Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tueday August 31st 2010 - second post regarding freelance writing

I have posted four of my recent articles on my other blog . Here is my first article for the Examiner...

Homeschooled Online Advantage

Many opponents of the homeschooling option cite quality of education and socialization skills among students as arguments against the homeschooled. Today’s homeschooled students and teachers come from all walks of life and tend to be more mainstream than their predecessors. Many parents turn to homeschooling in frustration over what they perceive to be a collapsing public school education suffering from massive budget cuts, deteriorating infrastructure, and increasing violence among its students.

In a traditional school setting, teachers specialize in subjects from computer sciences to math to foreign languages. In the past, homeschooled parent instructors hired expensive tutors for courses that exceeded their capabilities or experience, but tutors are expensive and they tend to work on fixed schedules. There are literally hundreds of accredited online K-12 courses online that offer homeschooled parents an affordable and flexible alternative.

 Another concern of homeschooled opponents is the certification of instructors. While some parents are certified instructors the vast majority are not, but one has to consider the efficacy of a traditional teacher with 30 to 40 students as compared to a statistically well-educated parent with a deep investment in their child’s future. The addition of online courses can squelch those arguments by providing accredited certified instruction in areas of the greatest concern like English, math, and science. An additional feature of online course is transparency and accountability. While many of today’s universities and colleges consider standardized entrance exams to be a better barometer of a student’s academic prowess, the addition of online education transcripts can only help.

The second most common objection to the homeschooled option is the perception of stunted socialization. Homeschooled students, particularly online students, have more flexible schedules and can often meet with other homeschooled students of a wider variety in age than the public schooled for true quality time rather than sitting in a crowded classroom with limited opportunities to interact. Homeschooled students operating online have the advantage of organizing events and gatherings through homeschooled web and socialization sites.

The complexity of primary education has changed. Many students, including a growing number of traditional students, have grasped onto online instruction as a viable alternative or in addition to traditional classrooms. Do the addition of online instruction and the steady rise of the homeschooled spell the end of traditional schools? Of course not, but online course have certainly enriched the homeschooled and made them even more competitive against traditionally taught students.  

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