Online homeschooling has become an increasingly popular choice when searching for an alternative schooling option. As the quality of education in public schools diminishes and families move towards wanting to be more connected and involved with one another, it’s easy to see why the demand for online schools is increasing.
However, as a parent considering the option of online homeschooling, the choices available can be daunting. How do you ensure you are making the right choice?
In this article, we’ll discuss how to choose the right online school and curriculum to suit your child’s needs and set them up for a successful educational journey.
What is the difference between online schooling and homeschooling?
An online school is a school that is administered online and provides an education that takes place outside of a traditional classroom. This involves making use of a learning programme delivered through an online platform that connects students to a teacher during live classes, or where students can log on to software to complete course work with videos, games, or other learning tools.
The online school is responsible for designing the lessons, administering tests and recording results. This is a great tool to help homeschooling families gain access to structured coursework and professionally trained teachers. Online schooling can be done at home in a homeschooling environment or through a tutor or learning pod. This option provides students with the freedom and flexibility of online learning, combined with the support and social interaction of studying alongside a group of peers.
Homeschooling refers to a child learning in a home environment. This typically places the responsibility on the parent or guardian. In this case, the parent is considered the teacher and is responsible for meeting all legal education requirements. If a parent or guardian chooses to homeschool without the use of an online schooling platform, then they are in charge of designing lessons, keeping track of the student’s progress, and all other requirements.
Therefore, the term ‘online homeschooling’ can be used to describe a child who homeschools through an online learning platform.
What to Look for in an Online Homeschool Provider
Searching for an online homeschool is exactly the same as weighing up options between different public and private schools in your area. You want to ensure that their culture, teaching methods, and overall quality of education are suitable for your child and will encourage them to flourish. Therefore, there are certain aspects to consider when searching for an online school.
An Accredited Homeschool Programme
It’s important to ensure that the online homeschool that you choose is accredited and utilises a curriculum that is widely accepted and recognised. This accreditation should be asserted by a third party. CambriLearn is accredited by Cognia and Edexcel, and is registered with SACAI.
These accreditations will ensure that your child will be able to attend university and college both locally and internationally. Should you wish to transition back to a traditional school, this accreditation will also ensure that your child is able to do so.
Online Learning Content
One of the primary benefits of an online school is that as a parent, you won’t be your child’s primary educational provider. However, in order to facilitate this, an online school should provide students with online learning content, live classes, Q&A sessions, and so forth.
Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your online homeschool provider has a vast library of online resources available in the form of videos, graphics, and animation to assist students in bridging knowledge gaps, fostering understanding, and supporting the course material within their textbooks.
Teachers make all the difference in a child’s educational journey. A teacher can be the difference between a child loving or disliking a subject and even affect how much effor a child puts into a subject and studying.
It’s, therefore, exceptionally important to pick an online school programme with highly qualified teachers who are experts in their subject matter and who are passionate about teaching. The programme you choose should also offer ongoing support from teachers when your child has questions.
One of the most asked questions is how parents, teachers, and an online school are able to keep track of a child’s progress and understanding of a subject. A progress tracker will keep tabs on a child’s progression to ensure they are on track with their studies and will be able to alert teachers, support staff, and parents when a child is struggling.
CambriLearn’s student tracker has been designed to monitor your child’s progress and improvement across the board. It provides a platform on which you can ensure your child is up to date with assignments, but where they also receive personalised feedback from teachers.
When selecting an online homeschool you should make sure that they are committed to providing you and your child with the support you need. Your child should be able to contact teachers concerning any questions they may have, a support team should be available to you should you experience any difficulties, and you should feel comfortable enough to contact your online homeschool regarding any questions you may have.
One of the benefits that online homeschooling provides is the vast amount of flexibility it provides, allowing school to fit into your schedule and suit your needs, and not the other way around.
Therefore, your child should have access to the material at any time and anywhere, allowing you the freedom and flexibility to plan your child’s timetable according to a schedule that suits your family. You as the parent should also have the flexibility to be as involved as you want to be and customise the curriculum according to your child’s learning needs.
Finding the Best Homeschool Curriculum
Part of your search should include finding the perfect online homeschooling curriculum for your child. There are many options out there, and it’s up to you to decide which option will suit your child and enable them to pursue their dreams.
Choosing a curriculum that has international recognition will enable your child to study abroad and choose from a wider variety of prestigious universities after graduation. Therefore, they’ll have more options when it comes to designing their future, empowering them to succeed after finishing school.
You should, however, also ensure that the curriculum you choose is accepted in your country of residence, should your child wish to attend college or university locally.
The International British Curriculum is an internationally recognised curriculum that allows for access to some of the world’s best universities.
Appropriate Subject Offerings
The online homeschool curriculum you choose should offer a plethora of options when it comes to choosing courses. This allows you the option to customise the curriculum to meet your child’s needs and indulge their interests, allowing them to pursue further studies in a field they are passionate about.
As a parent, it can be useful to study the list of courses offered by an online homeschool and their chosen curriculum to ensure they meet the required guidelines and requirements.
Online homeschooling allows the child the flexibility to learn at their own pace. If they are struggling with a topic they can spend more time wrestling with it or if they are getting bored, they can pick up the pace.
Therefore, the curriculum you choose should have just as much flexibility. The International British Curriculum allows for children to enrol and start their studies at any time of the year and does not adhere to restrictive semester guidelines. Therefore, your child will have the flexibility to progress as quickly or as slowly as required or desired.
Promotes Critical Thinking
Online homeschooling paired with the correct curriculum will allow children to determine their own learning needs and work towards their own goals. This method of self-directed learning teaches students critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
What a Homeschool Diploma Provides
Depending on the curriculum and the level of accreditation of an online homeschool, a child with a homeschool graduation diploma will have just as much if not more access to well-known and prestigious universities. Therefore, if they have worked hard, achieved good marks, taken the correct subjects, and have completed a well-recognised curriculum, your child will bve able to to pursue their dreams.
How much does online homeschooling cost?
The cost of an online homeschool will depend on your choice of curriculum and the level of support required. CambriLearn offers different course packages depending on what features you would like to receive.
The Standard Package gives students full access to the course content, live lessons, chat forums, and marked assignments. The Premium Package includes added benefits through online Q&A sessions and a direct chat with teachers. To find out more about the prices of online homeschooling per curriculum, grade, and package, please speak to a consultant.