Benefits of Technology and the Internet for Homeschoolers

Homeschooling parents have a difficult job being the teacher of all subjects to all their children. Thankfully, homeschooling parents do not have to do everything by themselves. The Internet is a very valuable tool for homeschoolers. The use of technology and the Internet can help make the homeschooling parent’s job easier. The Internet and other technologies can be used for research, instruction, practice and review, and creative projects.

Internet for Research

Students in Grade Three and above greatly benefit from using the Internet for researching Social Studies and Science projects.  Often, researching projects at the local library is not enough for the simple reason that most libraries do not have a wide variety of books on all topics.  For some families, access to a library is not even possible.  The obvious solution is to allow student to research Science and Social Studies projects on the Internet.  Parents should teach children in Grade Three and above to use the Internet for research.  Children should be taught how to enter search terms into the search box of the browser, how to determine which results to click on, and how to evaluate if a particular site is a good source of information.

Technology for Instruction

The use of technology can make teaching homeschoolers much more manageable.  There are many types of technologies that the homeschooling parent can use to actually teach the homeschooling child.  Parents may choose to use CD ROMs containing instructional videos or demonstrations.  Parents may also opt to use online instructional resources with their children.  The iPad is another device suitable for homeschooling instruction.

Technology for Practice and Review

A variety of different hardware and software can be beneficial for concept/skill practice and review.  The iPod touch and the iPad with their apps can be used for this purpose.  There are also computer games available on CDROM.  Many online educational activities are also excellent for the review and practice of academic skills.

Technology for Creative Projects

Artwork and creative projects for any subject can be created in electronic format.  The iPod touch/iPad have some nice drawing apps for kids.  There are many different types of designing software that can be used on a PC or Mac computer.  Students could also make multimedia projects such as Power Point Presentations or even movies!

Internet for Homeschooling Information

The Internet is a great source of information for the homeschooling parent.  It is important to understand government guidelines and policies regarding homeschooling.  Here is the Manitoba Government homeschooling information.  There also many other websites that are helpful to homeschoolers in Manitoba, including the MACHS website.  There are also homeschooling forums where parents can get advice from other homeschoolers and homeschooling events calendars where homeschoolers can find out what homeschooing events are happening in their area.

Beneficial Use of Technology and the Internet

The Internet and modern technology can be very useful for the homeschooling parent.  From instruction and review to research and digital creative projects, using technology has many, many advantages. However, parents also need to consider the dangers inherent in using the Internet.  Children should always have supervised Internet use to circumvent any inappropriate online activities.  Children need to be protected while being given the opportunity to reach their full potential.

© Celesta Thiessen

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