by Ashley Dart
Today, more and more families choose to home school their kids (yes, we're growing in number). Parents have different reasons for doing this - social issues, lack of confidence in traditional school system or the need to meet specific needs of their children through one-on-one teaching.
There are many traditional forms of homeschooling. We're familiar with the eclectic style, which combines various homeschooling techniques into one. Then, there's the unschooling method which has no fixed curriculum. There are also many parents who still depend on distance education.
Homeschooling has indeed developed. Homeschoolers now have a number of educational options, including online classes. However, this resource seems to be overlooked because it's quite new, and many parents still doubt if the Internet can really help students learn.
Here are ways on how a homeschooler can make use of online classes.
1. To learn complicated subjects. It's easy to learn basic topics while at home. Anyone can teach you elementary math or grade school English. But things get complicated when you get older. Math is no longer as easy as 1,2,3 and grammar rules can really be a pain.This is where online classes step in. There are many organizations and schools that take classes online for particular subjects. Some of the subjects that you can take online classes for are physics, geometry and algebra. There are also online English classes to develop writing, sentence structure and grammar. You can still continue your usual form of homeschooling; online classes will just supplement it.
2. To assist the parents. It's not only students who can benefit from online classes. They can actually help parents with teaching. There are topics that neither Mom nor Dad is confident to teach. This can be because they don't know the topic very well, or they don't know how to teach it. Online instructors differ in their teaching methods. An instructor's technique might just be the help a student needs to absorb something he or she has been trying to learn at home. For example, an online instructor can actually give you a tip on how to solve those algebraic expressions faster. There are also tests that students can take to help parents decide if the homeschool program is working well. Online classes also give parents a chance to discuss how students are doing in 'class' (something like an online parent-teacher conference).
3. To develop self-reliance. One of the downsides of homeschooling is that students can be very dependent. Mom or Dad is there to remind them to do their 'homework' or to review for an upcoming test. This is not a good thing especially for older students. When homeschoolers take online classes, they can self-direct their learning, which teaches them time management and responsibility. This is also great training for college.
Ashley Dart is a 16-year old homeschooler. She is also a blogger and plans to take up Creative Writing when she goes to college.