I’ve mentioned that I am interested in homeschooling before and a few weeks ago I posted an article on the disadvantages and benefits of home schooling / home study vs. sending a child to school. I know, two guest posts in one week… there’s a lot going on around here with the holidays coming up, the sale of our house (still), planning for one of my BEST BEST BEST FRIEND’s destination wedding in Jamaica (Rose), which I am so, so, so excited for (some of you know about her already, but for those of you who don’t, I’ll write more about her later… she’s a true lifetime friend who I’ve known since college and she’s marrying an amazing man!). So that being said, I don’t have time for you 😉 and I’m sure you don’t have time for me either. But just in case you’re trying to kill a few minutes in between running around, here is some wonderful information regarding online programs for home schooling, in case you are weighing your options like I am!
There are hundreds—if not thousands—of home school programs in the US and internationally, and now most of them are online, allowing your child to download lessons and reading materials instead of having to wait for them by mail. In addition, many of these online home-school programs offer more interactive solutions like slide shows, online quizzes, and even video tutorials so that your child can get the most out of their learning experience. Although there are many online schools for home schoolers, there are also a few that rise to the top.
1. K12: K12 is the largest and most successful online learning tool for grades K-12. One of the great things about K12, and one of the reasons it is so successful, is that they develop all of their own curriculum. That means that they are not simply compiling textbooks from other courses, along with a list of questions or a quiz, but rather they are optimizing their course for use on the internet. They have a staff of in-house subject matter experts and educational designers who write the curriculum from scratch and prepare it for the online learning environment. They are also able to administer achievement tests to determine your child’s unique learning needs, they create the curriculum that will benefit them most. They also have a 95% satisfaction rate among users.
2. International Virtual Learning Academy: This is another great online academy. It is based in California, but boasts worldwide attendance for grades 3-12. One of the great things about IVLA is that, because it is based in California, all teachers who develop the material and interact with students are accredited for teaching in California, so you can be assured that your child is receiving instruction from a trained teacher. All courses are available 24/7, and you can start at any time.
3. BYU Independent Study: This distance learning school is based out of Brigham Young University. It offers courses for middle school and high school students that are accredited by virtually all accreditation organizations for middle school, high school, and college. With more that 600 courses available, it has one of the largest selections of courses for distance learning. You can choose to do courses on paper or online. Depending on your child, one of the benefits of BYU independent study is that there is no set curriculum. You choose what course to take based on your interests and needs.
As stated before, there are many different options when it comes to online learning tools for home schoolers, and these are just a few samples of what it out there. The best thing to do is to talk with other parents who use online home school programs. Discuss with them the pros and cons of the systems they use and get recommendations. Ultimately, you know your child best, and you can best decide which programs and tools will work best for them. For a longer list of online home school programs take a look at Homeschool.com.
Gunter Jameson writes about several topics including travel, minimalism and Online Schools.