Homeschooling for online teachers
Homeschooling for online teachers. Is it a viable option, and how do you get your foot in the door? Homeschooling is becoming increasingly popular as more families with to have more insight into their children’s education. As of March 2016, there were an estimated 2.3 million homeschooled students in the United States. The practice is increasingly viewed as acceptable in mainstream American culture. The increase in mobile families is part of the cause. Additionally, more parents wish to look beyond the boundaries of traditional public schooling and expensive private educational programs.
This is great news for online teachers. Increased demand means increased job opportunities, with the significant plus of being able to teach K-12 level courses and material. Teacher Indie will be covering this phenomenon in a 3-part series entitled, “Homeschooling for Online Teachers.” Part 1 of the series is “How to get started.” We’re going to look at programs and organizations that offer recognized online homeschooling for K-12 students.
The fact is that many parents aren’t prepared or don’t wish to be fully responsible for the child’s homeschooling. Online homeschool teachers are able to fill that gap, remaining in close contact with family members and building a curriculum tailored to the instructor’s teaching style while remaining centered on the student’s needs.
Getting started with teaching homeschooled students online
It is important to remember that requirements for homeschooled students vary by location. Many states require students to participate in standardized testing, portfolio reviews, and/or have other guidelines to monitor progress and ensure accreditation of learning material. The Coalition for Responsible Home Education offers information on requirements for all 50 states, along with resources and links to legal requirements and information.
Resources for online homeschool teachers
In addition to a thorough session on the CRHE website linked above, here is a collection of other resources, curriculums, and websites for online homeschool teachers and the homeschool community at large.
Curriculums and schools
Listed here are curriculums that can either be purchased for use with students or opportunities for partnership for online teachers. Each of these is slightly different in their approach – we encourage you to browse around the websites and consider if any offer a concept that you believe in and wish to move forward with in your teaching.
Please note that these programs are listed as examples for you to research and gain information about online homeschooling and how the field is being managed. This is not intended to be a ‘job listing’ of any sort.
Based heavily on math and science courses, Acellus Academy’s teachers work with students, many of whom have fallen behind in traditional learning environments, to help them meet requirements and progress through their education.
This site offers curriculums specifically designed to meet state requirements while still allowing flexibility in the teaching presentation and learning process.
Connections Academy offers tuition-free online homeschooling to students around the country. Their curriculums are based on public school accreditation and are increasingly popular with parents in the United States. Here is a link to their Careers page.
Ambleside Online is a free interaction-centered homeschooling curriculum based on the guidelines of Charlotte Mason. The material is focused on literature, nature, and letting students repeat learned information in their own words. These concepts are aged and tried, but seem to be seeing a resurgence of late. The material offers tips and hints for customizing the curriculum to specific student needs and is available on their website.
Oak Meadow is also nature based, and allows for heavy experimentation with the student. Their curriculum can be purchased for family use, or students can enroll in their accredited distance learning school. Their website is student and family-facing, online teachers interested in learning more can browse through the site and fill out this form for more information.
Resource sites for online homeschool teachers
Clickschooling.com emails curriculum ideas and advice to teachers six days per week, in addition to virtual tours for students.
Khan Academy provides videos and interactive games for students, free of charge, based on a variety of subjects.
Simplehomeschool.net is a blog run by homeschool instructors and professionals that isn’t aimed necessarily at teachers, but provides great insight into the industry.
Families on the Road is a resource website for homeschool families wishing to travel full-time (perfect for the Teacher Indie community!) They talk legal issues, link to resources, events and boards, and discuss products related to homeschooling and travel.
The Homeschool Mom is the most complete directory of homeschooling resources. Much of the site is directly aimed at families, however many of the information and links relate to those teaching homeschooled students as well.