A brief history of home schooling
During the settlement of this country, home schooling was accepted as the primary means of educating children. Surprisingly, this led to a literacy rate of almost 98%. Of course, as the nation’s population grew, so did the number of schools, both public and religious (private). This trend continued at a growth rate of nearly 15% per year. However, driven in part due to the Supreme Court decisions relating to the practice of religion in publicly funded educational institutions, the face of education began to change.
How does use of the Internet assist parents (and students) who home school?
Parents who home school use several means of determining the age and grade appropriateness of their subject matter. As they progress through basic subjects such as math, reading and writing, they can also enhance their curriculum by performing online research. For example, the Humane Society in their community has elected to adopt a “no kill” policy. The children have expressed a real interest in this topic and want to know more than the newspaper is providing. By accessing the Internet, this parent can provide her students with all they need to know about “no kill” shelter facilities close to home or around the world.
Once a home schooling parent feels comfortable moving around the Internet and websites, then they are ready to pass this knowledge on to their students. They now have access to a very valuable teaching tool – usually right in their home. Parents can even create their own websites with curriculums and objectives for the students to review and follow over the course of their education.
Online research not only yields written material about specific subjects, from Aardvarks to Zen, it also offers photographs, drawings, sounds and videos – things that are particularly attractive to students. Visiting websites prior to teaching about a subject obviously allows the instructor to select the sites that best suit their curriculum. This “multimedia” learning experience keeps the student’s interest while preparing them to deal with the new realities of a world increasingly focused on technology.
The final word(s).
Because there are technological advances taking place every hour of every day, it is very important that home schooled students enter the “digital age” with both eyes open and both feet embedded in this new ground. This is because public and private schools both focus on using computers and everything related to them to give their students a competitive edge. Even children as young as six are “computer literate.” The needs of a parent who home schools mean they must increasingly rely on computer competency. They can easily achieve these skills by accessing online tutorials and related websites.