Thursday, March 20, 2014

Online Homeschool Classes Offer Unique Opportunities

Q: What do a campground, India, a car, a church parking lot, a backyard, a library, a coffee shop, McDonald's and many different U.S. states have in common?

A: They're all locations from which CBB students have attended class! 

In case you think we've started hiring models
for our blog photos, Tori Howard is
actually a  CBB student!

The changes in homeschooling over the last decade amaze me. I remember ten years ago teaching my kids, along with  a few other children, how to write in my living room. Now I'm meeting with students from all over the country without leaving my home office. We're able to  share computer screens, do research online together and even break out into other "rooms" for conferences and group projects. 

Honestly, I am not always gracious about technology. It frustrates me to watch companies continually "upgrade" software and products before even fixing the previous versions' weaknesses or to see evil people use it to scam and harm others. But my students have changed that viewpoint for me. Now, I find myself appreciating the unique opportunities that online classes provide and wishing my own children had been blessed with the ability to make friends with classmates from all over the country.

Socialization, a common worldly criticism of the home schooling community and a word that many of us despise due to its distortion, even has a place in the online community. While your children may meet almost anyone online if you're not careful, CBB teachers and students provide healthy relationships from a Biblical perspective. So, kids get to directly interact with one another and other Christian adults in a safe environment. I love that.

As I was watching and evaluating my communication students give speeches recently, it occurred to me that we're not only preparing them to speak well, but they're also learning to use the electronic environment that has become so common in the workplace these days. Our students will be comfortable and confident, even in the corporate world, meeting with other professionals to collaborate and give presentations.

Even though it's possible for students to get distracted while online with Facebook, family life around them as well as other forms technology, practicing the ability to focus provides another benefit I had not considered when moving my course to the virtual classroom. I have students who are now much more attentive that they were in the physical classroom. 

Finally, I am impressed with the level of communication I receive from my students since we've moved CBB online. I am not sure if it's because they feel more comfortable connecting that way or if they now relate class to the computer, but students are more likely to ask me questions between classes, send emails and even text than before. It saves all of us so much time in class when this communication occurs outside of that essential hour of instruction.

Are online classes perfect for every family? Of course not. But there are many benefits that I hadn't anticipated when we made the transition to the virtual classroom and I will take the positive surprises from whence they come!

If you have any questions about CBB online classes or comments about how your children have responded to our virtual classroom style, please feel free to share them. I am sure other parents would find them helpful.

In Christ,

1 comment:

  1. We have attended one of Beth's classes in the car using a hot spot on numerous occasions with no problem. I love this life and the freedom that comes with it. Oh, and the awesome education that my kids are receiving from Beth just sweetens the pot! Sandi