Online learning can be a boon for some, but for others it can be the exact opposite of what they need. I’ve seen some children thrive in an online learning environment, and still others in the same family begging for books instead of the computer screen. Online learning is definitely something every family should explore, but very often it can’t be the ultimate choice. The child’s individual learning style has to be taken into account, as well as other factors.
When my daughter started her homeschooling journey, I had a boxed book-based curriculum. I very quickly found this to be too restricting and too boring for her. Being as it was only 1st grade, that didn’t matter all too much, but I knew that the following year I’d want to find something different. More often than not I found myself skipping some things and adding others, to adjust to the way my daughter liked to learn. I didn’t know then, but I was applying the fundamentals of why I wanted to homeschool to begin with.
The next year, we discovered Time4Learning, and it seemed the perfect fit for us. My daughter enjoyed the animation, and she seemed to progress much faster than when she sat down with the books. I loved seeing her progress in her studies, and I felt as though we’d made a huge step in our development as homeschoolers.
However, after about 6 months my daughter came to me and told me she missed the books and the papers she used to work on. She expressed that she didn’t just want to stare at a computer screen all day, and that she was getting bored. I was perplexed, because she was progressing well and her grades were great. However, I knew she was serious.
We spent the next few years trying a few different things out, although I always kept a Time4Learning account open; we just didn’t do it every single day. Now, my daughter is in 5th grade, and we’ve comfortably settled into – what I think – is the model that works for her and for our family.
She still does the bulk of her schoolwork online. As she progresses up in to the higher grades I feel like this is helping her to learn more and retain more. But, while doing her work online, she also takes notes and works out problems on paper. This gives her the best of both worlds, both online and book. We also have days where we take field trips, or find some outdoor educational opportunity.
She never says she’s bored anymore.