|Posted on April 23, 2012 at 4:20 PM|
When Homeschooling began to "re-appear" in American Culture (until about 150 years ago, there were no public schools and almost all children were taught at home), most critics thought that we were baffoons who could barely teach our children to tie their shoes, let alone the alphabet. But a few decades have gone past and test scores have consistently shown that Homeschoolers perform better on achievement tests, as well as in college. And while most critics have been silenced (there are a few that still feel our children are socially handicapped -- see next week's blog), it is important remember that we want to shelter our children from the evil of this world, without handicapping then from fully functioning in the world once they have "flown our coup".
If you have been hesitant to allow your children to use the computer/Internet for Homeschooling up to this point, I want to greatly encourage you to reconsider. Computers are here to stay and almost ALL jobs (from flipping bugers at McDonalds, to working in the field of neurosurgery) require a minimum of a comfortable use of computers. A computer is a tool -- and a teaching out children how to rightly use this tool is of tremendous benefit. Computers are also very useful if you have a child who has ADD, ADHD, or dyslexia -- as they respond and learn differently than straight textbook learners. And with textbooks online, downloadable or WEB-Interactive curriculums, and video lessons offered now, the options available (and most of these options are reasonably priced as well) are now almost limitless.
So, you might ask, what are the "pros" and "cons" of Homeschooling on a computer or tablet? Glad you asked. Let's look at some:
PROs: 1.) Your child becomes "comfortable" using a computer; 2.) Your child's course and/or curriculum are all on a computer (no more stacks of books around the house -- one easy-to-find location); 3.) All schoolwork and homework are on the computer (no more missing assignments, lost papers, etc. EVERYTHING is organized and located in one location; 4.) Lessons are portable -- if you have a laptop or tablet (iPad, Kindle Fire, etc) you can take school on the go: on trips; errands; etc. 5.) WEB-Interactive lessons are much more exciting and indepth: not just "book-learning" but include audio and video, as well as terrific graphics to bring learning concepts to life! 6.) No more having to buy new workbooks each year; and for each child -- thisprovides a world of $avings that we homeschooling moms couldn't take advantage of before. I curriculum can be used over and over for each upcoming child and worksheets can be reprinted and used. 7.) By using e-books and online curriculums, you are actually "going-green". No killing trees.
CONs: 1.) What if I, the Mom, am not very familiar with computers? How will I teach my children? (If you are a newbie to computers, I recommend that you get together with a friend for an afternoon and learn some of the basics with them. You will be amazed at how quickly you can pick it up. Programmers get paid good money to make their software easy to use and get around. You will do fine -- after all, you are already reading this blog entry ). **See our FREEBIES for this week to Free computer classes for all ages. 2.) What if my computer "crashes" or gets too old? In today's world, there are ways to save your work: like flash drives, CD-ROMs, on DVDs, and just the last couple of years -- storing on 'Cloud" servers. That way, even if your computer actually "died", all your infomation is safe and ready to continue lessons without missing a beat. 3.) What if a school board wants to see my documentation, books, worksheets, etc? Actually, you will put them all to shame with one quick glance -- you can show them textbooks, documents, worksheets, etc all in one place.
**I guess there really aren't any "real" cons to speak of. **
So this Spring/Summer, I highly encourage you to look into trying out some online courses. They don't have to be BrandenburgStudies courses (although your students would greatly enjoy them and learn more than you can imagine -- had to put in a plug for them -- you understand ). And check out some of the FREE computer courses -- WEB link on our FREEBIES page.