How to get the most out of your online homeschooling platform
Thanks to technology and the emergence of online homeschool platforms, receiving a comprehensive at-home education has never been easier or more accessible. Parents are no longer obligated to develop their own curricula, lessons and exams with potentially limited resources, though of course the beauty of homeschooling is that they can develop the curricular they feel is appropriate, if they choose. Nevertheless, online platforms for homeschooling can be excellent resources, providing everything required for effective at-home learning all in one place. But how can you make the most out of everything an online platform has to offer, beyond just the lesson plans and activities?
Read on for some of our best tips and tricks for homeschool families.
1. Create a schedule – and stick to it
While many people opt to homeschool for the greater flexibility in scheduling – compared to the stricter organization of public schools – that doesn’t mean that homeschoolers should forego a consistent schedule altogether. Setting aside a regular time to complete schoolwork is one of the good study habits that can lead to greater overall academic success. Study.com’s online homeschooling platform has a study scheduling tool to help at-home learners stay on track and maximize their potential for success. Additionally, their Family Plan allows for connected parent and child accounts. Students can create a plan of action that works for their day-to-day needs, and parents can rest assured that precious learning time is being used wisely.
2. Make use of extra resources
Effective study habits involve more than just reading from a textbook and taking notes – it’s important to interact with new material in a variety of ways and mediums to truly make it stick. Thankfully, there are no shortage of extra resources available online that can help maximize the study game for homeschoolers. Rather than sticking solely with text-based resources, seek out explanatory or instructional videos to better understand and visualize a concept. Online flash cards can help when it comes to memorizing key vocabulary for any subject, or even mathematical and scientific formulas. Finally, try a low-stakes online quiz to test knowledge before a real end-of-unit assessment.
3. Take advanced courses for college credit
Many families are at times wary of homeschooling as they fear their students will have less opportunity than those in public school to earn college credit while still in high school. While this may be true for traditional homeschool curricula, online platforms like the one at Study.com offer homeschoolers the chance to earn dual credit, preparing for Advanced Placement and CLEP exams using materials based on real AP and CLEP tests in all subjects, from math and science to history and the arts.
4. Ask for help when needed
Even though homeschooling often means a lot of individual study time, that doesn’t mean that an at-home learner should feel alone or isolated. This is especially true when it comes to needing extra help; after all, students in public school have daily access to experts in the field, and homeschooled students deserve the same. Study.com’s homeschooling platform provides students with on-demand access to expert instructors who can help explain concepts more clearly or demonstrate skills in a way that can help clear up any misunderstandings or simply provide more information.
5. Explore your own interests
One of the most positive aspects of homeschooling is the freedom it affords learners to pursue their own interests, or to discover new ones. The advantage of an online homeschooling platform is that it gives students access to a much broader selection of courses than they would otherwise get in either a traditional school setting or in a prescribed homeschool curriculum. It’s important to use this flexibility to your advantage – explore something new, or delve deeper into a subject that interests you.
How do you plan to get the most out of your online homeschool platform?
Sponsored article from Study.com
We find that parents who reluctantly look towards homeschooling when traditional day schools ‘push’ them to do so have a series of realizations about how much more freedom they have to: define what constitutes meaningful learning and tailor it to their child, shape the schedule for the implementation of that learning. Often, they also discover a parallel world of rich and diverse learning opportunities from cooperatives to micro-specialized learning organizations.
Parents are particularly interested in online learning due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. It is an option they may never have previously considered. Our advice to parents is simple. Fit is important. If your child enjoys a particular learning content they will be so much more motivated to pursue their studies if they care about what they are learning, and a positive experience is self-reinforcing. Since homeschoolers tend to be permitted greater choice your child is also likely to connect with peers who share his/her interests. The other aspect of fit involves approach. Is the learning synchronous or asynchronous? Is it project-based, group-centered, or…? Understand the approaches an organization uses to facilitate learning. Also, remember that social connections are critical for young people’s mental health and wellbeing. During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, social connections can be facilitated in the context of online learning. Organizations that speak to this issue are more likely to be thinking about your child in his/her many dimensions (“the whole child”), not just as a recipient of the curriculum.