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What Is An Online Homeschool?

Instructor: Dylan Ward
Are you thinking about homeschooling? Are you uncertain how you can use online resources to homeschool? Keep reading to learn what online homeschooling is and the benefits of using it for your homeschooling needs.

What Is Online Homeschooling?

Online homeschooling, or online homeschool, is simply a homeschool that is managed and conducted with online resources. The accessibility of online resources today allows more parents to choose this method of homeschooling. Here, homeschooling relies on experts for developing much of the curriculum, which lessens the burden on a parent as sole instructor.

Online Homeschool vs. Online School

Getting right down to it, it's important not to confuse online homeschooling with online schools. Online schools, also known as virtual schools, provide alternative education options from traditional classrooms in brick and mortar schools. With online schools, teachers manage and conduct a structured curriculum to educate your child. They may rely on you as the parent to collaborate on your child's virtual education, but it is largely handled by the teacher.

Online homeschooling, while also virtual, uses a choice online curriculum for your homeschool, but you are still teaching your child with help from subject matter experts for various subjects. There are several online homeschooling programs out there to choose from when beginning an online homeschool.

Advantages of Online Homeschooling

With online homeschooling, you can take your homeschool literally anywhere, which offers greater flexibility to fit your child's education around your family's daily schedule. Access to digital resources also eliminates paper-based materials, which can become outdated over time, cumbersome to keep up with, and may be more costly in the long term.

Disadvantages of Online Homeschooling

While the benefits of online homeschools make them attractive to families, there are also disadvantages to consider as well. These include limited social interaction with other peers, increased use of computers and screen time, and less opportunities for physical movement. These potential disadvantages are just some things to keep in mind and may require creativity to balance out the benefits with the drawbacks.

How Do I Choose a Program and Curriculum?

You will need to do a little research and choose what kind of curriculum you are going to implement for your online homeschool. This choice is one of the first and most important aspects of starting your online homeschool. Different curricula can focus on different approaches to education. Curriculum options to choose from include classical education, Montessori, biblical, or eclectic.

Here are some other factors to consider with online homeschool programs:

  • What grade level(s) is the program suitable for?
  • What course subjects are included?
  • Does the program provide self-paced or live instruction?
  • How much does it cost?
  • How easy is the program to use?
  • What, if any, materials are included?

Homeschool Laws

Though you may be educating your child from the comfort of your home, many states have laws and requirements that must be adhered to in order to quantify your child's homeschool education. Before you begin setting up an online homeschool, research and familiarize yourself with homeschool laws and regulations for each state.

Getting Started with Online Homeschool

Study.com offers everything you need to get started with your online homeschool. Courses provide comprehensive grade coverage, especially for middle and high school, and content is presented through engaging video lessons and text lessons. You can also take advantage of online assessments to track your student's progress and get direct access to expert instructors through a question and answer feature. Learn how you can create a Personalized Online Homeschool for Your Child or explore the Complete Homeschool Curriculum to get started.

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