Most people think that homeschooling involves students with textbooks sitting on the couch or around the kitchen table; and, while this was true in the past, technology has changed things so there are many more options for families. A simple search online reveals there are hundreds of online homeschool classes to choose from.  Some are accredited and some are not: some go all the way through 12th grade while others stop at 8th grade. There are so many to choose from,  so how does a parent decide which is the right one?


First, take your time and figure out what you and your child want to get out of the homeschooling experience.  If you are looking to supplement classes, your child will be only a part-time student, so look for an accredited program that has the needed courses and confirm the proposed online courses will be accepted by the students’ current school. However, if you are seeking a full-time homeschool program  online, you want a program that is robust and reliable  so you aren’t always dealing with connectivity issues. The online school’s Admissions specialist can explain the necessary technical requirements for compatibility with the online learning system so your student can have a smooth learning experience. An experience that uses lightweight electronics instead of one that requires the students to carry around heavy textbooks.  The online option allows the student to learn on the road, or from anywhere they have an internet connection, without carrying a bag of textbooks.

When using online homeschool classes, the most important consideration is the onlinelearning system because this becomes the student’s focus for their education. Everything is done through this connection, from daily work assignments to quizzes and exams. Each course should have a lesson planner that provides visual benchmarks for the student so they know how much work they should complete on a daily basis to stay on track and finish the year on schedule. A progress bar containing percentage of work complete and current grade (as well as grade history) is another helpful tool because it keeps the student’s progress and achievements in front of them every time they log into the class. If your child has never worked online before, it’s a good idea to ask the homeschool program for a trial demo class so the student can navigate the portal on their own and get a feel for how it works. Remember that this is the child’s classroom so they need to be comfortable with all aspects of the learning system.

Technology is meant to be an enhancement to education and can be found in many traditional classrooms in public schools. For homeschoolers, it is the gateway to a private education where they can work at their own pace, connect with certified teachers and focus on their work without the stress of peer pressure and classmates. Take time to find an accredited homeschool program that offers both print and online options so you can find the best solution for each student.

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