A Guide to Online Homeschooling Curricula
With satisfaction in the public school system on the decline, many parents are opting to educate their children themselves. The most common objections to home schooling (apart from the mistaken belief that it is illegal) are the lack of socialization opportunities for children and the fear that a parent is simply not qualified to teach children. Both objections are being addressed: the first by various networks offering social activities for homeschooled children, the second by the growth of pre-packaged curricula for homeschooling parents, developed by professional educators. The big names in homeschooling curricula such as Penn Foster, Sonlight and Abeka offer mostly book-based learning, but the Internet has led to a market for online homeschooling curricula too. This article will review some of these online homeschooling curricula.
The Time4learning Online Homeschooling Curriculum
Time4learning.com is an online homeschooling curriculum focusing on math and English language arts (ELA). It is designed to help children in grades K through 8 learn at their own pace using online games, puzzles and other exercises to help develop math and ELA skills. There are over a thousand interactive animated lessons available, correlated to the standards for all 50 states, and the site allows the user to print off worksheets to help reinforce learning. A login costs $19.95 per month for the first child and $14.95 per month for each subsequent child, which should be affordable for most families. If Time4learning.com has a weakness, it is that its lessons don't appear to go much beyond the three Rs, which is fine for a young child, but could be a problem once the child gets to an age at which a school-based education would expect to branch out into science, related arts and humanities.
Christian Homeschooling Online Curricula
Evangelical and fundamentalist Christians have been at the forefront of the homeschooling movement due especially to dissatisfaction with what they perceive to be an atheistic science curriculum being promoted in public and most private schools. It therefore comes as no surprise that there are a large number of online homeschooling curricula aimed at this market. The curricula focus on promoting a view of science and geography based on a literal interpretation of the Bible. Major names in this area include The Grace Academy, The Morningstar Academy and The Jubilee Academy.
Finding an Online Curriculum Through a Homeschooling Association
If you are unsure which online homeschooling curriculum is right for you, your state Department of Education should be able to put you in touch with a homeschooling association near you. There, you will be able to contact other homeschooling parents who will be able to provide you with advice and recommendations.