Homeschool can be an effective alternative to public school programs, but it isn’t always right for every family. For parents, the homeschooling time commitment can really take a toll as parents must assume responsibility of both curriculum development and the role of teacher. If you’re wondering whether online school may be a better option for your family, here are five signs it may be time to make a switch from homeschool.
1. You’re Starting to Feel Burned Out
If you feel overwhelmed with homeschooling, you’re not alone! Homeschooling can be exhausting for parents, especially when you’re trying to juggle other responsibilities like work, caring for younger children, and maintaining a household. Teaching multiple subjects to one child is challenging enough, but when you’re trying to cover a variety of subjects with multiple children at different K–12 grade levels, things can get hectic.
If you are feeling tired and stressed all the time and other family members are unable to lighten your load by assuming some homeschooling responsibilities, you may want to consider a less demanding way to provide your children with a high-quality education.
2. You Question Your Ability to Homeschool
Teaching is equal parts art and science. Without formal training, being an effective teacher can be a challenge. Many parents who use homeschool programs find themselves doubting their abilities. Feeling this way doesn’t mean that you aren’t well-educated or don’t understand the subject matter. Teaching involves a lot more than just knowing the material.
Certified teachers spend years in college studying topics like child psychology, cognitive development, teaching theory, instructional design, and more—and for good reason. Things like figuring out which curriculum to use, adapting materials to your child’s specific learning style, keeping your child challenged and motivated, and overcoming learning difficulties can easily overwhelm someone who doesn’t have formal training.
Even parents who successfully homeschool for elementary
grades may find themselves wishing they had a teacher’s assistance when their child begins taking more challenging courses in middle and high school. Many choose to find a new educational solution, like an online high school, to ensure that their students are taught algebra, calculus, world languages, physics, and other higher-level courses that will help them gain admission to college.
3. You’re Worried Your Child Is Falling Behind
When the subject matter increases in difficulty, it can be easy for a parent who has developed their own curriculum to skip some concepts and skills. If your child is suddenly breezing through lessons, it could be that the curriculum is not challenging enough. If you have concerns, you may be more comfortable with a virtual school that offers a curriculum developed by education professionals to ensure your student receives a complete education and meets important benchmarks.
A high-quality online school will provide you with easy access to your student’s lessons, grades, and teachers, so you can keep up with their progress. A quality virtual school program should also offer a higher level of structure and academic support than most parents without formal training can provide on their own at home.
4. Your Child Isn’t Mastering the Homeschool Curriculum
Sometimes you don’t have to wonder. If your normally bright, achieving child suddenly isn’t making the grade, the problem probably lies with the curriculum. It’s not necessarily the curriculum creator’s fault. You might have a well-structured curriculum that just doesn’t fit. Children learn differently, and their needs change as they grow and change. Most children can learn any subject, but educators have learned that the curriculum and teaching style need to align with each child’s learning style. An online school with a qualified teaching partner should be able to help you find the curriculum that motivates your usually eager learner.
5. Your Child Is Unhappy or Unmotivated
Finally, your child’s own feelings could be a sign that homeschooling just isn’t working. Tears, anger, confusion, and lack of motivation can all
indicate that it’s time to switch from homeschool. These things could happen occasionally in any educational setting, but if you’re dealing with a negative reaction to school on a consistent basis, it may be time for a change.
When it comes to how your child reacts to daily schoolwork, trust your gut. You’ll know whether your child is just having a difficult day or two, or there really is a deeper underlying issue that could be addressed by switching from homeschool to an alternative like online school.
Wondering How to Switch to Online School?
If you ultimately decide homeschooling is no longer working for your family, there are high-quality online schooling options available. Starting to research your options early is an important part of the process so you can weigh the pros and cons and find the best schooling option that will work for you and your family.
With Connections Academy® free online homeschool, certified teachers educate your K–12 child online, from the comfort and safety of your home. This way, you can still be involved as a Learning Coach to support and monitor your child’s progress, but you’ll have a reduced time commitment. Plus, your child can benefit from working with an experienced certified teacher.
Making the switch from homeschooling to virtual school may be easier than you think. For many families, virtual school offers the same lifestyle perks they’re used to enjoying with homeschool, plus a few new ones. And if you’re concerned about the timing, here’s what one Connections Academy parent had to say about making a smooth midyear switch to online school.