Free Online Homeschooling

What exactly are free online homeschooling programs?  Do these programs help or hinder my desire to teach my child at home without government interference because I know how my child learns best?

Free – is easy because everyone understands not having to pay for something

Online – refers to the virtual location of the "school" versus a traditional brick and mortar, public or private facility

Homeschooling – refers to the place where the lessons are completed by the child

I decided to research several free online homeschooling programs to determine what makes this option so appealing to families; many of which are former private, home school families, too.

I chose Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool, K12, and Mosaica after doing a quick Internet search. There were many others but I decided these programs were worth looking into because I'd heard of them already or their description seemed interesting.

Ease of Use

Generally speaking, all of these online systems classified the parents as a Learning Coach or similar kind of title. You need to make sure the program you're considering is available in your area, as some of them are only offered in limited areas.

Documents are sent to the virtual school via fax, postal mail or email.

Once your registration has been processed, you should receive books and other materials within a few weeks. Your child(ren) will have an individualized course of study created for them.

Curriculum

These schools utilize a state curriculum although some supplementation of their resources can occur. The virtual schools cater to struggling learners, average students, and gifted learners, too.

Accountability

Initially, the parent and students work together to make sure the lessons are being completed. Later on, the student becomes solely responsible for his lessons and the parents are supporters.

The virtual teachers are responsible for teaching the lessons and are available for consultation and even meetings in some instances.

Technology

State-of-the-art technology is used to demonstrate lessons, handle assessments, and schedule assignments.

Socialization

If socialization is a big concern for you, there are online meet-ups, virtual hangouts, and field trips that are available for the students.

Below is a checklist I created that shows some of the features within each specific program:

Easy Peasy Free Christian Online School(K-8) & Easy Peasy All-in-One Highschool

  •       Christian
  •       Created by a mom of six
  •       Offers a companion site for high school
  •       Easy to set up
  •       Tons of interesting, educational videos, printables, and links
  •       Absolutely free!!!

Mosaica Online

  •       Pre-enrollment testing and placement
  •       Personalized course of study
  •       Currently tuition-free in five states: AZ, CA, CO, OH, and MI
  •       Allows parents to incorporate their own faith-based curriculum
  •       Provides a free laptop with preloaded curriculum for each enrolled student
  •       Free curriculum
  •       Record keeping done for you
  •       Staffed by certified teachers
  •       Accredited; diploma and transcript provided
  •       Grades K-12
  •       Uses an interdisciplinary approach to its core subjects; fine arts is also included

K-12 Schools

  •       Free tuition
  •       Online, virtual, public charter school
  •       Largest student enrollment of online schools

Pros vs. Cons

Below is a list of pros and cons of virtual schooling offered online:

Cons of Using Free Online Homeschooling Programs

  •       Governmental interference
  •       Strict guidelines
  •       Loss of privilege to teach your children
  •       Inability to choose your resources
  •       Loss of flexibility in setting your school calendar
  •       You are essentially establishing a public school in your home
  •       Endorsing another adult to teach/train your children
  •       Inviting the public school agent to determine your child's educational path and dictate your degree of involvement in the process

Pros of Using Free Online Homeschooling Programs

  •       Free resources
  •       Certified teacher to teach lessons to your child
  •       Recordkeeping is done for you
  •       Remediation, Gifted, and AP course offerings
  •       Support for students and parents
  •       Technologically advanced instruction
  •       Tougher courses or unfamiliar material such as foreign languages can be taught for you
  •       Allows child to remain at home rather than attend a traditional public schoo
  •       Frees up time if parent must work or attend classes

What Others are Saying

Here is a sampling of the types of comments being made about free online homeschooling programs which in essence are state-run, public or charter schools:

  •       Allegations of school failures and poor student achievement
  •       Allegations that the work assessments are too easy and subject to cheating by students
  •       Teacher/facilitator is unsupportive of parents' wishes

Using any of these free online homeschooling programs might work for you if that is what you need. However, it seems that when parents are looking to instill their own values in a child, it may be counterproductive to relinquish that freedom by electing to go this route.

I recall hearing many years ago when the voucher initiative was a hot topic in Southern CA that government control generally follows its funds!

So consider exactly what you may be giving up by inviting the government funded entities (via taxes) and their "free" curriculum, laptops, and certified teachers to educate your children using standards and curriculum that has not succeeded in the traditional schools.

Also, consider that there is an abundance of suitable free, online homeschooling curriculum and other resources that you can tailor to your children's needs if the cost of teaching at home is financially challenging.  

If you have used any of these virtual programs or others, please leave a comment on the Facebook page or the Contact page on this site.

Thanks for sharing!


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