This is a re-print of an article I wrote at my personal blog. I thought I’d share it this week on the podcast.
Homeschooling has a number of benefits: flexible schedules, targeted curriculum, and proper socialization just to name a few. However, disadvantages such as a lack of knowledge about a subject, scheduling conflicts, and dealing with the different learning methods of children can sometimes discourage and derail a parent’s homeschooling plans.
Technology can help alleviate some of the perceived disadvantages of homeschooling and lighten the load of the home educator. With technology a parent can streamline, coordinate and tailor a child’s education to best suit the parent’s and the child’s needs.
There are many reasons to use technology in your homeschool:
- Conquer time restraints
- Customized curriculum
- Collaborative learning
- Capture additional resources
- Cut costs
Let’s take a detailed look at each of these reasons.
Conquer time restraints
“I don’t have enough time,” is one of the primary reasons people will say they can’t homeschool their child. With technology, the parent can make better use of their time and properly manage their child’s time through the entire homeschooling process. Online and locally installed classroom and curriculum planners assist the parent in scheduling and planning out each day, month, and year for their child to better manage any time constraints and conflicts that may arise.
Everyone learns differently. Theories about learning styles differ but in general most people are either auditory, visual or kinesthetic learners. There are some people who require a combination of all or some of these methods to properly learn about a subject. Despite the style or pace at which a child learns, technology takes advantage of a child’s learning style and provides proper pacing for students of all abilities.
Homeschooling can sometimes lead to a sense of isolation. In some cases, families are truly isolated either geographically or culturally and this can stifle the learning experience. With technology, that isolation can be minimized so that parents and children feel like they’re not “in this alone.” With technology, borders can be crossed and cultural boundaries can be explored rather than ignored. Technology allows the children and parents to collaborate with others in ways that were previously impossible.
Capture additional resources
Every parent desires to provide as much information to their child as possible when teaching, especially if the parent’s knowledge on a specific subject is limited. Space is limited in most people’s houses and buying and cataloging thousands of books can be an overwhelming and costly task. Technology allows the parent to supplement their expansive and growing library with material that their child can access without having to leave the home. Gone are the days of spending hours in the library with an encyclopedia. Now students can leverage the power of the Internet to research any subject from agriculture to zoology.
With the cost of just about everything sky-rocketing these days, home educators seek out new ways to save a little extra every day. After all, there are no federal tax credits for homes educators and very few states offer and tax relief of any kind. Technology can reduce the cost of home education and relieve some of the burden involved with purchasing educational materials. $1500 may seem like fortune for a curriculum but if it can be used over and over with several children then the total cost per child is greatly reduced. In addition, there are a number of free resources that parents can take advantage of in their educational endeavors.
As you can see, technology gives the home educator a plethora of tools to accomplish the very rewarding task of homeschooling. Hopefully you’re motivated to modernize your homeschool and take advantage of the various technologies available to you and better your child’s education.
Thanks to Audio Theatre Central for sponsoring this week’s podcast!
— The Wired Homeschool (@wiredhs) April 11, 2012
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