Looking for the best online homeschool program?
So you’re thinking about homeschooling your children, but you’re not sure where to start. Online homeschool programs can be a great option for families who want the flexibility and convenience of homeschooling without all the hassle.
Many parents use Scholar Within’s reading and spelling curriculum as their core language arts curriculum for their homeschool program. Some use it as a supplement to their child’s education. Parents know that when their kids read and spell well, they can do just about anything. So, being sure they have a great reading and spelling program is typically the most important step in their homeschool curriculum.
They want the best online homeschool programs created and supported by certified teachers. They also want engaging, and highly interactive reading and spelling online courses. And, of course, they want access to learning coaches.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing an online homeschool program:
- Make sure the program provides a standards-based curriculum. This ensures that your children are getting a quality educational foundation with the flexibility of homeschooling and self-pacing.
- This means that your reading and spelling curriculum should be broad-based and include the 5 tenets of reading at all levels.
Many people think that phonemic awareness and phonics are not important as students get older. However, most of us are familiar with the term word attack skills. Well, word attack skills are based on phonics and phonemic awareness. Both reading and spelling words become more complex the older you get. You do still use these skills while reading more advanced texts as you get older.
The 5 tenets of reading
- Phonemic Awareness: Hear, identify, and manipulate sounds
- Phonics: Matching sounds to individual letters or groups of letters
- Fluency: Reading automatically and accurately without thinking of the reading process
- Vocabulary: Knowledge of words, basic words, advanced words, specific subject terms
- Comprehension: Understand, analyze, synthesize, and use what you have read
These 5 tenets are included in Scholar Within’s Homeschool Reading and Spelling Program.
Work at your own pace and grade level
You will want to choose a program where your children are able to work at their own pace and levels. It is also helpful when you are able to change their levels according to their skill master. We find that some students are at grade level, some are below, and some are above. And, it may vary from one subject to another.
For example, you may be on grade level for reading but below grade level for spelling. Online homeschool programs that allow for the flexibility to have both younger students and middle school students working at their own levels for each subject make learning all subjects, even social studies, easier.
Scholar Within offers video lessons that your students do along with the video instruction. This has proven to be extremely effective.
“The video spelling and phonics lessons are like having a private tutor in our home.”
– Wendy R.
Virtual school support
- Make sure the program offers support. Many online homeschool programs have forums or other ways for you to get help from other parents and teachers. This can be extremely helpful if you’re ever feeling stuck or need some advice. Scholar Within’s homeschool reading and spelling programs offer online support as well as work submission and commentary from certified teachers and learning coaches to help your child improve their skills even faster.
- Look at the amount of parent involvement. Younger students typically need more parental involvement than older students do. We always want to be sure that parents check in and monitor the work of their older students, but we keep that at a minimum. Independent work time is important, especially as your kids get older.
A broad range of engaging activities
Is the online school totally online, or are there parts of it that are offline? We find that following science-based strategies for curriculum show that there should be offline work as well as online. When students work hands-on taking physical notes or playing card games or a variety of other physical activities when they are learning, students are able to retain what they have learned much more than when all of their work was done online.
Do your online homeschooling programs use advanced technology?
Online homeschooling reading just got easier. Learning to read just got easier with Scholar Within’s new online read-aloud text feature. This new text-to-speech reader has been built from the ground up to be the best possible reading experience for new and experienced readers.
Reading along with our new online read-aloud feature builds reading speed, accuracy, and comprehension faster! The read-aloud feature has a friendly tone of voice that makes for a great article or selection to read. Text-to-speech has never sounded this good before. This new tool also builds your pronunciation skills, too!
Tap to Read is available in Scholar Within’s Homeschool Reading and Spelling Program.
Tap to Read Technology:
- Builds overall language skills
- Makes the written text come alive by having voice audio files that go along with it
- Listening skills improve
- Improves comprehension
- Builds vocabulary
- Spoken words make the reading passages come alive
- Provides modeling of fluent reading
- Provides a model of great reading intonation, pronunciation, cadence, and prosody
Scholar Within’s online school programs
We do offer a proprietary curriculum and online programs for students in kindergarten through 8th-grade reading levels. Scholar Within’s Homeschool Reading and Spelling Program is designed by our board-certified educational therapist and learning specialist, Bonnie Terry, M.Ed., BCET.
This reading and spelling curriculum, different than traditional schools, lays the foundational skills your children need to do well in stem courses as well as high school courses when they get older. Reading and spelling are the building blocks of learning.
Your child will learn note-taking strategies that they will continue to use throughout school, including middle school, high school, college, and beyond.
Choose a program that fits your family’s needs. Some programs are more structured and provide lesson plans and materials for you to use, while others are more flexible and allow you to create your own curriculum. There is no right or wrong answer here, it just depends on what will work better for your family.