By Lauren Quan, group manager of Khan Academy’s Product Marketing Team
Homeschooling is on the rise, and it can provide families with the freedom and flexibility to craft learning experiences tailored to each child’s unique needs and interests.
There are many factors that families may want to consider when deciding whether homeschooling is right for them. In this blog, we will explore some of the benefits and drawbacks of homeschooling. We will discuss different approaches to homeschooling, and recommend some creative learning opportunities that develop skills and talents outside the classroom. In addition, we’ll share ways that parents can use Khan Academy and Khanmigo to support their homeschooling goals.
Let’s start by outlining some of the pros and cons of homeschooling.
- Personalized education: Homeschooling allows parents to tailor the curriculum to meet their child’s individual needs and interests. Kids may be more engaged in learning if they can relate it to their favorite hobbies.
- Flexible schedule: Homeschooling provides the flexibility to create a schedule that works best for the family. This allows for more freedom to pursue extracurricular activities, travel, or accommodate any special circumstances.
- Customized pace of learning: With homeschooling, children can learn at their own pace, whether they need additional time to grasp a concept or they want to accelerate through subjects they excel in.
- Individualized attention: Homeschooled children typically receive more one-on-one attention from their parents or educators, which can help them grasp concepts more thoroughly and seek clarification when needed.
- Freedom to explore: Homeschooling allows families to explore various teaching methods and educational philosophies to find what works best for their child.
- Opportunities for real-world learning: Homeschoolers often have the flexibility to engage in hands-on, real-world learning experiences, such as field trips, volunteering, and internships, which can enhance their education in practical ways.
- Limited social interaction with peers at school: Homeschooled children may have less opportunity to interact with peers, impacting the development of social skills and relationships.
- Time and effort commitment: Homeschooling requires significant time and effort from parents or guardians who take on the role of educators, which can be demanding, especially for those with other responsibilities or those who lack teaching experience.
- Limited access to resources and activities: Homeschoolers may not have access to specialized resources and extracurricular activities commonly available in traditional schools.
- Transition challenges: Switching from homeschooling to traditional school or higher education may present challenges as students need to adapt to different teaching methods and classroom environments. If families are currently sending their kids to traditional schools, there may also be challenges when switching to homeschooling.
Approaches to Homeschooling
There are many approaches to homeschooling, such as traditional, classical, Charlotte Mason, unschooling, Montessori, and eclectic. Each approach emphasizes a particular teaching philosophy. We recommend that parents research different curriculums and choose the one that is the best fit for their family.
Khan Academy for Homeschooling
Many families have told us that Khan Academy is an invaluable educational resource for homeschooling.
Here are some ways that Khan Academy can be a great resource for homeschooling families:
- Parents can find lessons that are aligned with what your kids are learning, whether you are looking for support in math, science, humanities, ELA, or social studies. Our comprehensive content library has thousands of high-quality articles, videos, and exercises developed by teachers and subject matter experts.
- You can assess your child’s math skills with our free Get Ready for Grade Level courses. Have your child start by taking the Course Challenge, which will identify their strengths and weaknesses and make recommendations for what they should study next.
- You can also prepare your kids for college-level coursework with our AP courses, such as AP Chemistry and AP Biology.
- Parents can explore and learn fun new topics together as a family, such as storytelling and movie-making lessons from Pixar.
- Pro tip: Sign up for Khan Academy as a teacher, set up a “class,” and add your children. This will unlock access to our powerful set of free teacher tools. From there, you can assign lessons or homework to your children, give them due dates, track their progress, and see what skills they need to work on.
All of the content mentioned above is completely free.
Khanmigo for Homeschooling
Is your family looking for 1:1 tutoring support? Khanmigo may be your answer.
Khanmigo is a new AI-powered personal tutor developed by Khan Academy. It’s integrated with Khan Academy’s comprehensive free library of courses, questions, articles, and activities. Kids love Khanmigo because it turns learning into an exciting conversation. Parents love that Khanmigo is ethically designed with safety and learning built in as a top priority. This AI tutor won’t tell your kids the answer. Instead, with limitless patience, it will help them find the answer themselves. And unlike traditional tutors, Khanmigo is available 24/7.
Try AI Confidence Boosters for Your Child Here!
Additional Homeschooling Resources
Here are some additional resources that homeschooling families may find helpful:
- Local libraries often provide online resources, including e-books, audiobooks, and educational databases, that can support homeschooling efforts.
- Parent support groups and online communities, such as homeschooling forums and Facebook groups, can provide valuable advice, tips, and resources for parents navigating the homeschooling journey.
- Virtual field trips and educational videos from platforms like Discovery Education (www.discoveryeducation.com) and TED-Ed (www.ed.ted.com) can bring the world into the homeschooling curriculum.
- Educational podcasts, such as “Brains On!” (www.brainson.org) and “Wow in the World” (www.npr.org/podcasts/510321/wow-in-the-world), offer entertaining and educational content that parents and children can listen to together.
- Local homeschooling cooperatives and organizations might offer classes, workshops, and resources specifically designed for homeschooling families.
- Educational toy companies like Crayola Education (https://www.crayola.com/education/ ) provide hands-on learning materials and resources that can supplement homeschooling lessons.
- Homeschooling families can also opt for field trips, clubs, or volunteering opportunities that foster growth and development. These learning opportunities could be as local as visiting a museum or park in your city or as international as a volunteer trip abroad. Other creative projects or activities that promote curiosity and exploration of interests include learning a new skill like painting or cooking.
Let Khanmigo be the Tutor in your Homeschool
Homeschooling is a big decision, and we hope some of the resources we shared in this blog help you decide whether it’s right for your family. Whether or not you choose to homeschool, Khan Academy and Khanmigo are here to support you and help you achieve your family’s academic goals.