As an administrator for a small, Christian online homeschool program, one of the biggest drawbacks for students is the potential for isolation and limited peer social interaction. While learning online creates tremendous learning advantages, and overall, outweighs potential drawbacks of isolation, being proactive in creating a social environment can really help your child. At CEA, we encourage students to complete many online activities, including competitive sports, team sports, dance, joining a gym, gymnastics or taking up a martial art, getting involved with a homeschool co-op, taking advantage of community events, etc.
Get creative. There are many local homeschool co-ops, both in small towns and cities. Many of these groups use outside academic avenues, but children of all ages come together for common, social interaction and events. Homeschool groups often travel together for fiend trips and other social activities. In addition, many homeschool groups have specialized tutors for difficult topics such as science labs and math help for a student that may need one-one-one interaction from time to time. CEA’s curriculum is an excellent program, but we recognize that some children may need more support.
Go to your community library for support. Many libraries have resources and programs that can keep any student engaged. Often, libraries will have series of educational opportunities, and sometimes CEA can give extra credit for these assignments. Broaden the horizon of learning, outside the computer. Connect outside of cell phones, Ipads, and computers.
Another way to connect socially is through church youth groups and missions teams. Many of CEA’s online high school students collect support, pray and participate in planning and going on a mission trip. Credit can be earned for the full participation of a mission trip by writing a 500 word essay. Students can also participate in good old fashioned letter writing and pen pal writing to students in another country. We encourage students to make postcards and to write about things that are important to them.
While there are a few drawbacks to online high school education, there is a rising number of homeschoolers across the country and the world that are choose online education because the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, including:
- Flexibility, where students can access course information anywhere, anytime, and work at their own pace around their social endeavors.
- Choices, where students are able to choose from a wide range of courses, including honors, Advanced Placement courses, and unique, fun electives.
- Academic enrichment, where students not only learn, but develop strong time management skills that will help them in college.