What are the Pros and Cons of Online Homeschool?

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Explore the pros and cons of using an online homeschool program.

Parents always want to make the best possible decisions about their child’s education. Those who homeschool have so many homeschool curriculum options available! It can be tough to decide exactly what is the best avenue to follow.

Online homeschool programs can be a great solution for many families. With a variety of formats, plus paid and free online homeschool options, nearly every family can find the academic features they need. However, there are still pros and cons of online homeschool to consider.

Pros of Online Homeschool

Affordable or Free Online Homeschool Choices

Though some online homeschool programs are pricey, there are also free online homeschool options for parents. In many areas, the school district or board of education funds online homeschool curriculum and supplies to complete lessons for the families they serve, with little to no cost for the parents.

Pre-organized curriculum

With online homeschool, the chosen company sets up and manages all of your curriculum and lesson plans. There may be some choices with electives for older students or you might need to manage deadline and testing dates, but the planning should be minimal on your part.

Teacher Support

Even in free online homeschool situations, there is support from teachers who can help your student understand concepts. Though it’s your job as parent-teacher to make sure that lessons are completed on time, the professional support is a huge help with subjects that you are not as comfortable presenting.

Accredited Diploma Programs

As states often fund these homeschool curriculum programs, many meet the requirements of your local board of education. This means that a graduating senior receives a diploma that is recognized by their state and most colleges and universities, just as those in traditional public school programs in your area.

Cons of Online Homeschool

Less Scheduling Flexibility

Though online homeschool is far more flexible than traditional school, there are sometimes livestreamed lessons that students must attend. Deadlines for testing or lesson completion can also be a bit more difficult to change. Those who want the complete flexibility that offline homeschool curriculum offers may struggle.

Fewer Homeschool Curriculum Choices

One of the perks of standard homeschooling is the ability to pick and choose curriculum that fits your child’s needs. With online homeschool, you must use the curriculum provided which may not present topics in a way that fits your child’s learning style. Also, for those who have personal beliefs that do not line up with certain topics, these programs may not be as flexible.

Not as Much Social Interaction

Many traditional homeschoolers have co-ops or social/activity groups that they attend with their students for social interaction. Some online homeschool curriculum companies do offer an opportunity to connect and meet with local families, but this is not standard. It is up to parents to find extra-curricular activities that keep their children engaged with the world around them.

Easier for Students to Take Shortcuts

As students are constantly online, it is easy for them to use search engines and calculators to take shortcuts on their work. Unless you are monitoring them nonstop, this is a risk that comes with the territory.

There is a lot to think about when it comes to deciding about online homeschool. Consider the pros and cons and make the best decision you can for your child’s education.

Remember, every child is different and every family's situation is unique; you have to do what's best for your child and your family.

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