Technology Makes Home Schooling a Viable Alternative

Frank B. WithrowBy Frank B. Withrow

With a wide range of curriculum available on the Internet, home schooling has become a more viable option for some families. The schoolhouse offers more than just academic resources. It also offers a social environment where friendships are established and where students learn to work together in teams. Learning resources on the Internet offer high levels of content and highly qualified teachers. Such programs, especially if approved by the state, are viable opportunities for learners of all ages.

Consequently, some two million students (Dan Lips and Evan Feinberg, “Homeschooling: A Growing Option in American Education,” Heritage Foundation, 3 April 2008) in the USA are now engaged in home schooling. To partially make up for the social interactions of the regular public school, some areas have an extensive set of options for families with home scholars. These include field trips, debating contests, orchestras, community sports teams and even drama theaters.

Parents often help out in these extracurricular activities. For example, the little theater efforts often have parents who direct and work with the students in a variety of ways. Often home schooling is a part of the local public school program. They have a certified teacher that monitors the family’s activities and checks on the learner’s progress in meeting state standards.

In some states the public school monitor can bring several home scholars together to work in teams on a given project through social media. Technology ensures that the home scholar has a reasonable expectation of meeting state standards in subject matter.

One father made the decision to home school his children because he believes that it offers his children at least 40 percent more learning time than traditional classrooms.

Home schooling is not for all students, but it does offer a viable alternative. If the student is able to work independently and to have teaming opportunities through social media (Rebecca Livermore, “Role of Social Networking in Homeschool,” Bright Hub, 19 Apr. 19, 2011) then it is often an excellent alternative learning experience. If the local school system is monitoring the program with the families and if the home scholars have the option to transfer immediately into the school program if they are struggling with a course, e.g., physics, home schooling is an effective alternative.

School systems require better management plans to accommodate a wide range of learning experiences. Rather than measuring school accomplishments by seat time, authentic measurement should reside in a scholar’s portfolio of accomplishments, which might include home schooling.

2 Responses

  1. Home schooling continues to grow significantly. Parents who teach their children at home face increasing problems as the grade level rises. In my experience, the earliest issue in most home schools is science. As a result, vendors have had great success in selling science curricula and materials to those who home school. These choices tend to be expensive.

    Internet technology can help a great deal with sharing curricula and ideas and with new ways to deliver science experiences. Expect more in the future.

  2. This is one of the main reasons home based schooling was created so that parents can have another option if they dont want to send their child to a public school. With home based schooling parents can supervise the development of the childs personality and instill in them principles they want them to have. One of the top reasons homeschooling is a great alternative to public schooling is that the family can have fun while learning everything together.

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