Homeschool students who enjoy using computers often enjoy taking classes online, too. Even kids who aren’t really comfortable with computers may enjoy virtual schooling once they get the hang of it.
But virtual school isn’t for every kid. I say this with confidence, because I have experienced it with my own students and heard it time and time again from hundreds of parents, too. The truth is, some kids love sitting at a machine, and others just, well…don’t. Some students enjoy reading online material, exploring hyperlinks to find answers, listening and speaking to pre-recorded instruction or live teachers, and all that goes along with schooling online. But other students simply do not thrive in this way, finding it stressful, tedious, boring, or just not at all the way they like to learn.
When considering virtual instruction, accepting student differences is the key. Too often, I speak to parents who tell me their kids loved homeschooling until they started full-time virtual school. Or virtual algebra. Or virtual foreign language. Whatever it was — the pace, the pressure, or merely the act of working at a computer instead of with books, mom, or sitting on the couch — just didn’t cut it for their kids. Sadly, some of the parents didn’t understand the problem, either.
For kids who like virtual schooling, I always say — GO FOR IT! It’s a fabulous idea, and options today are endless. There are many high-quality, affordable schooling programs online that homeschoolers may utilize (while still remaining homeschoolers). Some options are free or inexpensive, too, making virtual school available to most everybody in some shape or form.
Consider whether or not your student might work well using virtual instruction. Some kids perform well exclusively online, and they like it too. Others, like mine, prefer only 1 or 2 virtual courses at a time, in combination with other schooling methods. Allow children to be your guide and experiment with different courses and schedules until you determine whether virtual schooling may work in your homeschool. And if you haven’t a clue what kind of student you have, why not order a quick Learning Success Profile to find out? (Receive a discount using this affiliate link.)
Once you’re ready to give it a try, check out just a few of the many computer/virtual options available online. Start with these, then search for others on your own.
And don’t forget to post those that have worked well for you, too — my readers always enjoy hearing from you, too!
Time 4 Learning (Affiliate Link)
Robinson Curriculum (on CD)
Free-Ed Net (directory of hundreds of free online courses)