Last year my son attended his first year of Kindergarten at a public school in Maryland for about four months. We knew we were a little apprehensive with him leaving the house every day without our supervision. Some of our biggest fears were his safety, nutrition and falling behind academically. Sadly, all these concerns came true. His nutrition was one of the first things we noticed that was suffering at school. He came home hungry way too often from school -despite the fact that I packed his lunch every day. Around the middle of the school year, I decided to visit his school one day during lunch. I noticed only some of the kids were eating, and the rest were chatting away -my son included. The teachers and volunteers seemed to be interested in controlling rambunctious children than getting them to eat. I vowed to give him a heavier breakfast in the morning from that day on. The last straw came at the end of the semester when my husband and I attended a parent-teacher conference. During this meeting, the teacher told us that our son was on track and was doing well. However, I noticed that his work looked incomplete on the display wall. I didn’t say anything to the teacher but when we left I asked my son why his work wasn’t completed and he said most days he just didn’t have enough time to finish. I am not sure if he was even absorbing the information presented in the classroom. This broke my heart. My mama bear radar went off and something just didn’t sit right with me. It was on his winter break that our family decided to move to California and with that move -start homeschooling.
Most homeschool programs online have a monthly or yearly subscription fee. This fee allows you to access printables worksheets, interactive activities, and subject-specific lesson plans. Online homeschool programs do require a few requirements. You must have fast, reliable internet access to best utilize these online courses. Some additionally need specific computer software. I am not using any online program at the moment, but I have researched and tried a few demos from some of the best. The advantage to any homeschool program whether online or taught by a tutor or instructor is that the student can study and learn at their own pace. Amazingly, students become more engaged and learn to love to discover new things.
Contrary to popular belief, research shows that homeschooled students do better academically, are more connected in their communities and more likely to be lifelong learners. We are currently homeschooling through a charter school in California. The charter school provides some of the same benefits as an online program, but they also offer classroom workshops, family events, and field trips. Teachers and mentors are available to help with academic advising and support. This charter school even offers a Chromebook to all kids grades 3-12! In just a short time, my son’s attention has improved considerably -so has his sense of accomplishment. He is reading above grade level and improving daily in his mathematics. This has easily been one of the best decisions we have made.