Considering homeschooling your children due to COVID- 19?
In-person vs. Online Learning
Due to the lasting effects of COVID- 19, school districts nationwide are considering postponing in-person instruction until later in the year. Some districts are even considering starting in-person instruction after labor day (which falls in September of this year). Other parents and public school officials are concerned that students have already missed out on months of critical instruction due to the global impacts of the novel coronavirus that began in the US in March of this year.
Recently, a large school district in Indiana opened for in-person instruction. The result — was the school having to quarantine teachers and students on the first day. It appears that a returning student tested positive for the coronavirus, but not before engaging with other teachers and students.
Could homeschool, virtual learning, and distance-based instruction be the answer to the uncertainty? It appears that homeschool and other distance learning options are better alternatives for many families and school districts nationwide. So far, the majority of school districts nationwide are opting for distance learning and online instruction instead of in-person learning.
If you’re considering home school due to COVID- 19 this year, you’re not alone. Currently, there is a heated public and political debate about whether America’s public and private schools should open later in the year or — if they should even open for in-person instruction at all.
Why more parents are choosing home-based learning this year:
- School closings due to COVID- 19
- Lack of quality instruction
- Parents want to instill values
- Child has an illness
More parents are considering homeschool this year. Primary concerns are COVID and lack of quality instruction in both rural and metropolitan areas.
How home school works
Home school, in simple terms, is happens when school-aged children are taught at home by their parents. There are some home school groups and associations where other adults act as teachers for groups of students. When children attend home school, their parents also become teachers. As a result of their new role as teachers, homeschooling parents use a combination of learning techniques geared towards educating children outside of a traditional classroom environment.
Parents who home school use the same steps as teachers in a traditional classroom to select curriculum and themed learning activities for the school year. Some of today’s home school students take part in age-appropriate field trips while others are able to participate in organized sports that are normally reserved for public and private school students.
For parents, deciding what curriculum to choose seems to be the most daunting task related to homeschooling. Get ideas on what curriculum to choose for your child by visiting your state’s board of education website. Online school options that offer learning packages often include pre-packaged curriculum options to choose from by age or grade level. Online learning providers like Time4Learning make it easier to organize your child’s school year, track grades, measure progress, and automatically create printable transcripts for transferring and graduating students.
Home school 2020 —->>> How to get started
Today’s home school options include a variety of distance-based learning alternatives. The term “home school” includes parental-led home instruction, tutor-led instruction, online learning, public school-at-home, and distance learning. What all of these non-traditional options have in common is that learning takes place outside of a traditional classroom environment.
For many parents who have traditionally relied on public and private school options for K-12 education, the concept of homeschooling can feel new and daunting. With the global COVID-19 pandemic not showing any end in sight, many Americans are opting for home school, virtual school, or some combination of the two as a way to keep their children safe from the novel coronavirus pandemic that is showing no signs of slowing down.
The good news is that with home school becoming the more popular option is that that are more resources available than ever to help you get started. Now that you understand the basics about how homeschooling works, let’s look at a few home school methods that are available for today’s parents and students.
Back-to-school | 2020
Homeschool + Distance Learning Options
Guided Learning – Working parents and parents who are new to the concept of homeschooling will appreciate the simplicity that guided learning options have to offer. Most guided learning interactions are simulations set up on a computer, tablet, or other compatible mobile devices. Guided learning activities allow for a parent to select an activity for their child to complete. Parents can choose the appropriate grade level and also select the intensity level of each lesson based on the learning habits of their child.
Tip: when setting up a guided learning activity for your child, if you notice that he or she is completing the activities faster than you expected, chances are the intensity level is too easy for them and needs to be adjusted to present a greater challenge. It’s important to monitor how your child responds to the change in intensity level when setting up guided learning activities. You want them to feel challenged, but not completely exhausted by their self-guided learning sessions.
Another popular method of homeschooling called “unschooling” is gaining in popularity as parents and educators realize that many children have the ability to choose their own learning path. Unschooling involves providing your child with a group of activities to choose from and letting them choose the activities they want to participate in for the day, week, or set time period.
Today’s unschoolers are excited learners and excelling at a rapid pace as learning becomes a fun adventure instead of a chore for them. Choosing this pathway requires a mutual bond of trust established between parents and their school-aged children.
Tip: Parents and students have to work together to establish reasonable goals and a system of measurement to track progress based on the child’s individual learning plan. Unschooling families can benefit from resources sites including their local state board of education website, unschooling groups online, and local school district support.
Public school-at-home – Offered by many state school districts. This option is based on the school districts curriculum and instruction methods for in-person learning. Public school-at-home options during the pandemic may include in-person learning, online learning, or 100% distance-based learning options.
Online learning options – Popular online learning providers offer full-year curriculum and instruction programs for distance learners. Popular online learning providers like K12 and Time for Learning, provide an easy-to-follow learning pathway for parents and students.
Home School Clubs + Associations
The National Homeschool Association is a member-based advocacy group that provides information, referral, and other support options for home school families. Membership in the NHSA provides parents and other home-based educators with access to home school courses for both home school teachers and students.
The NHSA provides information in their monthly newsletter on home school rules, laws, and regulations, and also offers a one-stop shop for new home school parents. The annual membership fee to join the NHSA has temporarily been reduced from $39.00/yr to $10.00/year.
Learn about homeschooling requirements by state, special needs programs, important information for high-school students (and beyond). How to choose the right curriculum and planning your school year. Members get legal education on homeschooling laws and regulations along with educational support. The HSLDA provides parents and home-based educators with a variety of resources, tools, and strategies that make homeschooling a breeze.
Georgia Homeschool Education Association | GHEA
Information and resources for parents within The State of Georgia who suddenly find themselves homeschooling as a result of COVID- 19. Find videos, testimonials, how-to-guides, and community resources, state laws, policies, and important information for driver education and athletic participation programs for home school students who live in Georgia.
K12.com – Online Learning Platform | Grades K-12
K12.com is one of the leading online education providers for distance learners who require a non-traditional learning experience. This online platform offers a combination of learning options that include distance-based and in-person learning options for enrolled students. K12 offers non-traditional routes of study for advanced learners, college-prep students, and wide-variety of personalized learning options for non-traditional learners.
Education.com – Resource & Information Site | For Parents + Educators
Learn about homeschooling requirements by state, special needs programs, important information for high-school students — and beyond. The Education.com website can help you learn how to choose the right curriculum and planning your school year. Members get legal education on homeschooling laws and regulations along with educational support.
Time4Learning – Online Learning Platform | Grades K – 12
Time4Learning is another leading online education provider that offers education, curriculum, and instruction for students grades K-12.This online learning platform provides a complete teaching option that includes customized progress reports, teaching strategies, and individual learning plans for elementary through high-school aged students.
Getting started with Time4Learning only takes a few minutes as this intuitive learning platform does most of the work for you. Sign up for the Time4Learning affordable monthly subscription and begin your home school journey with ease!
Click the link below to find resources provided by the United States Department of Education.
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