An Informal Proposal for Homeschooling

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The time is right and the technological infrastructure is in place to be able to provide a true class room experience directly to the home. As the homeschooling environment is a vibrant and growing alternative to the traditional classroom setting there exists an opportunity for a web based program providing a true classroom experience. A true classroom experience can provide an excellent teaching environment while preserving the educational integrity desired by parents who home school their children. There are many websites offering guidance and resources for the homeschooler. Most offer teaching aids with interactive searches. The student interacts with the programs by clicking on a subject and navigates the website (edhelper.com). Others are more dynamic with video and audio programs covering many subjects (school.discoveryeducation.com). Then there are those which offer a variety of tutors that work with students through the internet (tutor.com). However these are all single dimension study environments. What is missing is a true classroom experience. A learning environment where students can participate in a classroom, look into each others eyes and share that wonderful moment of idea exchange. A U.S. Department of Education report (2007) shows that homeschooling has doubled in the last ten years (nces.ed.gov). One of the major reasons cited for the increase in homeschooling was the parental disappointment with the school environment in general. Parents are not particularly averse to classroom teaching but the general surroundings and the riff raft associated with school yard play. There are, however, developmental advantages to the classroom experience that cannot be duplicated in the home within a one person classroom. Donna Walker Tileston, in her book, Ten Best Teaching Practices, points out that “…collaborative learning is an integral part of the classroom.” In her book she cites a US Department of Labor study that places “collaborative skills right up...
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