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How To Inspire Your Kid With Online Home Schooling

How To Inspire Your Kid With Online Home Schooling

A young girl studies at her computer.

We were all there for the pandemic. We all saw how education as we knew it came to a standstill. Schools were shutting. Children and students of all ages suddenly found themselves needing to learn from home and educators all over the world had to get creative.

And so, the boom in home education and online learning began.

Are you wondering whether home schooling with online elements is a good fit for you and your family?

Are you already interested in incorporating some online elements into your child’s education but unsure where to begin?

This article is here to answer all your questions.

Home Schooling and Online Learning – On the Rise

If you are considering home schooling with online elements for your family, then you’re definitely not alone. In many countries around the world, both of these alternative methods of education are booming.

In England, home schooling saw a 34% increase in recent years. In the USA, the pandemic caused similar surges in home schooling – by around 46% in 18 states surveyed.

Alongside this upward trend for home schooling, online learning is also on the rise. In 2021, more than 20 million online learners registered for new courses. Meanwhile, investment in online education is experiencing a similar increase, meaning that the global e-learning market is expected to be worth $336.98 billion by 2026.

Another factor influencing this shift towards new ways of teaching is what many are calling the ‘great resignation’. Many teachers, in countries like the UK and the USA, are quitting their jobs at traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Dissatisfied with mainstream education, many are searching for new ways to teach that truly make a difference.

Why People are Choosing Home Schooling and Online Learning

The Effect of the Pandemic

Whilst online education isn’t anything particularly new – it had already been experiencing massive growth before the pandemic – the outbreak of Covid-19 has caused people to see just how effective it can be.

The pandemic also gave many parents the boost in confidence they needed to take the plunge and educate their children from home. During the pandemic, they saw what was truly possible and that home education wasn’t as daunting as they had imagined. Besides that, many saw that their children were happier and less stressed studying from home.

The Benefits of Online Education and Home Schooling

Online education and home schooling also offer several advantages over mainstream brick-and-mortar schools. These include:

  • Greater flexibility. Online learning and home schooling can be tailored to the needs of the student in a way that just isn’t possible at a mainstream school. Students or parents have greater freedom to choose what courses to take. For some, this is attractive because it means that the particular interests and talents of the student can be cultivated. For others, who have concerns about what is taught in mainstream schools on philosophical or religious grounds, it allows parents more room to decide what kind of ideology they want informing their child’s education. Either way, it’s clear that online learning and home schooling both have great opportunities if you’re interested in personalising your child’s education.
  • Less travel time. Online learning can be incredibly convenient. Whereas before parents often needed to ferry their children around for them to access excellent teaching – such as after-school language learning classes or maths tutoring – now children have a world of knowledge literally at their fingertips. This can save parents hours of travelling time – not to mention the time wasted waiting outside in the car!
  • Convenience. Another great thing about online learning from home is that the course material is available whenever you want it to be. That means your child can watch, read or even re-watch or re-read class content whenever they need to. Gone are the days of missing class for dentist’s appointment or other life essentials – with the content of that missed class becoming lost in time forever. Your kid won’t miss out on learning because of their other commitments.
  • More free time. The greater convenience of online education can also mean your child has more free time. With less travelling to and from classes every day, comes more time to do other things. Whether it means your kid can have more hobbies on the go or simply more time to relax and spend quality time with people who matter, the possibilities that come from using the time devoted to your child’s education efficiently are endless.

Online Home Schooling – What the Research Tells Us

It’s all very well to acknowledge that online learning is flexible, convenient and more open to personalisation – but these factors aren’t much good if it isn’t an effective way to learn. Let’s take a look at the research to see how effective online learning is. Do students really learn as well online as they do in a brick-and-mortar classroom?

According to recent research, the short answer is a very simple – yes, they do.

Online Learning Offers a Greater Retention Rate

It has been found that online learning increases the retention rates of information by between 25% and 60% (according to the Research Institute of America). By contrast, the retention rates of face-to-face learning are said to be much lower – around 8%-10%.

Online Learning Can Be A Superior Quality to Physical Classrooms

It was found that ‘41% of students in 2020 believed that the quality of their college-level online learning experience was far superior to that of physical classroom learning’.

Meanwhile 77% of educators said that ‘online learning is just as good as traditional learning, if not better’. (According to the University of the Potomac.)

Big Businesses Acknowledge the Effectiveness of Online Learning

Big businesses have also been putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to online learning.

40% of Fortune 500 companies use eLearning (according to Forbes).

Potential Downsides of Home Schooling and Online Learning

Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any potential downsides to home schooling with online elements.

For some, alternative methods of education outside of mainstream schools can offer a few different challenges.

1. Lack of socialisation

One potential area of concern when it comes to educating your child outside of mainstream schools is the lack of social interaction they might get with other children their age.

A big part of any person’s education should, after all, be learning how to get along with other people.

Suggestions on How to Overcome this Problem:

This concern doesn’t present an insuperable barrier however. There are many ways you can make sure your child gets the social skills they need to become a functioning adult in society in the future.

Why not sign them up to a sports team? Or a similar age-appropriate club in their local area?

Some home schooling parents form groups in their local areas to organise educational trips to museums, zoos or other places of interest.

Why not check to see if there is such a group in your local area? Or start one yourself?

2. The Pressure on Parents

Another area of concern for some parents is the amount of pressure home schooling can place on the parent.

Usually, parents have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to different school subjects and it’s rare to find any parents who are talented in all areas of a school curriculum.

In addition to this, lesson and curriculum planning can be a long and arduous process.

Suggestions on How to Overcome this Problem:

Thankfully, the internet provides a wealth of resources that mean that parents no longer have to go it alone when it comes to home schooling.

There are Facebook groups, blogs and lots of online courses (like here at Living Book Home School) which can give parents the support they need to give their children the education they dream of.

How to Incorporate Online Learning into Your Child’s Education

Different parents take different approaches when it comes to incorporating online learning into their child’s education.

In other words, you can decide how much you want your child’s education to be online or face-to-face.

For some, the way to get the best of both worlds can be to do a combination of online and face-to-face learning. This way children can enjoy the richness, choice and room for personalisation that the online world of education can offer with some of the benefits of getting involved in educational opportunities in their local community.

Whatever balance you decide to strike with your child, know that you don’t have to do this solo! There are sure to be communities of people both locally and online who’ve got your back when it comes to providing the education you dream of for your child.

Prompts for Thought

What do you like about home schooling?

Have you had much experience with online learning? How did you find it?

What kind of dream balance do you want to strike between online and face-to-face learning with your child?

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