With significant growth in both computer-based learning and homeschooling, it’s no surprise that the number of online homeschool programs have exploded as well.
As you explore the idea of virtual courses, keep in mind your child’s learning habits so you can choose the best homeschool curriculum for education success.
In Michigan, alternative schooling such as homeschool comes with a variety of resources and curriculums.
Some public school districts even offer free online courses to homeschool students. Check with your local school to find out more.
Finding the right online homeschool program for your child’s unique interests
Flexibility, along with developing a curriculum that aligns with your child’s unique interests, are among the best aspects of a homeschool education.
If you choose to enhance your child’s learning experience, online courses offer the basics as well as those that capitalize on interests and learning styles.
Additionally, for grades 10 through 12, homeschoolers also must learn about the U.S. Constitution, the Michigan Constitution, U.S. history and present form of government in the state of Michigan and political subdivisions and municipalities.
Outside of the required instruction, a whole world of education awaits your child through online learning.
Steps for getting ready for ‘virtual school’
You’ve made the decision to incorporate an online homeschool program into your child’s learning experience
Now, what are your next steps?
Let’s start with technology and a few questions to consider:
- Are there technical requirements for the courses your child would like to take?
- Can you provide the technology needed?
- Are there well-defined steps for getting tech support?
Next, you’ll want to create a learning environment that best supports your child, by answering questions like:
- Does the online program offer an orientation that walks you through the basics, including technology needs, uploading homework, and taking exams?
- Is there an instructor who will provide feedback and support?
- How quickly will your student receive feedback and grading from their instructor?
Finally, you and your child will want to select the online homeschool courses that provide standard disciplines and those that make the most of your child’s interests.
You’ll want to determine the following:
- Are there prerequisites for the online course?
- Can my child take the course without being enrolled in a local school?
- What is the time commitment?
- Can my child drop the course if it is too difficult?
- Does the course meet quality standards?
- Are the instructors certified to teach?
As your child embarks on an online learning adventure, you’re likely to have more questions along the way.
Picking the best homeschool curriculum will give you access to educators and representatives who can effectively address your inquiries.
Enjoy the experience of alternative schooling
You’ve already made the important decision to homeschool.
That’s a major investment of your time and energy so that your child can have the best education in the right environment.
Adding an online component can enhance and broaden the education journey.
To support your decision for online courses, national experts have published 10 attributes to describe Next Generation Learning models, which include:
#1. Personalized to child’s needs and learning goals.
When learners pick their courses, they take greater ownership.
#2. Flexible so the child can try different ways to learn.
Online learning allows scheduling to accommodate health, athletic, job and family circumstances.
#3. Interactive and engaging to draw the child in.
Homeschoolers meet people outside their community in a safe environment. Multimedia used for online learning provides different ways of learning.
#4. Relevant to life the child wants to lead.
The child gains more experience learning on modern technology tools that are also used in college and the workplace.
#5. Paced by the child’s progress measured against goals he or she understands.
Homeschoolers can move faster or slower through assignments and track their progress toward their goal.
#6. Constantly informed by different ways of demonstrating and measuring progress.
Educational technology can measure and share progress quickly.
#7. Collaborative with educators, peers, and others while not limited by proximity.
Children can access learning materials and resources using online communication tools.
#8. Responsive and supportive when the homeschooler needs extra help.
Communicating outside the typical school day is supported by the online learning culture. Many learners – and teachers – report they spend more time interacting online than in the typical school classroom.
#9. Challenging but achievable with opportunities to become an expert in an area of interest.
Online learning reinforces lifelong learning skills and promotes information literacy and communication skills as well as thinking and problem-solving skills.
#10. Available to the child as much as it is to every other learner.
Online learning can direct the talents of some of the most skilled educators to the most underserved populations. A zipcode does not have to determine learning options.
Equipped with the facts and accurate information, you and your child will enjoy all the benefits of the homeschool online curriculum.
Offering more than 200 online courses, Michigan Virtual can provide your homeschooler with an exceptional K-12 education.
Michigan Department of Education (2019). Nonpublic and Home School.
Martin, J. (2012). Homeschooling 101: What is homeschooling? Parents.com
How Stuff Works.com. How does homeschooling work?
Soucy, C. How does homeschooling work? Study.com