If you have chosen to homeschool online then you most likely have decided to use one of the free online schools. The online schools take a lot of the parent work out of homeschooling. For example when the child logs into school each day the schools website keeps track of his attendance. You do not have to decide on the program you want because the school already has one in place. All you have to do is help your child with the daily lessons and send in his work for a teacher to see. This way is very good if you want less involvement. But there are some other things that may be drawbacks to online homeschooling.
First you have to have a computer. I know in today’s society there are many households that have a computer or more than one computers so this may not be a problem but if you do not have a computer you will have to purchase one or rent one from the school. Renting a computer is never a good idea in case something happens to it while you have it then you will have to replace it, it is better just to purchase the computer and get it over with.
You have to have a reliable internet connection. Also is not a problem in most cases nearly everyone has one. It has to be reliable because your child will have to log on to the school website so that he can get his lessons and attendance can be counted. If your internet connection goes out then your child will miss a day of school. This will put him behind and he will have to catch up.
The days are fully planned. When you log on you will see a daily and weekly planner. Each day has 5-8 lessons that you should teach that day. If you get them all done early that is good but this many lessons can take a while leaving less time for any other activities to be planned. Your child will spend most in not all of his day in front of the computer and if your child is older the lessons will be longer.
Online homeschooling has its advantages and disadvantages just as pretty much everything else. If you are a parent that works at home and use the computer then you will need two computers or you and your child will have to share the computer. You can also choose one of the schools that are online but can be taught offline. The only time the child will have to be online is to take the daily test and record attendance. There are a variety of ways you can choose to do homeschooling if you choose online homeschooling.
You and your family have to sit down and decide if you want to homeschool online or offline there are a lot of advantages and disadvantages to weigh and homeschooling online is not right for every family especially if you are homeschooling more than one child and if you only have one computer. Discuss it to see if it is right for you.
When looking for a homeschool program that is right for your family you will discover that there are dozens to choose from. Many parents that have been homeschooling for many years will choose the ones that they like best from each program. For example if they like the math program from one publisher but the English from another you can mix and match to create the right program for you and your children. There are a few guidelines that you need to consider when choosing your homeschool program. For me it is about does it fit in our way of life. Is the material teaching good things or not.
Identify your child’s learning style each child learn differently and if you are homeschooling more than one child they will all learn differently than the other. Is your child one that can learn from reading out of a book, by listening to the lesson taught by you reading or on a DVD or is your child more hands on and learns by doing? When choosing a homeschool program this is the first thing you need to decide.
What is your teaching style? The next step is to decide which way you like to teach. Are you a more hands on teacher and like to be by your child’s side at all times teaching or are you a parent that likes to get things started and allow the child to work on their own. Your teaching style is as important as your child’s learning style when you are trying to decide on which homeschool program to use. If you and the child are not happy then homeschooling will not be a happy experience. Also if you find a program you do not like you can always choose to pick another one next year.
Create a budget unless you are going with one of the free online schools then you will need a budget. If you are one a single income where you have to make a budget then you need to make a place in your budget for your home school materials. They can be expensive if you want your child to learn a lot of different things. Be careful there are a lot of homeschool parents that overspend on things they don’t need. When you first start out everything will look good and you will say well that will be good to learn but remember your child will be in homeschool for 13 years and that is plenty of time to get it all in. You do not have to overwork your child with things you want them to know.
Choose your program Now that you know your child’s learning style, your teaching style, and you have added homeschool into your budget it is time to choose your program. This is not an easy task because there are so many. Remember that you may not choose the right one first because there are so many but by knowing what you are looking for gives you a better chance of getting it right the first time and making homeschool a positive experience for your whole family. May Allaah make this journey easy for you and accept your sacrifices. Ameen