Online Home School
Integrating home school and the Internet
The Internet is a tremendous resource for both students and educators. There are products and information available for just about anything you can think of, and home schooling is no exception. More and more families that home school their children are using the Internet, particularly for advanced areas of study.
Many parents feel uncomfortable teaching their children certain subjects, particularly as the children grow to be middle school and even high school age. This might be because they feel that they never got a good grasp on them when they were in school. There are web sites that can help with this problem. A quick search will reveal a wealth of online tutors, curriculums and even virtual schools. Some web sites, such as YouTube, provide video and downloads for lesson plans and activities. Others allow children to play educational games. You can even order an entire home schooling curriculum over the Internet (for a fee, of course).
Many parents who favor the eclectic method of home schooling use the Internet, in some capacity, as part of their curriculum.
Beyond the World Wide Web
Although many people are only familiar with the World Wide Web, there's much more to the Internet than surfing from site to site. Discussion forums and email allow for quick and easy exchange of information, and are very popular among parents, who use them to form virtual home schooling support groups. IRC channels are a way for you to chat in real time with someone from the opposite side of the world. Interactive areas such as multi-user domains (usually abbreviated to MUDs) enable people to play games together and have even been used by some schools as a way of teaching classes online. Video and voice chat are beginning to become commonplace. Some parents take full advantage of the Internet and its abilities, and their children may benefit by being exposed to a wealth of information.
Before You Log On
If you wish to use the Internet in your home schooling program, there are a few things you'll want to consider first:
- How long will your child sit in front of a computer? The Internet can be a great too for educating a child, but don't forget that kids still need a good deal of physical activity and interpersonal interaction.
- Do you have software on your computer that will protect your child from adult content? The Internet can be a scary place. It's very important that you prevent your child from accessing inappropriate materials.
- Try it before you buy it. If you want to purchase a home school curriculum from a reputable web site, see if the site offers you a free trial version download.