There are many parents who confuse online schooling with homeschooling. Even though both the methods feature parental involvement and have certain benefits over traditional brick and mortar schools (studying from within the safety and comfort of their own home) and their style of teaching, there are several differences between online education and homeschooling. So here are five prominent differences between homeschooling and online schooling.
Learning From Subject Matter Experts
When being homeschooled, parents serve as the child's only teacher, irrespective of the subject and age of the student. The parents will be the people planning the lessons, tests, and assignments. The parents are also the ones who will be grading the student's progress and work. They might not be subject matter experts on each and every subject, and therefore might not be able to give the student a full and complete learning experience.
However, the online school features periodically meeting with other students in real-time and receiving instructions from a teacher who is specialized in that particular subject. Separate subject matter experts grade the students' assignments, provide continuous feedback and evaluate their abilities. The teachers will be available to the parents as well as the students to answer questions and might even give one on one help if required.
The Role Of The Parent
If a child is provided with online education, the parents will get the opportunity to take on the role of a learning coach. Learning coaches are people who help kids stay on track by structuring their daily schedule, monitoring their day-to-day activities as well as school work, and providing them with reminders, encouragement, and motivation whenever required. When parents take on that role, it feels much more personalized and safer for the student. In the case of homeschooling, the parents are both the learning coach as well as the teacher which is a lot more stress on the parent as an individual.
Online schooling makes it easier for the parents to track how the child is learning because they can access the curriculum as well as the assignments provided to them via the school's/institution's online learning platform. The parents can hence focus on providing the students with other information such as family values, religious beliefs, etc.
Parents who homeschool their children will often research and come up with their own curriculum. They have to search for text and materials for each and every subject to give them the best learning experience which is not only expensive but also very time-consuming. Some homeschool parents will buy an existing curriculum for the students but still map out a running schedule for them and prepare their lesson plans on their own terms. The responsibility of getting the right materials for each and every subject can lead to anxiety about whether the student is getting everything that they need.
Online schools offer the texts, learning materials, and curriculum for the students and therefore the parents don't have to go out of their way to find all these. The curriculum will be provided free of charge by the education board which will be done by subject experts and therefore the student will receive properly aided education.
Flexibility & Freedom
Obviously children who are homeschooled will have the highest degree of freedom. The parents will be able to schedule their lessons and activities wherever and whenever they prefer. However, when it comes to online schooling, the experience is more or less the same as a brick and mortar school. There is compulsory attendance and it is important to stay on track to complete the course in time.
However, students who are accustomed to traditional schooling will find virtual school offering them a surprising amount of flexibility and freedom. A homeschooler however will find it difficult to adjust with the stricter policies of attendance and lack of flexibility.
Children who are homeschooled might be required to take an extra exam in order to earn recognition for higher education or by a particular company. However, students graduating from online school can earn an official online diploma/degree without this extra stop. This puts virtual learners at a much greater advantage compared to homeschoolers.
Whether homeschooled, virtually educated or traditionally educated, what matters is that the student is prepared for the world outside. In this competitive world, the student has to be prepared for what is in store for them and it doesn't really matter what type of schooling the student has done.
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