Online homeschool just might be the future of education. Homeschool has continuously evolved over the past several decades. Don’t expect that to stop now. In fact, the popularity of online homeschool has been growing for years now and recently exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s experimental Household Pulse Survey, there has been a substantial increase in homeschooling since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey is the first data source to offer both a national and state-level look at the impact of COVID-19 on homeschooling rates. The findings are rather interesting. Here’s what was discovered.
At the end of April 2020, 5.4% of U.S. households with school-aged children reported homeschooling their children. A few months later, at the end of September, that number had grown to 11.1%. The homeschooling number doubled. (This does not count students attending public school virtually due to the pandemic). This study shows that families are searching for new and improved ways to educate their children. Especially methods that are reliable and meet the health and safety needs of their kids.
For a large part of these families, online homeschool is the education of choice. And it makes sense. Here are a few reasons why.
Every student is a unique person with unique needs and unique abilities. So it makes sense that for a lot of students, a unique and personalized way of learning is the best option.
With online homeschool, kids are able to learn at their own speed and the style that is best for them. Personalized learning might mean taking your class at a different time of the day. It could mean taking classes in a different order than other students. Or it could mean any number of things that are done differently to meet the learning needs of the student. With online homeschool, parents can be more involved in their child’s education. And that’s a good thing because who knows what the student needs better than their parents?
Students Learn About What They Care About
Online homeschool gives students access to classes and teachers that would never be available in their standardized public school system. Without online homeschool, some topics or classes may not be available until college.
But maybe a student is gifted in a certain area and wants to get started on that part of their education earlier. Maybe they’d like to learn Russian, or psychology, or personal finance. It’s easily done with online homeschool. Education truly has no limits.
Social Media Helps
One aspect of education that many people believe homeschool students lack is social skills. As technology gets better and better, these limitations get less and less.
But now, with social media and live online classes, it doesn’t have to be that way. Students today have ample opportunity to see their online homeschool peers. And in many cases, with fewer distractions.
When a student is involved in online homeschool, there are certain aspects of a school environment that they don’t have to deal with. One thing that can make a school environment toxic is bullying. This is something that can do damage to a student that goes far beyond the classroom. It often leads victims to deal with depression and anxiety. Online homeschool offers a great learning environment.
The Real World
With a lot of online homeschool classes, the learning can take place somewhere other than the home. Students may do their learning in a local library. Or a museum. Or any number of places. In these instances, they are spending time around adults and it makes their educational experience feel like a part of the real world.
Studies have shown that students involved in online homeschool have performed better on their standardized tests. They also last longer in college and do better while they are enrolled. One study indicates that the college graduation rate is nearly 10 percent higher for homeschool students than for public school students.
It Saves Time
Students enrolled in online classes can save quite a bit of time in their schedules each day. With no need to catch a bus or drive to and from school, students can get more done in a day. Plus time spent on eating and other grooming tasks for the day can be done at any time if necessary.
Flexibility is one of the greatest benefits of online learning. It is especially beneficial for students who have jobs or other responsibilities outside of school.
In addition to personalized learning, homeschooled students are also independent learners. Because students have to put in the effort to interact with the curriculum to learn and progress, they gain independence in their education. Plus, these skills will help them in the future too. The confidence they gain can last for the rest of their lives.
There are a lot of ways that you can save money by learning online. This includes online homeschool. You can avoid the gas money, lunch money, wear and tear on your vehicle, and many more potential expenses by having school in the privacy and comfort of your home.
Online homeschool doesn’t have to stop with a high school diploma. This method of schooling is flexible enough that students have the option to advanced courses for college credit too. This puts your student in an advantageous position as they move on to further their career.
If you choose the best online homeschool, they will offer special accommodations for students. For example, Big River Academy has the capacity to assist students with a variety of needs. Such as:
- Dyslexia — Literature classes encourage students with dyslexia to listen to free audiobooks. Most of the books covered have them. They also work to improve reading skills. Teachers provide links and sources to audiobooks for the good of our students.
- Dysgraphia — Students do the vast majority of their communication and assignments through typing. For students with this challenge, typing tends to be a relief. For students who are intimidated by typing, it gives them ample practice. Many find that they improve by leaps and bounds throughout the semesters.
- Nonverbal Learning Disability — Students have opportunities to interact socially in the classroom if and when they are comfortable. They can be as involved with others as they wish. Through the use of chat, many feel comfortable and safe interacting. Because they can “edit” or “preview” their comments and questions, those who are typically shy in a group can feel freer to express themselves.
- ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder) — Assignments are broken up into small enough sections that students can focus on manageable amounts. Instructors give students seven days to complete assignments.
Online homeschool is a very viable and smart option for just about any child to earn a high school diploma. It continues to grow and bring more options for students. And it just might be the best educational option of the future!