How Cyber School and Homeschool Differ
Do you want to explore alternative school options for your children? It's not always easy to differentiate between cyber school and homeschool, especially when these practices share a few commonalities. That said, it's essential to know what separates them so that you can make the best educational choice for your kids.
Here are a few differences between cyber school and homeschool.
1. The Home Set-Up
While both educational methods take place at home, it's possible for flexibility when it comes to each. A central difference between cyber school and homeschool comes down to how the parents want their children to learn.
A homeschool set-up can look different for every family. Some parents like to teach their children with materials that they purchase. Others prefer to use online programs. In most cases, there's a higher chance that the parents have a significant role to play when it comes to homeschool lessons. Either way, it's up to the parents to create a schedule that works for their children.
While a homeschool system doesn't require parents to be experts on topics, they must take steps to educate themselves alongside their children. Of course, a chemistry teacher probably couldn't lecture on Spanish, either! That said, those who decide to homeschool their kids do need to make a concerted effort to learn about what they choose to teach.
Cyber school students take courses, submit assignments and complete exams through an online platform. They usually attend online lectures where a teacher presents topics to the entire class. Sometimes, each subject takes place on a specific day that aligns the students' other responsibilities. That said, cyber school remains a popular choice for students who need more flexible schedules.
It's essential to note that cyber school doesn't require parents to take on an instructor-like role. Each program enlists educators to teach students as they work with parents to create a personalized plan. It's always nice to have supportive parents to assist with homework, but they don't need to act as teachers.
Both cyber school and homeschool require similar set-ups. Each can be as flexible as the participants wish. It all depends on whether the parents want to teach their kids or not.
2. The Potential Curriculum
While public schools must adhere to specific educational policies when it comes to curriculum, it's often different for cyber and homeschool methods. These practices also need to follow state-regulated guidelines, but there's a little more wiggle room.
It's a little different for homeschoolers when it comes to curriculum. Unless the parents decide to pursue a specific online program, it's up to them to teach their children what they believe to be important. Of course, most states require that homeschoolers follow specific educational guidelines every year. For example, Pennsylvania asks homeschoolers to file an affidavit with their school district.
Additionally, homeschoolers can incorporate their religious views into their lessons.
Cyber school programs have to create lesson plans that involve their state's recommendations. For the most part, cyber school curriculum matches up with public school curriculum. You can expect your children to learn about standard topics like biology and U.S. history. While some private schools focus on faith-based lessons, it's very uncommon for cyber schools to emphasize a particular religion.
3. The Social Opportunities
It's essential for people to know about potential social opportunities for their children. Can their kids still meet their peers if they choose cyber schooling or homeschooling? For the most part, it's up to the parents.
As a homeschooler, it's up to the parents to make decisions about activities. You can explore local community resources to help your children engage with their peers. Many organizations make it easier for families to find these connections. For example, the YMCA works with communities to host experiences that foster relationships.
Many homeschoolers also like to align with faith-based families that use the same educational methods for their children. It's also true that kids who play high-level sports are likely to be homeschooled, so it's always possible for them to meet kids through that activity.
Most online schools allow their students to interact with one another through their lectures. This way, they can use technology to collaborate on projects and study for tests together. Additionally, it's common for cyber school students to organize a time to see their peers face-to-face. It's not always possible to connect with a friend who lives across the state, but you can meet those who live nearby.
Some cyber schools also put together extracurriculars. These may include field trips or academic clubs, where students can connect. In any case, cyber schoolers and homeschoolers need to discover ways to involve themselves and their kids with their communities.
Each Educational Practice Has Its Applications
These are the key differences between cyber schooling and homeschooling. It's important to consider these aspects if you want to pursue alternative learning methods for your children.