My oldest son is beginning to think about life after homeschool.
I can’t believe he is going to be a junior next year. I can’t believe it’s been eight years since we started this whole homeschool thing. I can’t believe we are approaching the end.
Our conversations these days have a lot to do with how best to use the next two years to prepare him for whatever comes next.
Online classes are becoming more and more accessible and desirable at the college level. If my son does choose to continue his education at two or four-year college, there is a good chance at least a percentage of his courses will be online.
My son is considering trade schools vs. college, and we have talked about online college options for the first two years, to help him transition and to provide some necessary special needs accommodations.
With this in mind, I wanted to put together a plan for next year that includes at least one online homeschool class.
Please know, although I was compensated for my time in writing this post, I only share programs that are genuinely a good fit for my family.
Live Online Homeschool Classes
Big River Academy offers live online learning for homeschoolers. These high school (and even middle school) classes include a comprehensive list of interesting courses for every learner. Take a look at some of their current offerings –
- American Literature
- British Literature
- Movies as Literature
- American Government
- Criminological Crime Scene Investigation (how cool is this???)
- World History
- World Geography
- Personal Finance
- Public Speaking
- Technology Essentials and AP Computer Science
- Music Theory and Composition
(See the complete list of their live online homeschool classes here.)
Online Classes and Children With Special Needs
Big River Academy also specifically provides information and support for children with special needs. Their site includes a list of accommodations available, and also invites families to email with specific concerns to work out an appropriate learning plan.
This is a snapshot of their commitment to families of children with learning differences and special needs.
“These are just a few of the learning challenges for which we make accommodations. Every student is unique, and even if a learning challenge is not diagnosed, special accommodations may need to be observed.
Dyslexia – Our literature classes encourage students with dyslexia to listen to free audiobooks.
Dysgraphia – Students do the vast majority of their communication and assignments through typing. For students with this challenge, typing tends to be a relief.
ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder)– Assignments are broken up into small enough sections that students can focus in manageable amounts. Instructors give students seven days to complete assignments.
Nonverbal Learning Disability – We provide opportunities for students to interact socially in the classroom if and when they are comfortable. Students can be as involved with others as they wish. Through the use of chat, many feel very comfortable and safe interacting.
Our teachers are more than willing to work with any student who needs extra special care and compassion.”
I can’t help but be impressed with a company that takes the time to provide this level of support and encouragement to families of children with special needs.
Our Experience With Online Homeschool Classes
As part of making our curriculum decisions for next year, I was grateful for the opportunity to learn more about Big River Academy and preview a US History Course with my son. Our experience was exceptional. Here’s why:
The teacher was responsive and caring. I loved that she began the class by introducing herself and creating a personal environment for the kids.
The learning was engaging. I was a little concerned that this type of learning might be a little too much lecture and textbook for my hands-on learner. I was wrong. The class discussions were terrific and there was even a “hands-on” component to the learning, as the course includes creating a timeline of US History.
I think the greatest benefit of this type of learning is that it is easily accommodated for my son’s learning differences. I could sit with him and help as needed. He was able to type everything without even having to look at a pencil. Plus, because he is so computer savvy, it plays to his strengths!
Big River Academy’s Live Online Homeschool Classes
What to learn more?
You can preview Big River Academy’s sample classes on YouTube.
Then, visit the course catalog and use code BLOG100 to receive 10% off your entire purchase.
Even better, enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a one-semester course valued at $200. This contest is hosted by Big River Academy and is open to anyone, anywhere.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.