A few days ago I was having a chat with a friend about homeschooling and how lucky I feel to be homeschooling in this era. I can’t imagine how much harder it must have been in a world before the internet, where we can find out literally anything at the touch of a button. The upside of this is that there are dozens of online resources that we can incorporate into our learning, whether we follow a specific curriculum or not. One that we’ve been trialling lately is Study.com – the aptly named resource that covers a huge variety of academic fields, from your regular school topics like maths, English, history, social studies, science, geography and so on, to wider topics like psychology, business, and interior design. Aside from that, they also have ‘lifestyle topics’, like fitness, money management and college planning, which I think is fantastic.
As you can imagine these topics are covered over a huge number of resources, including quizzes and videos. My girls would be in elementary school if they were in school, and there are 131 courses with 100’s of lessons that they can do.
For older kids, especially those hoping to gain university entrance, there’s a plethora of prep resources for those who intend to matriculate to an American university and need some CLEP or DSST exam prep.
While there is a search bar that allows you to look up quick questions – “mom, what is gravity?”- and find a short answer targetted at the right age, you are also able to add whole courses to your dashboard so that you can work your way through from beginning to end. When you select a course to start, you are given the option of setting a completion date, to help you set your goals and with the average lesson being about 8 minutes long, it’s fairly easy to slot in between ‘life’ stuff. I decided to brush up on my English grammar skills during our trial and with 304 lessons, I’m not likely to get through it all soon, but Ameli (9) is more interested in the drawing courses. While I think some are a bit advanced for her at this stage, it’s nice to know that there’s something she can grow into.
Foreign languages are currently limited to tuition for secondary level Chinese, Spanish, and a bit of German, so I hope in time they’ll add more – like French, for example, or even Italian. What they do have is resources for teaching English as a foreign language but also to native speakers, which is always really helpful, especially when kids ask you questions you don’t really know the answer to. When looking for help with a new language, get your movies subtitled by this video translation agency who can sure help you.
There are so many resources, especially for older children and I think it’s great to have things in a curriculum format so that you can build on previous knowledge, and the videos make for a much more engaging, less ‘dry’ learning format. Each segment also has a mini test that you can use to test your knowledge, which is also great for ‘measuring’ learning. In Sutton in London UK many grammar schools perform amazingly.
Study.com has also launched an online homeschool program, designed to be flexible enough to fulfill the needs of the homeschooling community. They have also developed a family plan for homeschooling parents, to ease the job of planning a varied curriculum and tracking their child’s progress. Homeschoolers can choose to do dual credit with Study.com if they wish, and they can study non-traditional subjects like marketing or forensics.