Many parents are certain that they want to homeschool their child, but are worried that their child would not enjoy homeschooling. The main concerns I hear from parents are about social isolation, and about discipline. Would their child feel isolated if she doesn’t attend a physical school every day? And would their child have the discipline needed to learn in an environment that is much more independent than traditional schooling?
My own experience is that the vast majority of children love homeschooling. Sure, homeschooling takes some getting used to. It’s very different than what your child knows. But it’s better.
Homeschooled kids are not socially isolated. This is especially true for our online homeschool academy, WiloStar3D, because they get to go to a 3D school every day and interact with teachers and with peers. But in any homeschooling scenario, parents are definitely encouraged to meet with other homeschooling families, to go on outings, and to send their kids to enrichment classes. By the way, research consistently shows that grownups who were homeschooled as kids are well adjusted socially. So the social concern really is no more than just a myth.
As for the discipline aspect, homeschooling is perfect for kids who are self-motivated, independent, and want to learn. WiloStar 3D students are expected to remain current with all class assignments and to participate on a regular basis in our 3D virtual learning community, Wiloworlds. If you’re not sure about your child’s desire to learn, you will have to monitor them more closely, especially at the start – but this is true for any learning situation – students that are less motivated need more supervision. The beauty of 3D learning is that it often transforms reluctant learners into enthusiastic learners, simply becuase it is more interesting.
Many parents turn to WiloStar3D looking for a way to more fully engage their ADD child while homeschooling online. It can be a long road trying to find the best approach when looking at all the online homeschooling curriculum choices. WiloStar3D uses an interactive approach that has a fully accredited integrated academics behind it. Students with ADD are more fully engaged using custom avatars that compliment the curriculum. Instead of just reading about the body, students can teleport themselves right into the human blood stream a-la- Fantastic Voyage and really immerse themselves into what they are reading and learning about! Leveraging that creative spark with ADD students helps reignite the fires and helps them hone in on what they are learning.
Educational research has shown that many students with ADD are visual learners. The WiloStar3D online homeschooling program for ADD students has been carefully crafted to address visually oriented learners. The creative aspect of the immersive learning curriculum imprints differently on their brains and with over a decade of success, has helped countless students with ADD succeed again academcially!
Can you be a work at home parent and homeschool, or is homeschooling reserved for stay at home parents?
The economic turbulence of the past couple of years means that for many families, relying on a single income is not an option. It’s not just that one income doesn’t cover the average family’s expenses – it’s also that relying on one income is very risky! If the breadwinner loses their job, the family could quickly become destitute.
Traditionally, homeschooling moms were always good at saving, conserving, reusing, and being as frugal as possible. These days, more and more of them are looking for ways to contribute to the family’s income without giving up homeschooling. Can it be done?
We believe it can. Of course, the older your child is, the easier it would be for you to get work done while they are studying, simply because older kids are much more independent than younger kids. In addition, pre teens and teens don’t have the same emotional needs as young kids – for young children, having you sit with them and pay attention to them is crucial – they need you!
However, even with young children, you can organize your day in a way that makes it possible to homeschool and get some work done. Make yourself available for those tasks that require your undivided attention, and use the time when your child does independent work to finish your own tasks.
Our last piece of advice for combining working with homeschooling: relax your standards when it comes to how your house looks. Just like any working mom, the worst thing you can do is to try and be a “supermom” who works, raises her kids and keeps a spotless home. The pressure and stress are simply not worth it, so get your priorities straight and realize that teaching your kids and contributing to the family’s income are far more important than keeping a spotless home!
One of the things I love most about 3D virtual learning is that it encourages students to be creative. 3D virtual education allows and encourages students to manipulate, change, and create their worlds – their way.
The best part of an immersive virtual learning environment is to see the doors of imagination blast wide open. To see students once again get excited about learning. We all remember our own traditional school education, and many of us not very fondly. The intense boredom, looking at the clock every 10 minutes, impatiently waiting for the bell to FINALLY ring, living for the weekend (and for recess) – how sad!
Learning is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be challenging and engaging and creative. Taking a bunch of kids and having them sit quietly in a classroom taking notes while a teacher lectures – this is NOT what education is about. Education is about being curious, asking questions, researching a subject because it tickles your imagination and creating your own worlds and characters and plays.
3D virtual education makes sure learning is all that, and more. It is never about being passive, quiet or restrained. On the contrary: while students at WiloStar3D are required to sign a Code of Conduct to ensure appropriate behavior is respected and upheld, and are supervised at all times while online, we love to see our students have fun and get excited about learning.
WiloStar3D students role-play historical characters, put on plays for other students, and create interactive games. Our creative approach to learning prompts students’ pursuit of connections among ideas and concepts. Students who frame questions and issues and then go about answering and analyzing them take responsibility for their own learning and become problem solvers and, perhaps more importantly, problem finders. Our students love going to school – we wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We just couldn’t let her stay in school, they were basically holding her back,” Emma’s parents told me, and I knew exactly what they meant. Gifted children are a wonderful gift – but they also create a challenge for parents and for educators, a challenge that most traditional schools are unable to meet.
While some schools supply gifted children with special programs, mostly in the form of after-school activities, many parents of gifted kids feel that for their child, sitting there for six hours each day learning in a pace that is excruciatingly slow for her just won’t cut it. For the gifted child too, having to sit in a traditional classroom is often torture. They often become so bored, that they begin to act out, which causes them to be labeled as “difficult children.”
One option is to see if there are any special schools for gifted children in your area. Another option is to homeschool your gifted child. Homeschooling is wonderful for gifted children because it allows them to work at their own pace – usually much faster than average kids – and to focus on the areas that are of the most interest to them.
For example, if your child is gifted in math, homeschooling will enable him to spend more time on math and to advance as fast as he is willing and able to advance. He will never be held back because other children have yet to grasp a concept that he has understood ages ago.
A 3D online homeschooling program with a strong technology focus is especially exciting for most gifted students, since many of them are very interested in technology.
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