Virtual schools – are they really homeschooling?
Virtual homeschooling has become increasingly popular in recent years. However, most virtual “homeschooling” programs are not really “homeschool” but are just a virtual public school. This can be a fine choice for some families who are just looking to spend more time with their children, wanting the ability to teach religion or want to remove their children from negative influences. Keep in mind that there is little or no choice of curriculum and all the state standardized tests are mandatory.
Computer-based Homeschool Curriculum
These homeschool programs are quite different from virtual schools in that the teaching materials are on CD-Roms. This can be a boon to the homeschooling parent who works out of the home part-time. The only complete homeschool curriculum on cd-rom that I am aware of is Switched on Schoolhouse by Alpha Omega. It is a Christian program and they offer full curriculum for grades K-12, including high school electives. It might be a good idea to test your child on a trial version to see if it is a good learning style fit for your child. Visual and auditory learners are more likely to do well with this style of learning that a kinesthetic learner.
Privately-owned virtual schools
Another choice would be a virtual homeschool program available from a private school, such as Laurel Springs, Time 4 Learning, e-tutor. The nice thing about these programs is that they because they are not virtual public schools, they are more flexible and customizable to your child. One of the main advantages of a computer-based curriculum is that it can allow parents who truly desire to homeschool, but assumed it wasn’t possible due to time constraints or a lack of confidence, to homeschool their child in with one of the most convenient and easy-to-manage methods available.