One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling your child is the sheer variety of methods, teaching styles, and techniques at your disposal. Every child learns differently, and you have the freedom to craft lessons that helps yours learn even better. Whether you are a tech-savvy individual, yourself, or you want to make sure that your child has a well-rounded education for the future, we’re going to look at some of the benefits of using that flexibility to incorporate more of technology and the internet into your child’s homeschooling experience.
Tech skills are becoming increasingly important
For whatever reason you opt-out of the public school system, everyone who provides a homeschooled education does so because they want the best for their children. As far as their career goes, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that they’re likely going to be working on computers. There are lots of ways to incorporate the most commonly used tech skills and software in their lessons, besides simply providing lessons on how to use a computer. For instance, an English class might involve using the internet to find definitions and synonyms of words. A Math class could involve the use of Excel. There are even books to help teach them highly technical skills such as programming from an earlier age than they would ever be exposed to it in school. In the homeschooling environment, your children could end up with even more tech skills than they would get in traditional education.
Lots of learning resources immediately at hand
From lesson planning guides to pre-made curriculums, educational videos to printable worksheets, the internet has tons of resources for the homeschool teacher/parent to make use of. A simple search for the topic, subject, or lesson you want can immediately help you choose from a variety of materials to help with it. If you’re teaching using the internet, however, you need a connection you can rely on, so it’s worth looking at providers like Suddenlink Communications. Having a slow or spotty internet connection can interrupt your lessons and make it much less efficient to get those much-needed resources.
Helping them connect with others
Ensuring that our children have healthy social relationships is something that all parents worry about, and that goes double for homeschooling parents who don’t have the traditional school as the socializing ground. However, the internet can actually help homeschooled kids to connect with one another. Forums and chat rooms like THC: The Homeschooled Teen Community can help them communicate with others who share their experience and thus are more likely to better understand and enforce their perspective on homeschooling as a plus. As with any online networks, of course, you need to teach them how to use it responsibly.
You can connect with others, too
You may have friends and family of your own, but unless they have been involved in homeschooling, there’s much about your life that they might not understand. Furthermore, there are some issues and conundrums you will run into during the education of your child that they may not be able to help out with at all. Parents can turn to homeschool communities and sites like the HSLDA’s web page can help them find local homeschool communities. Here, you can arrange co-ops and field trips with families in the same region or using the same methods. You could also share tips, resources, and swap curriculums. The more people you learn from, the more likely you are to hone a truly excellent homeschool experience.
It’s a major concern for most families
Unless you’re entirely disconnected from it, the internet is likely to become a concern for your family at some point. It’s one of the most versatile tools in existence and a font of educational value, but it also has its dangers. From fraud to stalking to identity theft, the internet is full of dangers. Rather than hiding them from your child, it is a good idea to make them more aware of the dangers lurking online. You can incorporate online safety lessons as part of their computing curriculum. Teaching them how to use the internet responsibly is always the parents’ responsibility, and homeschooling provides the perfect framework to do just that.
Getting a little educational support
As a homeschooling parent, you are going to much more thoroughly learn most of what you covered in your own education and more. It’s not uncommon that homeschooling parents are some of the most studious people you can meet. But knowing your limits is just as important to teaching as expanding them is. The internet provides access to online tutors from places like Chegg that you can use to supplement your own educational skills, helping to fill the gaps where you might not be so confident that you can effectively provide the lessons your kids need. For instance, if your child is learning chemistry but you’re not great at it, you can work with tutors through webcams and microphones to deliver custom-tailored lessons directly to your child. Suddenly, homeschooling high school isn’t so intimidating.
It can make learning fun
Finding new ways to engage your children when teaching them is crucial. You have the flexibility to make learning more motivating and engaging. Often, it comes down to a question of helping them understand the tools you’re trying to teach them. Once you understand a problem, figuring it out can be more fun. However, educational video games are one tool that you can use to make the journey of figuring out those tools even more appealing. Video games have been shown to have some perks in childhood development, increasing their cognitive skills and hand-eye coordination. There are plenty of video games out there built specifically for educational settings, so consider making them part of your next lesson plan. Skrafty is just what you’re looking for if your children are Minecraft-crazy like mine are.
Technology and the internet can take away some of the stress of homeschooling, help you use resources that might not otherwise be accessible, and can help your child grow up learning from those who have had similar educational environments as themselves. Before the internet, homeschool families lived in relative isolation, but now they are more connected than ever. I’m so thankful for the blessings that come via these resources.