Blended learning is a product of the technology revolution and is reflected in the way that students want to learn. Simply put, blended learning combines face-to-face instruction with online collaborative learning along with self-paced options. To incorporate blended learning into your homeschool effectively, you will first need to research the benefits of blended learning and the type of student best suited to a technology-integrated classroom. If your child fits the criteria and you have the resources available, you can being to incorporate blended learning lesson plans into your homeschool almost immediately.
Creating a full-on blended learning classroom takes planning and preparation, but you can start with simply adding a technological aspect to your current plans to see how your child reacts and if it positively affects learning. For instance, if you are working on math fact memorization, you would first teach the skill to your child but could then offer a math app on a tablet or computer for the child to practice the facts. Most apps will increase the difficulty of the math problems as the user begins to answer more questions correctly so student will begin to self-pace through play.
Blended learning can be used to teach and encourage interest in every subject and theme. Often, blended learning is an effective tool to hold interest in a subject that might otherwise be bland: videos, apps, an online exchange of ideas, and classroom activities and discussions can all work together to keep the information fresh.
As you begin to utilize blended learning in a more practiced way, you might start a new theme with a video clip and then further discuss the topic face-to-face. A follow-up might be a collaborative project online with other homeschool students in a coop or with siblings within the home. There is no right or wrong order in the blended learning process, the order is dependent on the topic, student and activities planned. However, the ways in which blended learning can be incorporated into the classroom will vary depending on the age and academic level of the child.
For toddlers and preschool-age children, a game that reinforces the subject or skill being taught may be sufficient. After listening to a book several times, preschoolers can dictate a follow-up story or choose pictures and record audio on a storyboard app or collaborate with older siblings to complete a book.
Elementary students can be taught to search online for more information on an author or novel that has been presented or read together, can write reports or choose graphics either alone or in a group for a presentation on the author, and could easily use a storyboard app to create an imaginative book that continues the story. Middle and high school can take each of those projects a step further by designing new cover art for a novel, writing a biography of an author after conducting thorough research, or collaborating with an online writing group to rewrite the story from a different character’s perspective.
Effective use of blended learning can teach children to utilized every resource at their disposal, to be creative in their knowledge exploration, and encourages practice of adult skills such as listening, collaboration, and self-motivation.
For 15 years Mimi Rothschild has been privileged to help hundreds of thousands of homeschoolers educate their children at home. The MorningStar Academy is a private online Christian school offering diplomas and teachers. The Jubilee Academy is an online Christian curriculum provider offering over 150 full year online Christian courses for PreK-12.