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View Full Version : Weekly Poll: Would you ever consider an online homeschool curriculum?



Topsy
10-20-2010, 09:32 AM
You know what they say..."never say never." :rolleyes: I was adamantly against using any type of online curriculum when my boys were younger. I felt I wasn't doing my "duty" as a homeschool mom unless I spent at least two hours a day preparing their lessons and doing hands-on activities with them. I even tried a completely literature based curriculum at one point where I was reading out loud at least 90 minutes a day. Besides getting quite hoarse over time, eventually I realized that my geekling offspring just LEARNED BETTER when things were presented to them visually and interactively. After just one year of using the Time4Learning math program, my younger son had moved ahead two grade levels and was grasping concepts that I had never been able to "teach" him myself. This was a humbling experience, to say the least. :p

For the last three years both my sons have done about 90% of their homeschooling online, and I am finally okay with that. Their brains both just seem wired for online learning.

What about you? How do you feel about online homeschool curricula?

allisonsracquet
10-20-2010, 09:44 AM
This is my first year of homeschooling...I would definitely describe my style as eclectic. We do subscribe to and use Time For Learning, but primarily for math, science, and some language arts. I did use it for History and then decided to go off on our own to Early American History, since we are reading Johnny Tremain and that seems to be where my son's interest lies.
I still have to supplement the online learning with other things...but it is nice to have some guidelines (especially in math), and some visuals. It is also nice to have someone else explain things...if he doesn't get it, we just keep trying different ways to explain things until he does. Another benefit of online learning is the record keeping. Again, what ever works for each family and each child!

Busygoddess
10-20-2010, 10:27 AM
As of right now, we do not & have not done online schooling. We will, most likely, have each child do one or two online classes before they are done with school. I don't think online schooling for all classes would go over well here. I just don't think my kids could handle 8-10 online classes at a time. We use the internet regularly for school, for research & supplemental stuff, but have yet to do a full class online.

Riceball_Mommy
10-20-2010, 10:33 AM
Right now we are using Calvert with some supplements. Calvert provides us with a few online resources, but mostly it's all in physical books. I like using online games, and looking things up on museum website, but mostly I prefer books. I might try an online curriculum one day, can't rule that out, but for right now I like having a lot of physical books.

dbmamaz
10-20-2010, 11:01 AM
Topsy, I dont think you voted! I put use as supplement - its a significant portion of what the 7 yo is doing right now, but i'm hoping to get him to do more curriculum with me as time goes on. I just dont feel that T4L is as rigorous as the programs I'm using for Orion (singapore and MCT). We are doing history/science joint freeform, and i do find that he seems to retain what they cover in T4L better than what I'm doing 'freestyle'.

hockeymom
10-20-2010, 11:54 AM
I voted "I prefer not to" but that doesn't mean I'd rule it out completely. At this point I'm not comfortable handing over our curriculum to someone else's idea of what he "should" be learning. Of course he's young and in a sense it doesn't really matter what he's learning (besides the basics), just that he is and that he's enjoying it (I try to remind myself of this as we're about to let go of our Ancient Rome study, which bores him completely). Later as things get more in depth it might be a good fit, but we don't need to cross that bridge yet. For now we use the internet liberally for research, math and spelling games, and various other extras, and he's getting very independent online (scary!). I'm a *book* person myself though, so I do hope for a good balance of book learnin' and modern research/study skills.

hockeymom
10-20-2010, 11:55 AM
All that said, there are definitely days (like today) where I wish we had a set curriculum that he could follow to the letter. I feel like we're all over the place and it causes me more stress than it should. Somewhere in the muddle there is a balance, but I suspect it will take awhile to find it.

archibael
10-20-2010, 12:01 PM
I have spent significant time just browsing Wikipedia to find whatever suited my interest, so I know there's significant knowledge out there for those who need or even just want it. That said, I prefer the one-on-one teaching style too much to do an online curriculum at this time.

Topsy
10-20-2010, 12:09 PM
Topsy, I dont think you voted! Hadn't gotten back to it...consider me "voted" now! ;)

Teri
10-20-2010, 12:10 PM
I think I need clarification for what you mean by "online". I have NO problem with online curriculum, but I can't see us using a public charter school online. But, then that isn't really homeschooling, is it?
We us lots of online resources right now (like brainpop and activitytv).
The kids use a computer based math curriculum (Teaching Textbooks).

I have always been a "whatever works" parent.

farrarwilliams
10-20-2010, 12:59 PM
I think I need clarification for what you mean by "online". I have NO problem with online curriculum, but I can't see us using a public charter school online. But, then that isn't really homeschooling, is it?
We us lots of online resources right now (like brainpop and activitytv).
The kids use a computer based math curriculum (Teaching Textbooks).

I have always been a "whatever works" parent.

Yeah. I was wondering what might define that as well. My kids used to do Starfall - would that count? But it wasn't the only thing we did for reading when they were younger. And we do MEP now - it's all online... but it's not an online curriculum. I also would never do an online charter... even for the money. Sigh.

I don't feel like most of the offerings for elementary school are up to snuff quite yet. I also think younger kids need more personal interaction so online learning is more supplemental the younger the grade. But I expect that as my kids get older, we'll end up doing portions of our curriculum online - especially as what's out there improves.

MamaB2C
10-20-2010, 01:12 PM
I will use whatever resource is the best fit for the particular situation.

sdvance
10-20-2010, 04:15 PM
I'm a book person, so I tend to lean in that direction when picking out curriculum. However, we supplement with online curriculum, and the kids love it! Honestly, I think our son, 7 years old, tends to learn certain subjects better this way. Math lends itself well to being taught online, and we use Dreambox.com to supplement our son's math curriculum. Our daughter, middle school, has some online components to her literature and history curriculum. Of course, she uses the Internet all the time for research. We just use what works best for our kids, and at this point, it's a balance better different methods of delivering the curriculum. I don't think we would total use just online sources for curriculum, but for us, it definitely has its place in our arsenal of tools.

JinxieFox
10-20-2010, 09:05 PM
For the time being, I prefer not to use an online curriculum. The more I homeschool, the more books we use. We do use a CD for math, and have others for a couple of other subjects that we will try (once I look through them - they were hand-me-downs). But, for the most part, our homeschooling is done through books and I have never considered using an online curriculum. It just isn't our cup of tea.

InstinctiveMom
10-21-2010, 03:07 AM
I agree with Teri about clarifying what 'online curriculum' means.
I supplement with Lesson Pathways, JASON, MEP - several 'online curriculum', but would adamantly protest doing an online version of 'school'. I'm fine with supplementing, or using an online system as a spine or core, but homeschooling for me is more about using what works best for XYZ or is the most interesting way of learning XYZ, and about tailoring the lesson to the child or situation or immediate need. I wouldn't feel comfortable following any online anything from A-Z as-is (that I have found yet, that is).
Hope that makes sense, lol. It's really later here :)
~h

shanajo
10-21-2010, 08:50 PM
We used an on-line curriculum for about the first 2 weeks of our homeschooling adventure. I thought that it would be great to have many/most of our lessons prepared for us, especially given that we have four kids and I was honestly afraid of having plan our weeks out entirely by myself as a new homeschooling parent. However, as it turned out I could not stand not being able to plan what my kids were going to learn about and almost as disconnected to my children's education as I did when they were in public school. Plus, I really did not like how that particular curriculum approached any of the subjects except Language Arts. After two weeks we canceled our on-line curriculum subscription and are much happier without it.

mamatoherroo
10-26-2010, 01:39 AM
We currently use Time4Learning, Spelling City, and anything else we can get our hands on...online or off. My child is constantly hungry for knowledge. I'm beginning to wonder if children now are different than children 50 or even15 years ago.
My child needs the information coming at her from multiple sources,all the time, as fast as we can run it by her.Online curriculum is the only way I can keep my head above water at this point!

Linda
Homeschooling 1 child, for 3+ years, with Time4Learning!

Aandwsmom
10-26-2010, 05:57 PM
We have used Time 4 Learning (http://www.time4learning.com)for the past 3 school years! When we pulled my son from public school, we knew that finding something computer or video game oriented for him was the best plan. We stumbled onto T4L and use it as our main curriculum for both my kids. The animation and interaction keep my kids interested and even the plain reading pages are so well written they do not get bored when dealing with it.

leanderthal
11-16-2011, 08:56 AM
I use K12 (Los Angeles) for both of my daughters and am happy with it so far. I would say hands on/book time makes up 70% of their lesson time, online tutorials and assessments make up 30%. We all like the structure, and I frequently modify things in advance-i.e. reducing amount of busy work, tweaking things here and there. I make a point to sit with them for the online tutorials, and we discuss them as we go along.

Gabriela
11-16-2011, 09:42 AM
Maybe when he's older, high school.
He's 9 now and doesn't like spending that much time in front of the screen.
We do some stuff on the computer, but we both prefer working on paper and with books for now.
I feel like the screen takes away some of the magic.

dottieanna29
11-16-2011, 09:48 AM
Yipee, an old poll I haven't answered yet. :-D

I put we have never used an online curriculum but are willing to. Both my little guys use the computer a lot for playing and educational games. They LOVE the computer and learn well that way (ds is very visual) but I don't really want them spending any more time on it than they already do. We do use it as a supplemental resource a lot - looking a videos, playing games, looking at pictures.

I could see them doing a lot of online classes for high school (if they don't go to public which is an option), or for anything specific that I feel it will work better - maybe a foreign language or advanced math. One of my college degrees was done through an online university and I think the kids will be so familiar with the computer that this format would be a good one for them.

Tayonoss
11-16-2011, 11:04 AM
I vted "prefer not to use" as I love the freedom to tailor the curriclum to each child. :) were ecletic and proud of it:)

Batgirl
11-16-2011, 03:41 PM
My oldest loves T4L but I realized that he needs more repetition that T4L allows (and he is very resistant to repeating one of their lessons.) So right now we use Calvert, with T4L as a supplement, which works great for us. My youngest is also a visual learner, but so far computer learning has been hit and miss. Right now he dislikes T4L but loves Reading Bear. Go figure.

bcnlvr
11-16-2011, 06:54 PM
I think I need clarification for what you mean by "online". I have NO problem with online curriculum, but I can't see us using a public charter school online. But, then that isn't really homeschooling, is it?
We us lots of online resources right now (like brainpop and activitytv).
The kids use a computer based math curriculum (Teaching Textbooks).

I have always been a "whatever works" parent.

What Teri said. BTDT with cyberpublicschoolonline. Never again. I do, however, use the internet for coursework. DS10 is using GSWL and GSWS and both have online lessons by the author.

Busygoddess
11-17-2011, 03:32 AM
When I first responded to this poll, over a year ago, we had used the internet as a supplement, but never for a full course. Things have changed. We recently found out that we get free access to an online continuing education school through our library. My dd is currently doing a Writing course through that school. She hopes to continue to do Writing courses through them, at least 2 a year. She is also planning on doing their Anatomy & Physiology course in 3rd term, in addition to the course we already designed for A&P. She wants to try out the A&P to see if she likes their Science courses. If she likes the way they do Science, she wants to use them as the spine for her Geology course next year.

We still wouldn't do all courses online, but if a few online courses work for her, fit the budget, and meet my standards (or are easy enough to supplement), I'm fine with her doing some. I had always planned on them each taking a few online courses by the time they graduate. The fact that we are getting these for free makes it more likely that she will do more online courses than originally expected. Hopefully, we still have access to this, or a similar, resource when ds gets older (I won't sign him up for online courses this young).

rumbledolly
11-17-2011, 11:07 AM
We currently use Time4Learning, Spelling City, and anything else we can get our hands on...online or off. My child is constantly hungry for knowledge. I'm beginning to wonder if children now are different than children 50 or even15 years ago.
My child needs the information coming at her from multiple sources,all the time, as fast as we can run it by her.Online curriculum is the only way I can keep my head above water at this point!

Linda
Homeschooling 1 child, for 3+ years, with Time4Learning!

Well said Linda! We use T4L, Spelling City, Grammer Blast, NOAA Ocean Explorer, iTunes.....whatever keeps DD going! If she's interested in something then we try to find online supplements. We love love love books BUT I really don't want to go to the library every day - it's just not practical. I also can't afford to buy too many books (ok I do buy too many books but sssshhh) so online resources, for us, is the way to go. I do like when my DD is reading a particular book and asks if she can go online to look up something about it or to visit the publisher or writers website. This usually leads to great discussions about other books or neat facts about the author.

IMHO technology is something that needs to be embraced by all ages. Of course I don't think younger children should spend their whole day sitting in front of the computer but then I feel the same way about sitting in front of the television.