Dear ones, as some of you know I was taught at home, and I taught all my 8 children from home for 16 years. Last year we made the decision to put 5 of our children into a tiny, local Christian school. It has been wonderful. We never thought we would make that decision but the Lord has mightily blessed it! I wrote my post Are you inside a box of your own making? at that time. The Lord is so gracious and he gives wisdom to each of us for the needs of our particular families.
I would like you to meet our next new contributor Misty Sparks. She has a beautiful calling to homeschool her special needs children and is going to give us some insight on that, as well as be sharing crafts with us regularly. Today she is answering the question, “What about Virtual School?”
In today’s society, we are seeing how things are quickly becoming more technological. This is so in the business world, classrooms, and even at home. Technology is growing rapidly, and it is opening up so many more options to our people. Just about every household now owns a computer or tablet, be it a desktop or a laptop. This opens so many doors for families, and these doors lead to some truly amazing opportunities that will not only benefit the child but also the parents. One of these benefits that come from this is the option of virtual schooling your child.
Now, one may ask “What is virtual schooling?” Let me share. Virtual school is where the child takes classes online. Yes, it is something that began with colleges and has finally opened to include grades K-12 as well. Our children today now have the opportunity to stay home with their parents and still obtain a great education. You can sign your child up to take these courses online, the virtual school will ship all needed items to the family, and then the parent will be the child’s learning guide. The child does have teachers online who grade their work, interact with the child, and ensure they are on task, but overall it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the child gets a good education and is doing what is needed of them with their assistance.
So, what are the benefits to putting your child in virtual school? Let’s see where shall we begin. First off, there’s the benefit that the child gets to be taught by their parent. After all, who is better to teach the child than their own parent right? Of course! You teach your child from day one and on, so why wouldn’t you want to teach them everything rather than sending them off to be with a stranger all day.
Second, when your child goes off to school they are away from you for 8 hours a day. That’s a long time to not be with your family. That is one reason why many kids tend to have anxiety, separation issues, and more. Plus, you have to consider the that the child may not mesh well with their teacher or the other students. This leads to the child possibly not learning at their full potential, behavioral issues in the school atmosphere, and the child lashing out. Third, a child tends to do better with one on one learning or small group learning than they will in a classroom where the ratio tends to be 1:20+. One teacher in a classroom of 20-25 students may not allow each student to have the ample time needed with the teacher for one on one guidance. Not all children learn at the same rate, and many times they need that one on one guidance to help better understand the material. They may need more than in a classroom.
Ok, so you see some of the benefits to virtual schooling a child. That’s not even the full list of benefits, but it is some of the key points that could really make you realize that teaching your child yourself is better for them and more beneficial. Now, let me share a piece of information with you that was shared with me when I first began looking into virtual schooling. There is one big question that many parents tend to question when it comes to virtual schooling, and that question is….what about peer interaction? My child won’t be around other kids, they won’t know how to learn to share, develop social skills, etc. This is not true. Your child will have plenty of opportunities to interact with others because in a virtual school setting you set the tone for the child. For starters, they interact with other students in their virtual classrooms with discussion boards, microphone discussions, and other activities such as virtual field trips. You can take your child on field trips anytime you’d like, therefore creating opportunities for them to meet new kids and interact. Plus, if you choose to go to the park for recess/gym then they’ll get peer interaction that way. Also, I’m sure as a parent you have friends and family with kids too. If that’s the case, then there’s plenty of opportunities there for your child to interact with other kids as well. The other thing that was pointed out was that statistics show that children who learn at home tend to be more likely to want to attend college, build better peer interactions in the long run, and develop amazing social skills.
In conclusion, if you are considering which direction to go with your child and their education I would highly recommend virtual schooling! There are plenty of resources out there to help you choose the right option for you and your child, and plenty of opportunities for them to still be involved in sports, dance, and many other activities on the side to help with peer interaction. Thanks for letting me share with you a bit of my journey!
Misty is a mama of 2 special needs kids, one of which she virtual schools. She is a wahm (you can check out one of her sites HERE) who enjoys being involved in her kids’ lives both in and out of school. She enjoyed writing and crafting, being outdoors but especially being at home snugging her babies.