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Technology + Online Education = More Accessible Homeschooling

Technology + Online Education = More Accessible Homeschooling

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Technology is changing how we teach our students, but also where and when we teach our students. As digital learning resources grow, so do the number of homeschooled students in America.

Who are these students who learn from home, and how can parents facilitate learning outside of the traditional classroom?

What does the average homeschool student look like?

Although stereotypes show shy kids or parents with strong ideologies, the homeschool population is diverse — and it is continuing to grow.  Emma Brown at the Washington Post reported exactly how fast homeschooling is growing in America:

  • In 2012, 1.77 million students were homeschooled, an 18 percent increase from 2007.
  • This group of 1.77 million students represents 3.4 percent of the entire K-12 student population.
  • 25 percent of parents say they homeschool their children to give them a safe school environment. 
  • 19 percent of parents homeschool their children because of dissatisfaction with the education system.

While 3% seems like a small number, the number of homeschoolers is believed to be much higher.  There are many states in which parents do not have to inform the government and/or school systems with their intent to homeschool.  Additionally, these numbers are from 2012, and the trend of homeschooling has increased; therefore, we can assume that this number has increased also.

One of the main objections that parents raise about homeschooling is their own qualifications. If they didn’t do as well in school, will they be harming their children by trying to teach them? 

The Coalition for Responsible Home Education recently broke down the demographics of the average homeschool family and found that parental education of homeschooled students lined up almost identically to parental education of all other students. In other words, the same parents in the carpool line at school are just as qualified to homeschool their children.

The numbers:

  • 14 percent of parents had a graduate or professional degree.
  • 25 percent of parents had a Bachelor’s degree.
  • 30 percent of parents had a vocational degree or some college experience.
  • 20 percent of parents had a high school diploma or GED.

What makes homeschooling more realistic today is technology.  The opportunities are endless. Even if you are comfortable teaching some subject, turning to online education can help you fill the gaps.  STEAM and foreign language classes are two strong examples of that.

Some experts believe online schools are the education of the future.  Over 316,000 students are enrolled online across the United States.

Suren Ramsubbu at the Huffington Post lays out some of the reason’s education is going to digital-only options:

  • Online learning places the class time and location in the learner’s hands.
  • Personal classes create a comfortable environment for introverts and autistic students.
  • Sharing and digital enrollment help overcome teacher shortages in America.
  • One-on-one classes enable customization based on the individual’s needs.
  • Technological advancement allows for the innovation of new learning tools.  

Online students learn the same content as traditional students, but the faster learners don’t get bogged down by waiting for their classmates to catch up, and other students can take their time on trickier subjects.

Many homeschooling experts believe we are just starting to see the beginning of the online education industry.  As the digital world expands, so will resources for parents and students.

With this said, why don’t you jump onboard on the early end and have your child try a 10-week, 20-week and 30-week class option at Open Tent Academy.  We offer amazing, interactive, live classes online for grades 2 – 12.

Sources:

“Number of Home-Schooled Students Has Doubled since 1999, New Data Shows.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 1 Nov. 2016, www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2016/11/01/number-of-home-schooled-students-has-doubled-since-1999-new-data-show/?noredirect=on

“Homeschool Demographics.” Coalition for Responsible Home Education, 12 Nov. 2017, www.responsiblehomeschooling.org/homeschooling-101/homeschool-demographics/

“Homeschool Demographics.” Coalition for Responsible Home Education, 12 Nov. 2017, www.responsiblehomeschooling.org/homeschooling-101/homeschool-demographics/


EvaEva Goldstein-Meola is not only co-founder of Open Tent Academy, but an instructor as well as a former homeschooling mother. She has lived in New Jersey, Florida, Western Massachusetts, Northern Virginia and now resides just outside of Jerusalem. Eva holds a Master’s Degree as a Consulting Teacher of Reading and Writing, IEW certification and a Bachelor’s Degree as an Elementary Teacher. She has also been involved in education since 1986 as a Private Tutor, Teacher, Reading Specialist, Homeschooling Mother, Homeschooling Teacher and Business Owner of an Online Education Consortium.

Some other articles by Eva:

We are NOT here to Socialize!

Benefits of Online Classes

The Importance of Reading Out Loud – to ALL Ages!

First Day Traditions – Back to Homeschooling

Homeschool – In Less Than Four Hours a Day

Project-Based Learning

Lapbooking

Middle School Writing

Gap Year – Gaining Experience Before Higher Education

Student Based Projects

Old-School Outside Games

OTA – Helping You Homeschool Better

No… I Don’t Get It All Done

A Novel Idea – Teaching With Literature

The Best Time of the Year

Please… Treat Us Like Family

Top Reasons to LOVE Online Learning

Top Ten Reasons for Learning a Foreign Language

You Know, the “S” Word…

For the Love of Literature

Morning Routines: A Necessary Evil

It’s Never Too Early To Think About Summer Programs

Ten Ways To Improve Your Child’s Reading Skills