When you're choosing the educational opportunity that will work best for your child and your family, you want to be sure that you have all the information. Whether you've used traditional homeschooling in the past, but are beginning to wonder whether or not you have the ability to teach your child specific content as they get older, or you're ready to pull your child out of a traditional school setting and aren't sure if you want to home school or try online school, knowing what sets online home school opportunities apart will make it easier to make that important decision.
The Work Day
Home schooling: With a traditional home school setup, your work day takes place when you want to do the school work. If your child learns best in the evening, or with a schedule that's broken up to allow them more physical activity throughout the day, that's a snap with a traditional home schooling schedule. A child who has other responsibilities, from caring for other members of the family to sports and other goals, can easily manage schoolwork around those scheduling difficulties.
Online home schooling: Online home schooling also offers flexible scheduling opportunities that make it easy for your child to adhere to a schedule that suits their unique learning needs. With online schooling, however, there are some appointments that simply must take place during traditional school hours, which may limit your child's ability to schedule according to their needs alone. Online schooling may also take more time out of the day, particularly until your student gets used to the demands of the system.
Home schooling: When you traditionally home school your child, you and the people you choose to gather around you are the ones responsible for all of your child's learning. If your child needs help that you're unable to provide, you are responsible for finding an expert or tutor to help them work through those difficulties.
Online home schooling: The ready availability of teachers and other individuals to help is one of the biggest advantages of online schooling. When you choose online schooling for your child, you ensure that your child always has the opportunity to contact a variety of individuals who are able to help them reach their academic goals. They will also have the option of receiving instruction from those individuals on a regular basis, allowing them to deepen their learning.
Home schooling: Through traditional home schooling, you have full control over the materials that your child uses in their learning process. You're the one who selects the curriculum, determines what books your child is reading, and decides whether or not materials are developmentally appropriate for your child. The drawback, of course, is that you are also the one responsible for finding, selecting, and implementing specific types of curriculum for your child.
Online home schooling: Through online school, your child receives the materials that go along with the curriculum. These materials are just as varied as the ones that they would receive in a traditional classroom, from microscopes to examine items for biology classes to textbooks and workbooks that contain plenty of detailed information to help shape your child's educational journey.
Home schooling: Choosing to home school your child means that you take on full responsibility for their peer interactions. Most students of any age need the opportunity to act with others their own age and involve themselves in extracurricular activities. As a home schooling family, you may have more opportunities for that type of extracurricular interaction. Your student can participate in sports, work with local home schooling organizations, get involved with their church group, or participate in a variety of other opportunities.
Online home schooling: Online home schooling, in addition to allowing your child more freedom to participate in extracurricular activities with their peers, provides your child with controlled interactions with grade-level peers within the online classroom environment. These interactions are highly supervised and can easily be ended in the event of inappropriate or bullying behavior, which can be reassuring for children who have been the victim of bullies in the past. Enrolling your child in online school can be an excellent gateway to encouraging better peer interaction while still maintaining a safe environment.
Home schooling: When your child "graduates" from a traditional home school, they often do it without a diploma. This lack can limit them in the outside world, requiring them to take the GED test--which can make it difficult for them to get into some colleges or get certain types of jobs. While many home schooled students go on to make much of their future educations and careers, they lack some of the advantages of their traditionally educated peers.
Online home schooling: When your child graduates from an online home school, they receive a traditional diploma that's in no way different from the one issued by brick and mortar institutions. They will have received a state-recognized education that can open doorways for colleges, careers, scholarships, and more.
The decision to choose online home schooling for your child instead of traditional home schooling is a very personal one. Each family's journey to that choice is unique. By better understanding how home schooling, online schooling, and the associated opportunities of both can impact your child and their education, you can create better educational opportunities that will more effectively allow your child to take advantage of everything the world has to offer them.