Online homeschooling programs, whether these be free or paid, have seen a dramatic rise in the past ten years. The increasing amount of information available on the internet have facilitated this growth. There is a enormous assortment of homeschooling programs online and homeschool lesson plans on the Internet today. Educational publishers offer CD-ROM based distance learning for example. These courses utilize a CD-ROM which sometimes is accompanied by a textbook or workbook. The parent helps the child with any questions as well as with general guidance. The student sends in tests and papers via email or website to an accredited teacher. The distance learning program also helps the family keep all records of progress, achievements and assessments.
Online academies, and even some colleges and universities, provide another choice of distance learning for homeschoolers. Students enroll in these online homeschooling programs just like they would a regular school. The difference here is that classes are accessed online through the internet. Homeschool lesson plans are provided and course work completed online via email and forums. Seminars with white boards are conducted as part of class work. The advantage to online homeschooling programs and academies is that many are accredited and award a high school diploma upon completion. Detailed transcripts are also provided by these academies which is necessary when students apply for college.
Online tutoring is another form of distance learning that homeschoolers can take advantage of. Online homeschooling programs with tutoring are now fairly commonplace. Many use certified teachers with extensive training and experience. Students typically enroll for sessions in topics of which they, or their parents, struggle with the most. This way, extra help can be provided as an when needed without having major disruption to homeschool lesson plans or the homeschool environment.
If a homeschooler wants to keep their child at home, but is concerned over ensuring a well-rounded curriculum, virtual online schools could be the solution, given the vast amount of information and subjects that are available at hand. However, compared to the traditional schools, virtual online schools are comparatively new and as such, may not be state-funded and not every state has one.
Overall, advanced technology has made homeschooling easier and more obtainable for families who want to explore that educational option.