Technology is a great asset in many instances. There is so much that you can do and see with the advances of technology that may not have been accessible before. However, technology also has its downfalls, so knowing when and how to use it to your advantage is critical. When it comes to homeschooling, there is a time and place for technology. The internet and virtual classrooms are great resources, but children cannot learn with technology alone. Part of the brain’s learning process involves the interaction with other people and hands-on learning activities to help it grasp the information. By limiting your children to the internet classroom and no physical interaction, you’re limiting the capacity to which they can learn new things. Using technology for research, interacting with other homeschool families, and occasional assignments or projects is fine. Allowing the internet to teach your children full-time is not a good idea, however.
Good Technology, Bad Technology- Knowing the Difference
When used properly, technology can be very good. For example, being able to research information online is helpful in homeschool because it saves many trips to the library or the feeling that information is too hard to find. However, researching on the internet can be bad because there are heaps of misinformation, incorrect facts, and articles that are just plain fiction which can mislead your children and teach them improper information. Bad technology does not exist in and of itself, but merely in the way that it is used. If you take the time to find reliable resources for your children, technology can be a great advantage for your homeschool curriculum.
Teaching about Technology
Children NEED to know how to use computers. They need basic internet skills, and they should have proficiency in typing and e-mail communications. In the world today, these are the most basic job skills for many people, and no longer a commodity but more of a requirement. You should have a computer at home and use it to teach your children proper computer skills, typing proficiency, and basic internet use. In most homes, this isn’t an issue because school-aged children are already using the internet and the computer on a regular basis. However, for those homes that have restricted access to technology, this will surely impact the success of your child’s future, as it plays such an important role in the world.
When Technology Goes too Far
Homeschool curriculum is very open-ended. As long as the educational requirements are met, it is not specified as to how they are taught or what exact material is learned. The point of homeschooling, for many parents, is to have control over what their children are taught and to allow them to learn at their own pace. With the explosion of the internet, too many parents often think that they can rely on virtual learning and other educational tools online to educate their children. However, children have been attending pubic, interactive schools for centuries. Everyone learns differently, but no one will get a fully enriched education by ONLY learning in a virtual format. Children need to be exposed to the world around them to ensure proper social interaction and prepare them for life after school. If your child wants to be homeschooled, or you want to homeschool them, you need to let technology help you, and not the other way around.
Flush Preconceived Ideas Down the Drain
Too many parents think that technology can only be bad or good. However, since it is subjective, there is no clear differentiation for the use of technology in homeschooling. It can be beneficial when used properly as an aid to classroom-style teaching, so you shouldn’t immediately declare the internet and other technology to be ‘bad.’ Don’t limit the growth of your children by sheltering them from something that is so critical in our world today. This is not to say that you should use technology all the time, or even that it is always good. We are only trying to point out that if you learn how it can benefit your children, it can enrich their education as well as your homeschool curriculum.
Photo By Andrew Scott