Homeschooling has been going on since the dawn of time, but slowed somewhere between 1638-1779 in the United States when schools began to appear in many states. Children now had to sit behind a desk all day and learn by rote. Then in 1977, a man named John Holt decided that school was oppressive for young children and started a magazine about teaching your children at home. This set the stage for learning at home again.
The big shift was when The World Wide Web became available in the mid-1990s where communication was almost instant. This led to online education. As the web grew, more and more online programs became available to people of all ages. Learning online isn’t a new idea, but it has gained much more popularity over the last year as more parents are seeing the benefits for their children.
The internet has made it possible for children to learn online in the comfort of their own home with flexibility that is not possible at a brick-and-mortar school. This kind of learning is much more suitable for children. They can get up and stretch when they feel the need and change their schedule on a whim if they get excited about another subject matter.
Children who are homeschooled tend to perform better on tests and enjoy learning because they get one-on-one instruction which ensures understanding of the subject matter before moving on. This fosters confidence in children. There are studies that show homeschooled children test at least half a grade ahead in math and two grades ahead in reading.
The reason for this is because if your child is struggling in a subject, you can spend more time on that subject until they master it. Using online printable worksheets can reinforce skills that need more work. Subjects mastered quickly require less time which optimizes learning because they don’t have to keep going over something they already know. This opens the doors to learn more of what they are interested in setting them up for success in the future.
Schools don’t have the time to do this due to large class sizes and a one-size-fits-all curriculum. Children who learned it quickly in the class are forced to go over it again which wastes their time. Children who still don’t understand it must move on and often never recover what they missed. This will affect them the rest of their lives.
There is less stress with homeschooling both for the parent and the child. “Hurry up. Get your shoes on. You are going to be late for school. You forgot your lunch box. Did you do your homework?” Does this sound familiar? This dialogue sets the tone for the rest of the day. Children often get to school and are in a bad mood which is not conducive to learning. Stress raises cortisol which over time can impact memory and attention.
Children also need more sleep than adults. Research shows that sleep can affect the ability to learn. Preschoolers should get 10-13 hours of sleep (including naps) and school-aged children need 9-11 hours.
When they get up early and have to rush through the morning routine before school it stresses their little bodies and minds. This affects learning. Let them have an extra hour of sleep, wake up refreshed and ready for the day. Online learning often only takes about 2 hours to cover the core subjects leaving time for more important hands-on activities and exercise that is so beneficial for children.
Is an online education truly helping our kids? Yes, your child will learn quicker, be less stressed, get more sleep and have time for the things they love.