Sharing the Benefits of Virtual Learning with Homeschooling Families
One of the long-lasting results of the pandemic is the number of ongoing virtual learning programs that have been created, allowing schools to retain students who found that they need or prefer to learn in a virtual environment. Another segment of students who have been increasingly turning to online learning is homeschoolers.
Virtual learning programs offered through the school district have a great deal of benefits to offer homeschooling families. Promoting these benefits and showing families that a district virtual program offers the best of both worlds can help bring families back from independent homeschooling.
While there certainly are differences between traditional homeschooling and online schooling, it is helpful to point out the similarities and benefits so that homeschooling families can make an educated decision about the options available to them.
Here are some of the benefits of a district virtual program that you can highlight for homeschooling families:
While virtual programs vary, it’s a good idea to spell out the amount of flexibility your program offers to set expectations and help families overcome any preconceived notions about your program and make a decision based on their needs.
Homeschooling families are usually more involved in their child’s day-to-day learning and are very interested in the details of what their child will learn. Offer parents information on the learning experience, and be prepared to provide course descriptions so that they can decide if it will be a good fit for their child.
An important part of homeschooling that can be daunting for some families is recordkeeping. Enrolling in a virtual school allows you to take that burden from them.
Parents and guardians who homeschool are often the sole instructor(s) and can feel overwhelmed when they reach a point in their child’s learning where they feel like the learner needs additional help. Highlight all of the ways your program supports students and takes some of the pressure off parents—whether that includes day-to-day support, additional live tutoring online, or scheduled in-person tutoring—and let families know that their guidance and participation is welcome and important.
The cost of homeschooling can vary widely depending on the approach or curriculum being used, but when considering the investment of time spent researching programs, the cost of curriculum and learning materials, and the time spent guiding their children learning at home, families understand that this could mean thousands of dollars per child every year. A tuition-free virtual option that fits a homeschooling family’s needs could be a welcome option for families.
Homeschooling can sometimes feel isolating, and families are always looking for enrichment opportunities to round out their child’s homeschool experience. With a district program, you may be able to offer additional resources and social opportunities that could make learning at home a more well-rounded experience. Highlight all of your sports and extracurricular and cocurricular opportunities. Provide a complete list of clubs and sports to show the depth and breadth of options available. Celebrate your virtual school culture.
Looking for some ways to get the word out to homeschoolers?
Facebook is a popular social media channel to start with to reach homeschool parents and create awareness. Think about creating some posts highlighting the benefits above and boosting them to an audience that fits your homeschool target audience.
Grassroots marketing is another way to catch homeschoolers. Consider leaving flyers or putting up posters where families tend to frequent: the library, medical centers, grocery store, the YMCA, or rec center or sports facilities in your area.
Another resource that you may have at your disposal is the contact information for families who have enrolled elsewhere in the area. Consider creating a targeted mailing highlighting your program’s benefits for families who are currently homeschooling.
Looking for more ideas to help get the word out about your virtual program? Check out Edmentum’s Virtual School Marketing Toolkit for templates, tips, and inspiration to help get you started.