Have you had the nightmare? You know, the one featuring cold sweats, heavy breathing, freshly waking from the images of your child asking a Geometry question you last considered over 30 years ago!
Perhaps your nightmare involved words like gerund, terminal velocity, dangling modifier, or gerrymandering. Whatever your potential source of concern, you can rest in the fact that you are not alone.
The best home school environments aren’t those with all-knowing parents capable of winning Jeopardy night in and night out. The best environments are those where parents facilitate sound instruction by utilizing the best resources available that align with their value system.
Some families experience direct relationships with curriculum providers that have evolved over time. Others still have cautiously moved into the world of virtual education. Understandably, some home school families’ worry about the loss of control they would experience should they move in this direction.
In the early days of virtual schools, instructional delivery was asynchronous. Communication between student and teacher was sparse and almost never in real time. As you can imagine, this led to significant frustration for students and parents.
Fast-forward to the present, and the quality of virtual education has radically improved. These days, when a student needs assistance, FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, and other video conferencing technology have removed the communication barrier. Students and teachers can communicate whenever necessary.
What’s more, parents can identify their virtual school of choice from a growing number of options. Perhaps the parent is confident in mathematics, but weak in language – many schools provide part-time learning models throughout grade levels to meet those needs. Virtual Schools of Excellence is one such example of a private school offering a “concierge approach” to education.
Other parents wish to align their family values with faith-based content. A variety of quality virtual schools have made this easier than ever. Catholic Schools of Excellence, and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Online are two examples of AdvancED accredited, NCAA approved institutions.
Parents have much to consider when home schooling their children. Whether you’ve utilized virtual school as an option in the past or not, one thing is certain: the student-teacher relationship is no longer an obstacle to quality instruction.
So do you research – I’m fairly sure you’ll learn something new and will be glad you did.
Tim Holland is a career educator who blogs at www.timhollandonline.com. You can also find him on Twitter @Tim_G_Holland.