3 Things I Love About Online Classes

Online ClassesOnline Classes connect students all over the world. That’s one of the things that I love about online classes. It’s been exciting for me to see the marketplace for online classes grow and connect homeschool families from state to state and country to country. Technology is making it possible for online providers to offer amazing educational content in ways not possible just a few years ago.

Nowadays, families have a world of educational resources available at their fingertips. Online classes are available for virtually any subject. There are so many curriculum options for families who are homeschooling or even supplementing their child’s education, from textbooks to software and DVD programs. With all of these options, why consider online classes for your child?

What I love About Online Classes

#1 – Social Interaction

Online classes provide an environment for your child to share with their peers. This is especially beneficial for literature discussions or for gaining perspective from others on subjects like government and history.

What to look for in a provider:

  • Look for an online class that offers a social aspect, such as chat features and LIVE interaction. Class is a time for learning, but you’ll want to look for an online option that does foster a sense of community.
  • Check to see if there is a level of parental involvement so you can be part of the process. Just like you’d want to know the families and friends your child meets in a local co-op, it’s nice to get to know the teacher and other students participating in an online community.

How to help your child:

Encourage your child to fully participate in the online class. If there are forums, encourage your child to contribute to the class conversations there. Help them learn the balance of chat in an online class. You don’t have to sit in the class with them, but do talk to them about the expectations the teacher has and follow up with them to see how their class session went. It’s great dinner time discussion!

 

#2 – Offer Student Accountability

Online classes can provide another source of accountability for a child. The online environment can be a great source of positive student peer pressure as kids are able to see projects from other students. This often creates an encouraging environment where students push themselves academically because they feel part of a group learning effort.

What to look for in a provider:

  • A class with structured, assignment deadlines
  • Student projects

How to help your child:

Know how your child is getting feedback from their work in the class. Are they getting grades? Teacher feedback? Are there deadlines for class work? Prepare your child by making sure they are aware of all deadlines.  Be sure you partner with the teacher by not making excuses if your child misses a deadline. This will help prepare them for future college and work deadlines.

 

#3 – Offer Options for a Multitude of Topics

Online classes are a great option for classes you don’t want to teach as a homeschool parent. Many online class providers allow families to select the classes they need. You no longer have to take a package of online classes prescribed by the provider. You can pick and choose online classes the same way you pick and choose your curriculum.  This is especially helpful for subjects like Foreign Language, Upper Level Science and Math. You can even find one-session classes. These are a great way to supplement your history and literature studies. These one-session online classes are a great way to provide a fun learning day when you feel you are in a learning rut.

What to look for in a provider:

  • A class with a schedule that works for you
  • A class with grading or feedback so you can easily add it to your child’s transcript or portfolio

How to help your child:

When you sign up for an online class, take a moment  to add it to the family calendar so it’s not missed. Be sure you have information on how to access the class so your child doesn’t miss the class (nothing is more frustrating than figuring out you don’t have this information 5 minutes before the online class is set to begin).

 

Families can find online classes for virtually any subject or topic. Education is literally at our fingertips. Jump in! Start with an interest-led online class this summer.
OnlineClassesHelpbookCoversmDoes the terminology used by online providers seem confusing to you? That’s much how I felt when I began homeschooling. I had no idea what terms like “unit study” and “kinesthetic learner” meant. But, once I understood the terms, shopping for curriculum was no longer overwhelming.

Get my Online Classes Guidebook free when you sign up for my newsletter. This guidebook has a 2 page Online Class terminology sheet so you understand terms you see used by online class providers. Also included is an Online Class Assessment to help you narrow down the needs of your child and really determine what online class is best.

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