Although I love a routine, things can get bogged down in a rut if we aren’t careful to inject variety. I have just become a fan of a new way of learning — online classes, specifically CurrClick’s live, online, homeschool classes. I have used online webinars for several years for my own continuing education. Now Emma is using online learning too.
For the past four weeks, Emma has been attending Swashbuckler Vikings! by Mrs. P of 4 Little Penguins. It has been a great experience for us, and I’d like to share exactly why.
Benefits of Online Classes for Homeschool
The subject options are varied.
There are classes for everything from math to science to foreign language. If a child is feeling stuck in an area, an online class might revive interest or present information in a fresh way that makes it click. I also see these classes as a great way to inject some elective learning that is so easy to push to the side. CurrClick has classes for Taekwondo, Legos, and an American Girl Club. It’s not all serious academics although there is plenty of that as well.
And don’t be misled as I once was. Online classes are not only for high school level. At CurrClick, there are classes for all ages and grades, elementary through high school.
You don’t have to prepare or plan.
It feels great to turn over some of my job to someone else, knowing that the CurrClick teacher is going to be prepared for class and have the lessons all mapped out. This means that I have a little more time for my work at home or for housework.
Although online classes are very different from in person classes, there are some commonalities. There is interaction between students and the teacher and among the students. Kids have to learn the quirks of another teacher and meet deadlines.
Having an outsider teach my daughter is a valuable experience. I want her to encounter as many different kinds of teachers and teaching methods as possible before heading to college.
Taking me out of the picture also moves her one step closer to independent learning, a definite goal for these middle school years.
It is motivating for the student.
My daughter is not easily impressed, but she enjoyed the CurrClick online class and was motivated each week to attend. Some of that could be attributed to novelty, but I have no problem with using variety to inject interest into our homeschool day. Online homeschool lessons are just one more tool I can use to teach her. I love having options.
If your kids are balking at school, sit them down with a list of available online classes and let them choose one. I think it would revive their love for learning.
They are affordable.
Of course, online classes can really run the range from less than $10 to several hundred depending on what you get. The CurrClick classes are some of the most affordable options available with entire semester classes costing only $150. The class we took was around $30, however. So there is something for everyone’s budget.
They are a great supplement to our normal routine.
Online classes can preview, reinforce, or review. That means they are a great supplement to what we are already doing. In our case, we have not been studying Vikings, but we used this class as a fun review of things we had studied in previous years.
Online classes work with our schedule.
Most of the classes do not require a huge time commitment. Some are one-time classes that meet for a single hour. Others are weekly sessions for 4-8 weeks. Each class is different. Some meet in the morning; others meet at night. And at CurrClick, if you miss a class, you can always watch the recorded version to catch up.
Better yet, you are learning at home. There is no need to drive anywhere or even to get dressed. Although you can see the teacher, she cannot see you. So pajama classes are totally acceptable. (A major perk for my teen!)
You can see more photos of Emma at work on her CurrClick class at Google Plus.
Anatomy of an Online Class at CurrClick
The format of the online classes allows for plenty of instruction and interaction.
- The teacher is always visible in a live video feed in the upper left-hand corner. We can see her facial expressions as she teaches.
- The main part of the screen is the teacher’s presentation which includes photos, diagrams, and text.
- On the right is a chat box where the students can interact with the teacher and with each other. (In the image, I blurred out the students’ names, but you can see some of them chose Viking names for attending the class. Love their spunk!)
The teacher for our class did a great job asking questions and responding to what the children typed into the chat box for their answers. This interactive feature is one of the best parts of the class because it keeps the students attentive and gives the teacher feedback so she knows if her lessons are making an impact.
I am a long-time affiliate of CurrClick because I love their instant downloads. This post does contain affiliate links. Furthermore, I received both the Vikings class and compensation in exchange for my honest review. I would never lead you astray for the sake of a free class or a few dollars. These classes are a great supplement to your homeschool experience. Read my entire disclosure policy here.
Great review Jimmie- thanks!
Great to read your thoughts on these online classes, Jimmie.
We haven’t actually ever tried them, but it may be something to consider. Now that I’m curious, I’ll check the classes at CurrClick out soon. 🙂
This seems interesting! I might consider some of these classes next year.
I was wondering if it was okay to ask a question here about your Notebooking Success book that I purchased some time ago. (I am a slow warm up to new methods!)
You said that it is good to only have them do a notebooking session for one subject per day, which seems wise.
What would you suggest for the other subjects to make sure they actually retained and understood their lessons? My son has focus issues and I want to make sure that what he is reading he is retaining. Narrations have always been difficult with us in the past, yet I don’t want to relegate him to tests and quizzes just to make sure he understands something!
Any insight you have would be greatly appreciated!
My husband is Mr. G! He teaches full semester foreign language courses through Currclick. He has a great time. It’s the perfect job.
We’ve really enjoyed Currclick in the past and as we wrap up our final semester in a complete online school, we’ll be moving towards finding more “flexible” online solutions for high school. I definitely want to check out Mr. G who teaches French! Thanks for your honest review (as always!)