Embracing Online Learning in HomeschoolingJuly 17, 2023
Post sponsored by Discover!
Gone are the days when students simply showed up to school, listened to their teacher’s lessons, and were sent home with homework or assignments. It’s just not how schools operate anymore…even traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. Online learning, whether serving as the main form of education or as a supplement, is here for the long run. And many families, especially those who homeschool, are embracing all the benefits, innovations, and conveniences online learning has to offer.
One thing worth noting, however…most students need variety. Like a combination of asynchronous online lessons, live classes, textbook learning, independent study, and so on. But online learning–in some way, shape, or form–has quickly become a staple of education across the globe.
The COVID-19 pandemic certainly pushed online learning to the forefront of education; after all, that was really the only available option for schools at the time. And while some schools were reluctantly dragged into the 21st century and its innovative methods of learning, most soon realized that online education actually has a place in public schools, private schools, and of course, home education. Today, many schools have adopted online learning either as a way to study at home or to reinforce in-class lessons with complementary interactive learning. And, given its advantages, online learning will likely continue growing in all sectors of education.
The Importance of Finding the Right Fit
As a homeschooling parent, it’s important to identify your child’s learning style and preferences so you can use the right online learning tools and get the most out of them. For example, hands-on learners (kinesthetic) find no value in watching hours of videos and taking online quizzes. They need to move and touch things to learn the topics you’re teaching–for math, you can use manipulatives to reinforce online lessons. Have them watch or participate in a math lesson, then pause for a few moments to let them use their hands to better understand the material.
For science, perhaps a quick video on the laws of gravity, followed by an experiment demonstrating those laws. For history or social studies, use an online lesson about the Revolutionary War and then have your child create a slideshow or diorama of a certain event from that period of history. The options are nearly limitless.
As we previously mentioned, it’s important to incorporate a variety of learning into your child’s homeschool day…even if you’re using online learning. Blended learning has become a popular form of education, especially since the pandemic. While computer-based learning is very convenient, most kids benefit from paper- and textbook-based activities and learning as well. There are a variety of blended learning models, most of which involve a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction, online and textbook content, or online self-paced work and online virtual instruction.
A good online program will use a varied mix of media to keep your student engaged and ready to learn. In fact, neuroscience confirms that young learners need pencil and paper, active learning, freedom to share ideas, and opportunities to problem solve as they grow and develop.
As you look to create the right online learning formula, go through a quick checklist…
- Online lessons that encourage independence
- Project-based learning
- Online quizzes, tests, and assessments
- Some textbook- or paper-based learning
- Interactive and hands-on activities
- Easily accessible progress and grading information
- Anytime access to online content
- Lessons that promote critical thinking and real-world connections
- Engaging material that makes kids want to learn more
Discover! the Highlights of Online Learning
Discover! Online is built to give kids the perfect blended learning experience. How? By offering online, worktext, and instructor-led activities for students in grades 1-6. Powered by Bridgeway Academy, Discover! features daily lessons that challenge students to think critically, encourage them to express their thoughts and ideas, and allow them to participate in fun projects.
What is a typical Discover! Online lesson all about?
- Kids get to know all the fun characters that help guide them through each course. There’s Pierre the Frog, Julie the Grasshopper, Lonnie the Lemur, and many more!
- Discover! Online interactives keep students engaged by helping them absorb, process, and integrate new information in creative ways.
- Discover! lessons connect learning to real life. Students engage in online activities specifically designed to build critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
- Discover! helps cultivate independent learning through easy-to-follow pacing and an intuitive online interface. Kids and parents can easily view what’s coming up daily and weekly.
- If you’re a family that prefers to incorporate faith into your child’s education, Discover! Online offers a Faith Connections option that challenges kids to analyze new information from a Biblical worldview.
With Discover! Online, homeschoolers experience all the benefits of online learning, but with the perfect blend of hands-on activities that young students need.
The Perfect Online Curriculum Companion
If you already have a curriculum you know and love, but you’re seeking to complement it with online learning, look no further than Elephango.
Elephango is an award-winning online learning platform that includes more than 3,000 K-12 lessons and over 100,000 pathways to personalized learning. Elephango was designed for homeschoolers to encourage independent study, allow students to enjoy the freedom to learn their way, and spark curiosity. With a subscription, families get 24/7 access to engaging lessons that focus on a wide variety of topics and subjects, including current events. And they’re easy to find thanks to a comprehensive search feature. The easy-to-use dashboard keeps everything organized for parents, while badges and leaderboards make learning extra fun for students of all ages.
Online learning is here to stay. And fortunately for homeschoolers, it’s opening up countless doors of opportunity to learn, grow, and prepare for life outside of school through an ever-expanding variety of education options.
Additional Homeschool Resources