Those who are not intimately familiar with homeschooling may assume that all parents who choose the option do so to emphasize moral and religious instruction. While that’s certainly the motivation for some, there are a variety of other compelling reasons that parents choose to homeschool their kids rather than send them to a traditional public school.
According to the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, “… an increasing number of parents are choosing homeschooling for purely pragmatic reasons: because the academic quality of the local schools leaves something to be desired, or because of bullying or health problems.” In fact, the recent National Household Education Survey (NHES) cites “a concern about the environment” and “dissatisfaction with academic instruction” at the traditional public school as two of the top three reasons for choosing homeschooling.
Homeschooling parents will also point to the many benefits of their school choice, including improved bonding and more quality time with their children, the opportunity to offer a more individualized and challenging education, less time in the car, and even more sleep for all.
As it turns out, online public schools offer these same benefits and more. While parents are still home with their children in an online school setting, they have the added advantage of using an established curriculum with certified teachers. Such resources eliminate any concerns that a parent may have about not being able to keep up with their child’s learning. Access to award-winning curriculum and to public school resources is a big reason that families who had homeschooled on their own made the switch to online public school education.
And because homeschooled kids already have a familiarity with learning at home and they are serious about their education, they are likely to do exceptionally well as online learners. Switching to an online school environment means they will not be held back by a limited curriculum and will have all the resources they’ll need to excel academically. There are also more clubs and events with online public schools that provide added socialization opportunities not available to traditional homeschoolers.
For some real world examples of kids who made the switch from homeschooling to online schooling, and for more information on the differences, read on:
Tennille Hostetler believed that homeschooling would give her children the opportunity to “explore, discuss, and learn” in a way that a traditional school could not provide. But when she began teaching her two boys, she discovered that even her master’s degree in education did not prepare her for the challenge of teaching at home. “Curriculum choices were expensive and confusing,” she says. “I needed support from other professional educators, and I needed reprieve from the financial burden that buying curriculum was putting on our family’s finances.” Read how switching to Oregon Virtual Academy has helped her family and propelled her kids to academic success.
Some of the biggest concerns that homeschool parents have can be overcome with a switch to online learning, such as the fear that homeschool kids won’t have enough social interaction and the parent won’t have the expertise or proper curriculum. Read this article to discover how to overcome some of the biggest challenges with homeschooling.
Some parents choose to homeschool their children because they are not being challenged in traditional brick-and-mortar schools. But many then find that their students are advancing ahead of their ability to teach. That was true for Kelsey, whose mother began homeschooling her but then switched to a K12 school so she would be more challenged. Read her story here.
Wondering if you should make the switch to an online public school instead of traditional homeschooling? Read this article for some guidelines and benefits of online schooling, including teachers, curriculum, and testing.
The K12 website is a great resource for parents who homeschool or are thinking about homeschooling or online learning. It offers individual courses as well as a complete online curriculum. Parents will find links to workshops and discussions as well as information about courses, virtual events, and clubs.
Read about other students in this series who do particularly well learning in an individualized, flexible, online learning environment. This seven-part series includes Advanced Learners, Elite Athletes and Performers, Bullied Students, College-Bound Students, Homeschoolers, Military Children, and Students who are not Challenged in Traditional Schools.