The way homeschooling is done has drastically changed over the last decade or two with the introduction of technology. Homeschool students have greater access to educational opportunities than ever before. However, approximately 50% of Internet users refrain from online activities because of identity theft and privacy concerns. You may be worried about using the Internet as part of your homeschool strategy, but the benefits can outweigh your concerns. Here’s how to use the Internet to your advantage when you’re homeschooling.
Kids can be incredibly curious about the world around them, which can lead to a barrage of relentless “why” questions. The next time your child asks the question, you can tell them to Google it to find the answer. Before parents had access to the Internet, answering a child’s question may have required numerous trips to the library and countless hours of research to find the answer. With Google, a child has access to any information they want to know right at their fingertips.
As you are working on homeschool learning projects, your child can use Google as a starting point and be able to dig deeper into any topic they’re working on. Even how the Internet works can be a great jumping point for learning, right down to learning how a linesman installs and repairs the cable that the technology flows through. This ease of access to vast amounts of information through the Internet can show children how to find out what they want to know independently. This can save a large amount of frustration and unnecessary pestering from what their parents may or may not know.
The Internet gives children the ability to learn while having fun at the same time. Early education years ago used to rely on rote memorization and flashcards in order to gain knowledge. Now children can have a great time playing games that help them learn at the same time. Gamification can transform boring school subjects into entertaining ones. Children can be more energized from learning than the buzz you can get from drinking a cup of coffee or green tea — and that contains about 45 milligrams of caffeine.
Many online games involve experiences and skills that build upon each other, similar to the school method of educational mastery for learning new things. Children learn how to take the skills they learn in one area of the game and apply it to another area or level. They are given missions or challenges they increase in difficulty as they continue to play.
Increased Learning Resources
Internet technology takes much of the pressure off of parents. Before the Internet became available, parents had to do all the work themselves with a hodgepodge of resources or hire someone else to teach. Homeschool students now have access to high-quality teachers from around the world as well as plenty of content to work with at their fingertips. If a child is struggling with a particular subject, they can email or video chat with the teacher instantly. They can also access a tutor or get help from other students their age.
If your child is struggling with a particular math problem, there are resources to help explain it. You no longer have to stress yourself out trying to remember what you learned 20 years ago. This can be ideal for parents who are divorced. The child can still access their resources and continue their education without issues when they spend time with their noncustodial parent for the approximate three months’ worth of time on average each year. Neither parent has to worry about trying to help their child learn something they don’t know thoroughly themselves.
More Socialization Opportunities
Because of the Internet, the opportunities for learning and socializing with their peers has vastly increased. Children can use Skype and other live video chat options to listen to lectures and collaborate with other students without having to be in the same room. Years ago, parents may have had to drive long distances in order to meet with other homeschooling families to work together. Children can go on virtual field trips and learn other languages from kids their age around the world.
Wherever you may travel as a family, you can instantly plug into another homeschool group online for your child to meet new friends and engage in educational activities. Kids can compete and collaborate against one another from anywhere in the world. Parents can take advantage of this to help keep children invested in their education while they are at home. Because of the increased socialization opportunities, children are also exposed naturally to a wide array of cultural diversity. Children can get personal experiences that can broaden their horizons far better than relying on books and study materials alone.
Real Life Applications
When students learn at school, it can be difficult for them to figure out how or why what they’re learning matters. They may believe that they will never use the information in their everyday life. You can use the Internet to show how whatever your child is using is applied in different careers and experiences people have. This can help them become more engaged if they believe it will be important to them later on.
The next time your child fights you over algebra, you can have them look up how it’s used to figure out how much battery life they have on your phone or tablet based on their online activities. Or, you can show them online how it’s used to price the meals they get at their favorite restaurant.
The Internet can be incredibly advantageous for you as a parent when it comes to homeschooling your children. Technology opens up more doors for homeschoolers to learn and socialize with others in fun and interesting ways. It can help make life easier for parents who want to make sure that their children are receiving the best education possible. By leveraging online resources, you can help your child grow into a successful and thriving adult.