Homeschooling, or educating children at home by parents or tutors, is a viable option for certain families including those living in rural areas or whose children are involved in sports, music, acting, etc. Some states require an accredited and approved curriculum. Online homeschool programs can be obtained from various accredited sources.
"I homeschool because I've seen the village and I don't want it raising my children." @ptownmoofus
— Homeschool HSsegue (@Homeschoolsegue) June 9, 2009
One reason why parents choose homeschooling is that they want their children to have a customized education based on individual interests and strengths. Some parents cite the inexperience of teachers in many public schools. Whatever the reason may be, educational materials can be obtained to help parents implement an online homeschool program.
Instructional materials for an online homeschool can be delivered in one of two ways: synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous instruction means that the teacher and student are online at the same time and able to interact in real time. Asynchronous instruction can take different forms, but it means that the student and teacher are not interacting with each other in real time.
Synchronous Online Homeschool
A number of methods can be used in synchronous online interaction, including instant messaging, video chatting and audio chatting. Chat rooms may also be used, allowing people to meet online, watch the same video, share documents, etc.
Synchronous instruction allows students to interact with their teacher and ask questions about the material being presented. Hearing other students’ questions will help them gain a wider and deeper grasp of the subject matter being discussed.
Asynchronous Online Homeschool
Email is frequently used for asynchronous interaction. A student completes his work offline and emails it to the instructor. After correcting the student’s work, the instructor emails it back. Posting on a forum with other students as well as the teacher can also be used.
Another asynchronous approach is video streaming. This involves the use of a recorded video of a teacher making a presentation, giving a lecture or doing a lab demonstration. This is similar to instructional materials in many homeschooling DVDs, but accessed via the internet.
Other types of educational materials involve online books, articles, worksheets or other materials that you can print. Worksheets may also be filled online and graded instantly.
While choosing an online homeschool program, you must determine what kind of support is offered. Find out if support is available through live internet chat, by phone or email. A 24/7 support system is important in asynchronous online instruction so that you and your child will able to get help immediately if something goes wrong.