Home education is the most ancient form of studies that had emerged long before the appearance of the first comprehensive schools. For many centuries homeschooling was the only way to gain knowledge. It was available only to wealthy families able to pay for the services of a private teacher or to parents who had free time, relevant knowledge and teaching skills.
Everything is much simpler today. The Internet has opened up great opportunities for young people and everyone can enjoy the benefits of education websites.
Forms of homeschooling
There are several forms of learning at home:
- School teachers come to the child every day and run lessons individually. This form of education is often used in case of complex medical diagnosis.
- Extern. A student learns disciplines at a convenient pace independently or with the help of ones parents, after which one passes the exams at school. Hence, it can take a child one year to complete the program instead of two.
- Unschooling. Homeschool tools for parents are not used here. Adults do not interfere in the learning process and provide help only at request. The child obtains knowledge independently according to his own special style.
In most cases, the student is required to come to school twice a year and take exams to obtain a certificate of completed secondary education.
Before choosing the top homeschooling program parents should carefully weigh all the pros and cons, decide whether this model of education will be useful for their son or daughter.
Advantages and disadvantages of home education
This system deserves attention due to the following factors:
- More effective mastery of the program. A teacher or a parent understands the child’s weaknesses and which material he/she has learnt perfectly. As a result, the student is distinguished by higher academic performance and quality of knowledge.
- Self education also saves precious time. There is more freedom for visiting museums, theaters, exhibitions, etc. A ten-year program can be mastered in a shorter period of time.
- The opportunity to learn subjects that are not included to school program but are necessary according to the opinion of parents, for example, rare or ancient languages, architecture, art.
- Possibility to organize an individual schedule in accordance with the student’s biological clock. This allows to avoid unnecessary overloads. Such children are less likely to get sick.
- Absence of conflicts with teachers, peers, senior schoolmates (which is known to negatively reflect on the kids’ psyche).
- A child is kept away from the bad influence of peers in undesirable companies.
- The development of an individual way of thinking, the lack of “herd instinct” typical to many collectives.
- Education takes place in accordance with the traditions of the family, which is especially important if it belongs to any religious community or ethnic minority.
- The extraneous influence on religious views and beliefs as well as their criticism and ridicule is excluded.
- Closer contact with parents, trust to them.
Of course, this system also has some disadvantages. For example, a lack of communication. Many may object: the kid is not completely removed from the society, spends time with friends, neighbors, goes to shops, visits sport clubs, other public places. This is indeed true, but in such situations, he/she contacts only with pleasant and sympathetic people without getting a valuable experience of solving conflict situations (which, of course, are inevitable in adulthood).
Top 7 websites for home education
If the benefits of homeschooling impressed you, it will be useful to learn about top teaching websites:
- aleks.com offers useful services for homeschoolers, tutors, parents, and students. Here you can choose courses in the following disciplines: Science, Mathematics, Accounting, Business Math, Statistics and Behavioral Science.
- connectionsacademy.com is a public Internet school to which every kid can access. Children study absolutely free of charge. Participation of parents, strict accountability and flexibility of training programs allow achieving excellent results.
- internethomeschool.com – one of the best websites to study Math, English, Social Science, Health, Computer Science, and some other disciplines.
- eharvey.org – administration of this school has combined the most effective technologies to create conditions for flexible, orderly, reliable and convenient training. Students of different levels and specialties will find a lot of useful information here.
- learningthings.com is a huge online library where you can order useful literature by clicking on the mouse button just a few times. You will save a lot of money and time without going to stationary bookstores and overpaying.
- bigwhirled.com. Enjoy your own online class! Developers have created a variety of tools to turn the web space to a regular school. You will have lessons, marks, training programs and courses, attendance control and rewards.
- homeschool.com is the place where you will find all the most important information about home education (school programs, useful resources, literature, etc.)
Of course, it’s up to parents to decide whether to transfer a son or a daughter to home education. For example, you can organize an “online school” not during the school year but in the last month of the summer vacation to assess your own strengths and observe the reaction of the child. Also, take him/her to experienced psychologist. The expert will help to determine the nature of the character, the type of thinking, evaluate the temperament of the child and tell whether homeschooling will be beneficial.
About the author: Mary Cooper, master in psychology and mass communication, blogger at pro-papers.com.