Anyone who has ever worked with a computer understands that technology is beneficial but it can also be temperamental and the user experience for a child is a big factor.
When looking at the top accredited homeschools, ask to go through a demo of the portal so the student can have a hands-on experience and provide feedback.
Check out customer feedback to see if the system is repeatedly having technical issues, access problems or other connectivity items that would make it difficult for the student to stay focused and get the work done.
Curriculum is a major factor to consider when choosing a platform because it is the foundation of the child’s education and will build year after year. If it is in contradiction to what the parent is looking for or the student is struggling to keep up with the work after a period of time then the situation needs to be re-evaluated with the school.
Ask if the program conducts placement testing to see where the child should be placed and avoid these issues which can be discouraging and mentally draining for the student. As part of this decision, the online format is convenient but younger students may need to start with the print option and ease into the other when it becomes available.
You can’t talk about homeschooling without addressing the cost of the top accredited homeschools but if the goal is to teach the child at home so they don’t have to be in the public system then it’s best to determine what fits in the budget.
This can be a challenge because there will always be an associated cost but it doesn’t have to be expensive to give the child a quality backed education.
The best approach is to check out several comparable options that are accredited and have acceptable curriculum and determine the differences in price.
Programs often allow parents to be the part or full-time teacher for elementary students, so if this is something parents can do then this may reduce the overall cost for a few years.
Accreditation should be a non-negotiable feature of whichever online program you are looking at.
Standards are important and specific agencies are setup to review and award accreditation to schools that meet these requirements which apply to curriculum, teaching, staff qualifications and other features.
If this doesn’t exist then the program can apply any standard, they want at any point which can be inconsistent and not necessarily adequate to prepare for the next stage, entrance into college.
School platforms that take the time to earn this accreditation must then also repeat the process periodically to keep this status and that shows dedication to providing students with the highest quality possible.
Online homeschooling requires at least three participants: the teacher, parent and student. The primary relationship is between the student and the teacher (which could be the same as the parent in some situations) but the parent plays an important role in support, organization and accountability.
Students must do the work so the above features help to create a positive experience for them so they can get the work done, understand the concepts and feel their achievements.
Online instruction can be a challenging situation at the beginning but it is also great preparation for students when they go into college as this is becoming a more popular approach in the younger generation.
Online homeschooling builds the foundation for self-study, time management and self-discipline and the top accredited homeschools, the level of work required makes the future transition easier.
Parents are the key in that they have multiple responsibilities but with their own portal, they can monitor grades, track progress and remain independent of the student’s portal where they can manage their work.
This allows parents to step in only when needed and allow their children to develop necessary skills that employers and colleges will look for.
Just as parents will encourage their children, these adults need support from the school program in the form of admissions staff, teachers and guidance counselors.
The online platform you choose should have friendly interaction, fast response times and clear answers to questions so parents can have peace of mind that they are using the best possible online solution for their child’s education.
This is especially critical in the beginning when this relationship is starting out and then building over the years as the student continues with the same program.
At the end of the day, the technical solution is just one aspect but it is a significant one because it becomes the child’s classroom, gateway to knowledge and determines how they view their education journey.
The better the experience, the more likely the student is to pursue higher knowledge and come away with a positive experience that allows them to support homeschooling for their own families when that time comes.