Creative Options for Remote Learning

With schools closed for in-person learning and many children being educated at home, parents are scrambling for quality alternatives that work in a home environment. One of our Ask a Tech Teacher contributors has some ideas you may not have thought of:

How to Make Remote Learning Work For Your Children

Many parents are choosing to opt-out of traditional schooling, but the question of how to create a well-rounded curriculum or who to hire for this task is often the barrier that prevents at-home learning. In this article, we’ll help you make a decision by presenting popular remote learning options or childcare resources that can support homeschooling or non-traditional approaches.

Traditional Homeschooling

Homeschooling is a progressive movement where parents educate their children instead of sending them to public or private schools. Families will choose this option for various reasons, including dissatisfaction with public education, constant relocation, or a bad social environment. 

Some of the many positives of homeschooling your children include:

  • Home-educated children score 15 to 30 percentile points higher than other students.
  • Homeschooled children get accepted by colleges at a higher rate than other students.
  • Homeschool helps children develop better social skills than their public school peers.
  • Special needs children receive a significantly higher level of education on average.
  • Adults who were homeschooled are more politically tolerant and happier on average.

Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, but the legal requirements for this education option vary from place to place. If you’re in the process of pulling your children out of public education, you’ll need to write a letter of withdrawal to the school board that describes your intent to homeschool.

There are many curriculum options available for parents. As long as your curriculum of choice follows the requirements of your state, they can apply for college once they graduate. Parents don’t need a formal teaching degree to qualify as homeschool teachers. It may be beneficial for you to take an online course that goes over teaching fundamentals and how to run a classroom.

Live-in Nanny Teacher

A live-in nanny is similar to a babysitter, except they will care for your children full-time. Nannies are responsible for creating daily schedules and engaging your children in activities that promote their healthy mental, physical and emotional growth. Live-out nannies will have their own place of residents, but full-time and part-time nannies will support you a few hours a week.

Nannies are first and foremost experts in child development and a valuable asset for any family. They’re just as much a family member as they are your employee, but the IRS is more concerned with their status as a worker. To pay them legally, use a nanny payroll service.

Some nannies have a teaching degree or classroom teaching experience and can support a parent’s homeschooling efforts. You can either hire a nanny with a teaching background to take on the educator role, or they can watch your children in between classroom breaks.

Exchange Program Au Pair

An Au Pair is defined as a young person who lives abroad with a native host family in exchange for childcare. While they can’t formally educate your children, they can help look after your family while you teach. You can sign up as the host family, where they’ll spend most of their time with you and your family. Some Au Pairs will teach your children another language.

The host family will be responsible for the health and safety of the Au Pair, even when they’re not working or performing light childcare duties. Au Pairs work between 20-45 hours a week but must be given enough free time and pocket money to fully enjoy the experience of living abroad. 

In-Home Tutor

An in-home tutor takes on another supporting role for a fully remote or homeschooling education. They typically fill in knowledge gaps the parent or child cannot fill, but an in-home tutor can also help your children get ahead of their peers. Tutors are highly beneficial for subjects like math, English as a second language, science, Spanish or special education.

Online Learning Portals

Many parents will use online learning portals or educators to tutor their children temporarily. Online portals offer an alternative way to sparse out a child’s education away from a traditional classroom setting. Some subjects are better taught from the computer, like coding or graphic arts. Beyond school, children should know how to use technology that’s integral to their lives.

If you prefer to hire a teacher that can keep your child engaged in the subject they’re learning without having to watch them, you can do so for any subject. Online teachers can help your children keep a routine because they need to be at the computer at the same time every day.

Final Thoughts

Transitioning your children into an at-home learning environment will take some getting used to, but in the end, your family will reap the rewards. Not only will your children earn a higher quality education, but they will also have more free time to explore their surroundings and socialize.

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

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