For many homeschool families, a top priority is fostering self-directed and independent learning. Fortunately, we have the lifestyle and numerous resources available to provide an atmosphere in which independent learning can flourish. Online curriculum and classes can be an integral part of independent learning in our homeschools.
But why do homeschoolers place such a high priority on independent learning? It goes against the cultures public school mindset that believes learning only happens when information is spoon fed in a hierarchical structure, but homeschoolers rock the boat and don’t believe this paradigm.
“School-age” is a very short time when looked at through the lens of an entire life. There will be endless opportunities, both voluntary and necessary, in which our children will need to learn a new skill or gain some new knowledge. It’s essential they know how to find and discover new, needed information.
So how can online curriculum help to develop the self-education skills that will be necessary throughout life?
Life is Not Spoon Fed
As much as it would make life easier for education to be a smooth progression of spoon-fed lessons, we know this isn’t what happens. There will be situations and circumstances in which our children will need to figure something out on their own and do so quickly.
There won’t always be a class available, nor a teacher standing by to walk them through every situation and change in life. They need to be capable of learning and motivating themselves without the need for external rewards.
Unfortunately, the entire education system leads them to believe that this is what they need to learn something. Children learn they are not capable of learning on their own, and they need someone to bestow the knowledge upon them.
However, this is the exact opposite of what most homeschoolers wish to instill in their children. We want our children to have a love of learning that will carry them throughout the ups and downs of life.
Online Curriculum Helps Foster Self-Education
Luckily, as homeschoolers, we have many means of instilling an ability to self-educate in our children. We learn early on that there are many things our children can teach us.
So why use an online curriculum in our homeschool? Because it gives our children ownership of their learning. They can come to us for help, but they have the primary responsibility of completing and mastering the material.
It also removes some of the pressure from our shoulders as homeschool parents so that we can focus on our family life.
Yes, homeschool moms like having a say in what their children are learning, but we also need a break. Utilizing an online curriculum alleviates some of the constant questionings from our children of what to do next.
Education is Self-Paced with Online Curriculum
All children learn at their own pace, and homeschooling provides the freedom to move as quickly or as slowly as necessary. Pacing is even easier when using an online homeschool curriculum because the student proceeds at their own pace.
If the concept is easy, and they need no repetition, they can move through quickly. If a child is having more trouble and not quite grasping some aspect of the lesson, they can take the time necessary to master the material.
Homeschooling with an online curriculum allows the pace of learning to speed up or slow down depending on the needs of the child.
Use Online Curriculum to Independent Learning
At the end of our homeschool journey, we want children who are educated and capable of learning on their own. As homeschooling parents, we also want to make this an enjoyable and beneficial experience for the entire family.
Online homeschool curriculum can help us achieve those goals.
It’s okay to rock the educational boat and encourage self-directed learning in a world that fosters dependence. Our children will flourish throughout their life by being intrinsically motivated and capable of independent learning.