Several decades ago, homeschooling was limited to a small number of families across the country because of the newness of the concept, the various state restrictions and the time commitment required from the parents. There weren’t a lot of formal programs and so most families created their own curriculum by purchasing textbooks directly from the publishers. Parents were the full-time teacher and they became experts in all subjects especially if they had several classes in different grades. For many reasons, homeschooling did not start growing in popularity until recently.  Emerging technology is one of the factors behind the growth of online homeschool programs.

The definition of homeschool is broad and often subject to personal descriptions where some families feel that it is only  homeschool if the parent is doing all the teaching. However, online homeschool programs have opened more opportunities for parents to keep their kids at home and still provide a quality education that is managed by professional teachers using an accredited curriculum. The classroom becomes the home and instead of textbooks, the ‘vehicle’ to learning is a tablet or laptop where students can read through material, complete assignments and manage their grades and their progress in each class. This has allowed students of all grades to become independent and self-sufficient with their education.  

In traditional homeschool, textbooks are important but they are bulky, assignments have to be sent back to the school or graded by the parent and kept for the records and they can be expensive if creating a custom curriculum. Online homeschool programs have everything the family needs for parents to stay informed about how their child is doing and where they are in each subject as well as students getting everything done in one device.  Grading is handled by the program and teachers are available for instruction and additional help as needed for every grade. Technology has become an integral part of life with online shopping, smart phones, social media apps and college distance learning, so why not take advantage of it with education and get students prepared for the future at an earlier age? Many homeschool students learn how to self-study, manage their time, prepare for classes and are comfortable with online learning before they graduate high school because they can start as early as elementary with this format. Parents still play an important role whether they are teaching part-time or acting as the support and accountability that all students need.

Homeschooling may look different than it did years ago, but with the continuing advances in technology, parents can take advantage of easier methods and get the same or better results with a high-quality curriculum. There is no need to send kids to a public school where violence and safety are concerns or try to choose between working and teaching when you can partner with the best online homeschool programs to help out and give kids the tools and resources that they need to get the schoolwork done. Check out the different accredited programs, talk to admissions staff and try a demo of the online portal to make an informed decision about which homeschool is the right option for the family.

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