well with their peers. The online schools usually provide structured socialization opportunities to give way to an effective form of socialization. Certain online schools create clubs and opportunities to volunteer or go for field trips to facilitate students to socialize meaningfully. Thus, online schools provide multiple ways to socialize. Children need to avail these various opportunities.
Most of the homeschool families come from many various belief systems. This pretty much impacts their educational choices as well.
Homeschools and online schools can be good options for:
Students with logistical challenges
Many students, who belong to military families, have no other option but to relocate every now and then. This form of personalized and self-paced alternate mode of education helps them to carry on with their courses seamlessly.
Student-athletes and young artists
There are many young artists or athletes who have extensive training and travel demands. Homeschooling and online schooling help them immensely by making education accessible to them. The best part is that they can study anytime and from anywhere, as long as they have a laptop and an internet connection. Thus, they are able to juggle multiple other tasks along with their courses. They do not have to be physically present at a particular place to take classes.
Students living in desolate areas
There are some students who live in highly rural or desolate areas. They might even find it difficult to come out of their homes certain times due to bad weather. Thus, online learning, as well as homeschooling, can meet their educational needs.
Children with special needs and disabled children
There are certain students with some form of learning, mental, behavioral and physical challenges. They may not thrive in traditional special education programs. Certain medical conditions also require special monitoring, equipment, and therapies that make attending school difficult. In fact, online homeschooling programs allow parents to maximize individualized instruction and support. These include smart adaptive technologies.
There are many advanced learners who get demoralized since they are forced to follow the generalized pace in a conventional classroom setting. Many gifted children fall behind in school, even when filtered into gifted programs. Some of these children need more freedom. This is where the alternate forms of education score well.
Why go for online homeschooling programs?
Such programs can be customized to fulfill the needs of kinesthetic, visual and auditory learners. Such online homeschooling resources are getting popular day by day.
Online schooling is a supplementary form of homeschooling. It can be a great option for homeschooled students. It provides homeschooling students with flexibility, an opportunity for independent learning, and freedom to customize the curriculum.
Such virtual programs help homeschooled high school students be a part of a healthy online learning community. Choosing the right course is important here as it connects the student with classmates, instructors, and a community of other learners.
Students must try taking courses that employ project-based learning. This way they can collaborate with their classmates in the most effective ways. It gives way to the creation of accessibility to new materials, curricula, and ideas. All of these together give way to a wholesome learning experience.
It is a fact that not all families are cut out for online education. Thus, it is crucial for parents and children to research both homeschooling and online schools before making a decision.