How can you incorporate flex-blended learning when homeschooling?
Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash
Figuring out the best way to homeschool your child is challenging. Homeschooling has pros and cons and can vary from family to family. Some parents enjoy the flexibility, while others wish their children had more opportunities to socialize with peers.
One type of learning — blended learning — is becoming more popular for parents homeschooling their children. Here’s how you can incorporate it into your routine.
What is blended learning?
Blended learning consists of educators teaching students using traditional and digital learning techniques to provide flexible experiences. As its name suggests, blended learning combines chalkboards, pencils, and paper with tablets, laptops, and other digital devices.
Benefits of blended learning
Blended or hybrid learning can be transformative for students, as it might fit their education needs more effectively than traditional teaching methods. There’s a massive market for blended learning applications on smartphones and tablets. You can find helpful educational apps like word games, mazes, puzzles, and memory games to keep your children engaged with their learning as much as possible.
Another beneficial aspect of blended learning is providing fun opportunities for children to virtually leave home on field trips. While not traditional, they still provide students with memorable learning experiences.
For example, you can watch live footage of animals at the San Diego Zoo or take a virtual tour of Colonial Williamsburg. The opportunities that come with blended learning are seemingly endless.
Examples of blended learning
It’s essential to know the different types of blended learning so you can choose the one that best fits your children’s needs.
- Rotation: Students rotate through different learning stations on a fixed schedule. At least one will include some e-learning or digital activity.
- Flex: Students primarily learn at home but participate in offline community activities, online learning modules and other educational tasks.
- Flipped classroom: Students participate in a digital-first environment, where most learning occurs online and teachers post assignments, lectures, and other materials on digital platforms.
- Individual rotation: Students can choose how they rotate between offline and online learning stations. This is similar to rotation blended learning, except there is no fixed schedule kids must adhere to.
There is no one perfect model of blended learning you must follow when homeschooling your children. Because every family is different, you might only incorporate some aspects into your curriculum. You need to understand your children’s learning styles so you can choose which type of education will be most effective for them.
Incorporating flex-blended learning into your homeschooling approach
Flex-blended learning is one of the popular types, especially since it prioritizes flexibility for parents and students. Most education takes place online, but offline activities are not off-limits. Some online learning management platforms (LMPs) will ask kids to perform tasks offline to keep them engaged.
Here’s how you can incorporate this learning style into your home classroom.
Consider your child’s age
There is no required age students must reach to engage in and benefit from flex blended learning. However, students must take more control over their education and you must hold them accountable.
This type of learning is well-suited for middle-school students, as it teaches them responsibility, time management, and communication skills. Younger children might be unable to follow their own schedule if they engage in a flex-blended learning environment.
Therefore, consider your child’s age if you want to incorporate a flex blended learning approach into your homeschooling.
Use the right learning management platform
Choosing the best learning management platform is crucial for your child’s academic success. The right one should support your flex blended learning approach and allow students to feel in control of their learning experience.
Many free learning management platforms, such as Moodle, EdApp, and Chamilo, are available online. Some come with features conducive to flex blended learning. Compare and contrast these platforms to decide which will be most effective for your child’s flex-blended learning experience.
Allow students to learn independently
The ultimate goal with flex blended learning is to allow students to feel in control of their assignments, homework, progress, and time. With your guidance, they should be able to decide what they want to learn.
It’s well-known that independent learning is a critical component of the modern classroom. Students who feel empowered to make decisions will likely be more engaged in learning and excited about other subjects.
Help students when they need it
Flex blended learning leverages digital techs such as laptops or tablets, so students should be able to work independently. Much of the education takes place between your child and their device.
However, kids might feel confused or have questions about their learning material. In that case, your role is to step in, answer their questions and help them on an as-needed basis.
Implementing flex-blended learning in your homeschooling
Blended learning is becoming more popular than ever, especially considering the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Flex blended learning is one of the popular types of blended learning and can be incorporated into your homeschooling routine. Use these tips to help your children learn more effectively using a flex blended learning style.