Three Options To School Your Child at Home by Craig Middleton

Electronic Ed
Three Options To School Your Child at Home by Craig Middleton explains how you can allow your child to learn from home without having to be a teacher yourself. If you are not happy with your local public school options you should look into the options that Craig has researched for you.

Introduction

  • Deciding to school your children at home can be frightening. Making critical decisions about your children’s education can seem daunting. With the growth of online learning environments, you can be assured that you will be able to access world-class educational options that will set your children up for success. You’ll just need to decide what kind of homeschooler you want to be. Here are a few options.

Online Public School

  • Many parents make the decision to homeschool because they want to remove their children from the physical public school environment. Perhaps they are living in an area with substandard schools or maybe their child is dealing with a situation like bullying or emotional challenges that makes attending their local school unsustainable. If this sounds like you, you may be surprised to discover that you can school from home without actually being a homeschooler. Many states participate in online public school programs that will allow your child to continue their public school education from the comfort and safety of your home. Amazingly, most of these programs are completely free of charge and include all materials such as books and even a computer.
  • Schools like K12 and Connections Academy are online extensions of your public school system. They offer a very good traditional curriculum in an online environment. If you are happy with a traditional approach to your child’s education, online public schools utilize online and offline materials often using some type of virtual desktop services that will allow your child to access their lessons from anywhere on any device. Your child’s grades will be maintained for you and they will receive a diploma upon successful graduation.

Accredited Distance Programs

  • If you are not happy with a standard public school education but are still looking for a program that offers a full curriculum with teacher support and records maintenance, an accredited distance program may be the right fit for you. Online schools such as Oak Meadow or Laurel Springs are fully realized, complete programs that are accredited, and also offer a diploma upon completion. Courses will follow a fairly traditional sequence but can be more in-depth and creative. Technically, if your child is enrolled with a distance program full time, he or she is not considered a homeschooler but rather a private school student.
  • This can also be a great choice if you have particular religious interests or child development philosophies. For example, Oak Meadow is influenced by the Waldorf method of education, and Abeka Academy offers an education based on Christian principles. If it is important for you that a particular belief system or teaching methodology is incorporated into the curriculum, an accredited distance program that caters to your preferences can be a wonderful choice.

A-La-Carte Options

  • If you prefer a more eclectic education for your children you might want to consider building their curriculum yourself. You might feel comfortable teaching history on your own, but find the idea of teaching trigonometry daunting. In this case, online sites can be the answer to all your concerns. Sites like Khan Academy or Time 4 Learning offer just about every core subject you can imagine. They use high-quality video lessons and assessments that can take the weight of difficult subjects off of your shoulders. Prices for these services vary greatly.
  • Khan Academy is completely free of charge, whereas Time 4 Learning is fee-based, but even the fee-based models are usually reasonable in cost. It is important to note that sites such as these are not usually accredited and it will be up to you to keep records and assign grades for your child’s work. This is actual homeschooling and you will need to find out your state’s requirements and align yourself with state laws.
  • The reasons why a parent chooses to school their child at home vary widely and you need to investigate yours to choose the best path for your family. Regardless of what kind of education you wish for your child, there are many online resources that can help you be sure that they are receiving the best education possible.

Craig Middleton

  • Craig is a New York City-based retired business consultant, who is an expert in education and cultural trends. He has a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters in Education from St. Johns and loves sharing his knowledge on the side through his writing. If you have any questions or comments you can direct them to Craig at craigmiddleton18@gmail.com.
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