Find out how online homeschool classes can work with your family’s needs to make your homeschool days less hectic.
Sometimes as homeschool parents, it can feel like we have to do it all. All the teaching for all the kids…all the cooking…all the cleaning.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
Are you ready for it?
You don’t have to do it all! You can have help teaching your kids.
Keep reading to find out how to use online homeschool classes that work with your family’s needs. These programs will help you simplify your homeschool day.
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Before having kids, I was an elementary teacher. With that background, I tried homeschooling my children in a similar manner at first.
However, I quickly learned that homeschooling is not simply school at home. Teaching your own children at home requires a different approach.
Through the years we’ve tried a variety of different learning styles. Some of these methods worked better during certain seasons of life, while some have passed the test of time and work year after year. One of those tried and true methods that continue to work for us time and again is using online homeschool classes.
Why Use Online Homeschool Classes?
Online homeschool classes can be quite effective at helping you teach your children. There is a variety of reasons that you should choose online learning.
Online homeschool classes can help:
- Outsource subjects you don’t want to teach
- Teach multiple kids with the same class
- Save time by letting everyone work on classes in their levels at the same time
- Give homeschool teachers a break
- Let kids focus on interests
Use Online Classes for Subjects You Don’t Want to Teach
You’re going to find subjects as you homeschool that you don’t enjoy teaching. Perhaps there are subjects that you don’t feel confident teaching. These may be subjects like music or art. As our kids get older, especially as they move into high school, you may find you could use help teaching subjects at a higher level. All of these are great reasons to find online classes to help you out.
Multi-level Classes Teach All Your Kids at Once
When you are homeschooling multiple ages, you may choose to combine your kids for some subjects. One way I combine my kids is through our morning basket time. Another way is by using multi-age online homeschool programs. Online learning is especially helpful for teaching fine arts, like art and music, and nature study.
Save Time Helping Your Kids at Their Levels
As well as combining your kids, another way to use online classes is by having your kids work on the same subject at their level. For example, teaching math quickly became a daily stressor in our homeschool. None of my kids are particularly fond of math, which made teaching it dreadful. Plus, it never failed that right in the middle of a lesson with one child, another one would need me. Math easily took the majority of our homeschool day.
Once my kids started using online math programs, our days became much more enjoyable. We bought them each a Chromebook of their own, so they can work on math at the same time, but at their levels. Since I’m not teaching the lesson, I can easily walk around and give help as needed or reteach a topic they aren’t understanding. Plus I no longer need to spend time planning or grading math lessons either. This has single-handedly made our days easier.
Online Classes Give Homeschool Teachers a Break
As I just mentioned, using online programs will make your homeschool days easier. Not only will you free up some of the time you spend teaching the subjects yourself, but you’ll save time in other areas too. You don’t need to spend time planning out lessons for these online classes. Additionally, you won’t have to grade any work from these classes, so you’ll also get a break from grading.
Kids Can Take Classes on Their Interests
Online homeschool classes benefit our kids as well. First, educators and homeschool parents who teach online classes do so in subjects they are passionate about. They spend a lot of time preparing these amazing lessons for our kids to enjoy.
Additionally, kids can take online lessons for subjects that pique their interest. My oldest son loves learning about computers and is considering the possibility of a career in computers. He really enjoys taking online technology classes where he can learn skills like computer programming. I definitely do not feel confident enough to teach him those skills myself, so I appreciate that I can turn to online programs to help him learn.
How to Make Online Homeschool Programs Work for Your Family
So how can you utilize online homeschool classes to best fit the needs for your family? First, figure out what you most need help with to make your days easier and more manageable. I mentioned above that for me it was math. Finding an online math program immediately made my days less stressful.
Then decide what you’d love for your kids to learn, but you don’t feel confident teaching yourself. Perhaps you’d love to find an online art or music class for them. Maybe they’d enjoy a book club with other homeschool children.
Finally, consider classes that encourage your kids’ interests. Those classes might be on learning computer skills, such as the ones my son takes. Or maybe your kids would love to learn cooking skills instead.
Obviously, money is a factor for most of us in how much outside help we can afford. That’s why I suggest starting with online classes that remove the biggest stressor in your day. Then you can decide what other classes you can afford to fit into your homeschool budget.
Our Favorite Online Homeschool Programs
You may be thinking that online homeschool classes would be a major benefit to your homeschool day. But perhaps you have no idea where to look or which ones you’d like. Below I share some of the online classes we’ve tried out and have enjoyed. Some of them we may have used for a short time to fit our needs at the time. Others we’ve used for years.
That’s the beauty of homeschooling. You get to choose the curriculum that best fits your family’s needs!
You Are an Artist Online Art Lessons: We’ve been enjoying the lessons at You Are an Artist for years. We started with chalk pastel lessons. We’ve since added lessons in acrylics and lessons in their new Fine Arts Curriculum. The chalk pastel and acrylic lessons are recorded online video lessons that kids of any age will enjoy. Becoming a Clubhouse member gives you access to over 800 lessons in a wide variety of subjects. The Fine Arts Curriculum offers homeschool parents lesson plans that they use to teach their kids.
Art History Kids Art History Curriculum: If you’d like your kids to learn art history, The Studio membership from Art History Kids might be a good fit. You have flexibility with this course. You’ll receive a PDF each month full of information about that month’s artist or art style and project ideas inspired by the artist. You can teach it yourself and/or attend the live zoom art chat, watch videos about the artist’s life, and share your child’s art in the private Facebook group.
SQUILT Music: If you’re looking for music curriculum, you’ll love SQUILT. For online classes, you’ll want to choose SQUILT Live. You also have the option for classes you teach yourself that offer ready-made lessons.
Clap for Classics! Online Preschool Curriculum: My preschooler loves this program, especially the live weekly zoom calls that are part of the All Access Membership. The Four Seasons Curriculum is also wonderful. You’ll get online lessons for music, poetry, art, and STEM for each season. This curriculum is available separately or as part of the All Access.
MYTEK LAB: My oldest son has enjoyed courses from Mytek Lab for the last couple of years. They are perfect for 3rd-12th graders interest in learning computer skills. You can read more about our experience with the TEKnology Level 1 course and with the TEKnology Level 2 course for more information.
CodaKid: CodaKid is another online platform for teaching computer skills. They use games kids are already familiar with to teach coding. You can read about our experience with the program to learn more about it.
Online Book Clubs
Literary Adventures 4 Kids: If you’d like help teaching your children language arts and literature, check out the Literary Adventures 4 Kids program. It includes online book clubs your kids will love, including some at the high school level.
Online Math Programs
CTCMath: CTCMath is a great online math program for all ages and is what we currently use. Kids first watch the video for that day’s lesson. Then they complete the problems. Parents can set up a certain passing grade kids have to get before they can move on, as well as require lessons be done in a certain order. You can also read more about the program and our experience with it.
Teaching Textbooks: Teaching Textbooks is another great online math program that we have used. Their new 4.0 program allows you to use it even when not connected to the internet, which is perfect for families on the go. Grades from each assignment are automatically kept in an online gradebook. You can read more about our experience with this program.
Science and Nature Study
College Prep Science: College Prep Science is a great science program to use for kids in grades 4-12, with options for live or self-paced online classes. These classes are perfect for those who aren’t comfortable teaching high school science. Your child even has the option of an online, interactive science lab. My daughter, who attends a local high school, even took an online ACT prep class over her summer break. The instructor, Greg, is a great science teacher. Read about our experiences in both a middle school class and also an interactive biology lab.
No Sweat Nature Study: Nature study may not seem like a class you would do online, but the live online classes at No Sweat Nature Study are lots of fun. The instructor, Cindy, is so informative and makes the classes very interesting. Members receive access to two live classes a month, that are also recorded for those who can’t attend live, plus access to all previous classes as well as other benefits. My boys enjoy creating nature journal pages with all of the information they learn.
Remember, just because you homeschool, you don’t have to do it all. One way to find help as a homeschool parent is through online homeschool classes. These programs can help you teach subjects you aren’t confident teaching yourself. Multi-age homeschool lessons give you a teaching break. Plus, online classes allow everyone to work at different levels at the same time while you help as needed. Online homeschool classes are an effective way to simplify your homeschool day by working with your family’s needs.