For centuries, parents have been taking matters of their children’s education into their own hands by educating them from home.
It wasn’t until the early 1970s that educational theorist John Holt began promoting the idea that several years of homeschooling(opens in a new tab) young children gave them a better educational, psychological, and moral foundation and improved their chances of success in future educational settings.
Today, homeschooling is an accepted alternative to traditional school, particularly for parents with concerns about school quality and school safety. According to a 2016 study by the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 1.7 million children are being homeschooled in the United States, and this number is expected to continue growing.
As the benefits of homeschooling become more widely appreciated, many families are also turning to other ways to educate their kids from home. Although different from “traditional” homeschooling, online homeschooling (using an online school) provides similar advantages.
When using an online school for at-home education, the role parents play can be less demanding. Online public school programs also offer free curriculum, learning resources, online tools, and access to professional teachers who help ensure that students reach important benchmarks in their education.
5 Key Benefits of Homeschooling
While the individual benefits of homeschooling and online homeschooling may be different for each student, five distinct advantages apply to the educational practice as a whole:
1. Personalized Education
The educational structure of homeschooling enables parents and teachers to work together to tailor learning to the student. Unlike traditional classrooms where the ratio is often dozens of students to one teacher, homeschooling makes possible an individualized, one-on-one learning environment. In fact, parents say that the relationship a student forms with an online homeschooling teacher can be closer thanks to the opportunities for one-on-one interaction.
Homeschooling also affords parents and instructors the flexibility to change the approach or adjust teaching methods if something isn’t working for the student. In this sense, students won’t be left behind if a particular lesson plan or activity isn’t connecting with them.
2. Preparing for College
Homeschooling may better help prepare students for college by teaching them the importance of taking responsibility for their own learning. Leading colleges and universities(opens in a new tab) readily accept online school students and homeschooled students. Many studies and professional educators have found evidence that home-educated students have as much college success as their peers.
Homeschooled students may also show more self-motivation because online homeschooling encourages students to take personal responsibility and to maintain accountability for their work.
3. Schedule Flexibility
With homeschooling(opens in a new tab), either in the parent-to-child or online environment, the days don’t revolve around when the bell rings, what time lunch happens, or how long recess is. Instead, students can take advantage of the more flexible learning schedule by doing the work that needs to get done and enjoying the free time that remains after their work is completed.
Online homeschooled students work according to a daily routine that satisfies both the needs of their education and their personal freedom. While they must meet the required hours of attendance for their state, the demanding schedules needed for extracurricular pursuits such as traveling for competitive sports or performing arts can be better accommodated.
4. Take Classes Anywhere
Homeschooling can be taken anywhere and done anytime. Taking the family on a monthlong trip to Europe? Extending your holiday vacation by a few days? With homeschooling, you don’t have to worry about falling behind, because the homeschool curriculum can be taken with you anywhere you go.
Online homeschooling is even more convenient with 24/7 internet access to K–12 curriculum whether your student is taking a supplemental online course or full-time studies via an online homeschooling program.
Online schools do follow a conventional school calendar, and some courses have fixed schedules, but as long as students are on track and communicate with teachers, they have more flexibility in where and when they complete lessons and assignments.
Students educated from home get a head start on adult and career skills such as time management, self-motivation, and taking charge of their own education. Rather than focusing only on grades, online homeschooling programs encourage students not just to take accountability for their actions, but also to discover the joy of learning.
The benefits of homeschooling are no secret. By using helpful tools like online homeschooling courses(opens in a new tab), either as enrichment for students attending traditional schools or as permanent, full-time means of education, your student can enjoy an alternative form of education that works for your whole family. Learn more about the benefits of online homeschooling(opens in a new tab) today.