Seven reasons why online Christian schools are the best choice for homeschooling.
Christian Worldview. The greatest benefit of online Christian schools is you can expect a Christian worldview. Online Christian schools normally use a biblical curricula with a Christian worldview that focuses on character building. By focusing on character building, it leaves the parents and the family’s church to instill doctrinal teaching. The Bible clearly commands parents in Deuteronomy chapter six that parents should teach their children all day long to love the Lord. That cannot be accomplished with just a couple hours per week at church, prayer before eating, and occasional devotions. It especially cannot be accomplished by sending their children to a school that leaves out God and even undermines God for almost 1000 hours per year. See ChristianHomeschool.us.
Academic Excellence. Online Christian schools that use an online curriculum normally offer immediate answer reinforcement that is rarely offered in traditional education methods. When a student answers a question in a lesson, quiz, or test, an online curriculum can instantly score most or all of the work. This prevents a student from having a wrong answer in memory very long. In traditional approaches, the student normally has to wait to find out if the answers were correct or incorrect. By that time, incorrect answers have been in memory too long. An online curriculum also prevents improper or accidental scoring problems by the student or parent. Parent time is freed up by having reduced scoring responsibilities.
Academic Assistance. Many online Christian schools provide academic support features and options to ensure success and longevity in homeschooling. Teacher support options can give parents additional student help when needed. Many online programs offer student help within the curriculum. This is valuable for many reasons. It can allow families to continue homeschooling through high school graduation. It gives students experience with the same format used in college. It can free up time for parents to focus on encouragement and motivation. It can free up parents to develop field trips or a special interest class. It can free up parents to have a home-based business. It can reduce personality conflict and frustrations, which can happen sometimes when a student requires help. It can especially save the parent time if the online Christian school provides subjective scoring for written work that technology cannot automatically score. An online Christian school can prevent interruptions to progress if the parent is sick or is unexpectedly busy.
Motivation. Online Christian schools can provide invaluable student motivation for homeschooling. All of us can benefit by having someone that cares about our achievements and progress. Online Christian schools can reduce homeschooling friction, because someone in addition to Mom and Dad expects the academic goals to be completed on time. This strength can also help with the quality of work as well. Additional recognition can help students do their best. Motivation problems can be one of the eventual reasons homeschooling does not work for some families. An online Christian school can support the parents.
Efficiency. Homeschooling through Online Christian schools can provide educational efficiency. A student enrolled in an online Christian school can often accomplish a day’s work in 2-3 hours less time than a campus-based structure. See Homeschool Efficiency. Online Christian schools normally offer a structure to continue without interruption or having to learn new procedures if the family relocates to another part of the U.S.
Frees Up Parent Time: Lesson plan maintenance, grading, and record maintenance are usually done by the online Christian school’s systems, so it frees up parents much more than traditional homeschooling. Academic assistance can save the parent time, especially for subjective scoring requirements. When using a K-12 online Christian school, the parent saves time by not being required to research scope and sequence issues each year. For districts or states that require curriculum plans for school from home situations, much time can be saved by having curriculum plans already available for each year’s registration. A regionally accredited online Christian school may reduce local requirements. An online Christian school that provides annual achievement testing can save parents time in meeting some states’ testing requirements. In addition to a school diploma, parents save time by having a school number for college entrance tests, FAFSA, and other things that take more time if you do not have a school number. If the student should ever transfer to a campus-based school, parents normally save time getting credit recognized and meeting other enrollment procedures.
The Big Picture. Online Christian schools can help parents who are ultimately responsible for training their children. Parents can take back their responsibility to train their children. Online Christian schools can provide an effective system for academic success. They can prevent parent burnout and support the family through graduation. They can help with motivation. They provide an efficient structure. They free up the parent to focus on the needs of each unique child. They can provide a long term structure for success.
Cost of Online Christian Schools:
The cost of online Christian schools may be higher than some homeschool options, but they are the best value for what you get. When you calculate the daily cost of tuition, you will see the value. For example, the online Christian schools Western Christian Academy and Southeast Academy have approximate school day costs of $8-$10 for 3rd-12th grade with teacher support. (They have much less expensive options for PreK-5th grades.) The $8-$10 school day cost with the teacher support feature includes the following:
Curriculum is included.
Answer reinforcement structure is included.
Human academic support built-in to their online program.
Human subjective scoring is provided for written work.
Daily updated records system is included.
Daily lesson planning (flexible for family schedules) is provided.
An additional person is checking and encouraging progress.
Structure is provided that can significantly reduce parent time requirements (to allow increased quality and/or home-based income opportunities).
In addition, many other benefits are included in that cost:
Initial diagnostic testing for proper placement to prevent foundational gaps. They use a multi-unit course structure, so initial missing concepts can be covered without repeating an entire year. They believe repairing the foundation will allow future concepts to make sense. It reduces the distraction of struggling with past concepts that are essential to new concepts.
They are accredited schools and include annual achievement tests. The achievement tests help parents to see annual academic growth to ensure the online Christian school structure is doing its job. The annual tests often help meet local requirements when required. The schools have these accreditation and testing costs included in their tuition.
They offer a school identity to the student. Along with providing a diploma, families will have a school number for post-graduation needs such as college entrance tests and FAFSA.
They are older schools, so their programs are not experiments. They have enough experience to know their curriculum and structure offer an opportunity for excellence.
Their younger grades’ booklet-based curriculum (K-5th) dovetails into the online curriculum. This prevents duplication or missing concepts when changing to a different format later. They also offer a combination of booklet and online curriculum for 3rd-8th to allow for a transition year into online learning for some students.
Can a family afford an online Christian school?
Money is saved for transportation costs such as gasoline, maintenance, and vehicle depreciation due to multiple daily school runs. Money is saved from more expensive and sometimes not as healthy school lunches. Money is saved from increased clothing requirements of a campus-based structure. Money is saved because there are no fundraising requirements. Money is saved from multiple incidental costs a campus-based structure requires.
For example: It would cost over $1000 in gas and vehicle expenses per year if figuring $3 for each trip to drive a student to and from school each day for a 170 day school year. Saving only $1 per student lunch by having lunch at home would save $170 per year, plus would allow parents to better monitor eating habits. When considering no fundraising requirements, reduced clothing costs, and other incidentals, these can make up much of the remaining tuition you need. You may be already spending the same as the amount needed to use an online Christian school. See I Have Heard It Is Expensive.
What if we were a two income family?
The benefits of having a stay at home parent can be amazing. The pace of life slows down. The home environment improves. The family table can be recaptured. It can offer the family experience that all family members desire.
Each family will have to do a financial analysis. You may find that some changes will be necessary. You may also find that the second income does not benefit as much as first thought. You should consider transportation, clothing, food, tax increase, and other work expenses. You should also consider what spending will decrease for home expenses by having one of the parents at home. You may need to research for a dependable home-based income for the parent at home. If a required home-based income does not work, it may even take some sacrifice such as having a part-time job on the spouse’s days off or reevaluating the justification for current housing.
Other Online Christian Schools Benefits:
Beginning of day stress is greatly reduced.
School safety issues are gone.
Peer pressure can be guided much easier.
Online Christian schools are a biblical model for the family and home.