If you have chosen to home school your child you may be curious as to the possible benefits of incorporating educational software into your child’s curriculum. Is it really beneficial? How do you know which programs to use? Do educational software programs replace teaching?
If you are homeschooling you are obviously very concerned with your child’s progress. You may ask “will using this software help or hinder my child’s learning?”
HOW EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE CAN HELP HOMESCHOOLERS
Taking on the responsibility of educating your children without the support of a staff of teachers is admirable but homeschoolers can find the burden to engage children and provide stimulating lessons difficult at times.
New educational software programs help parents with their efforts to provide quality education while also offering children a rich and entertaining medium to learn skills and acquire knowledge related to their curriculum.
Children find learning easier when they can be drawn into the experience. Good teachers know how to bring a subject to life for their students which helps children retain the information.
Games, stories, and other educational software provide the excitement and interaction children are attracted to while improving skills such as reading and math and building on their knowledge of history, science, or geography.
Many programs also give feedback to the child, helping him or her build on previous experience or knowledge while also developing a sense of pride in accomplishment.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE
Not all educational software is created equal. Cute animations and popular characters will not build your child’s skills or even hold their attention if they do not teach or challenge your child.
Most software for children will give an age or grade reference that can be used as a guide for finding suitable topics and are appropriately challenging for your child.
Review the contents to determine if the curriculum is too basic for your child since every child learns at a different speed.
Games often have different levels to customize your child’s experience to their level of play. Games may adapt themselves based on your child’s performance or levels that can be selected by the child for each game. Some programs offer an overview of the progress your child has made; showing which steps have been completed and which are still to be done.
EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE HAS ITS PLACE
Educational software is a great compliment to the homeschooling curriculum. It is especially helpful in providing an engaging format for practicing skills such as reading and math or building knowledge of science or geography.
It does not, however, substitute for the attention and teaching of basic skills by an interested teacher.
Once basic skills are learned, games and interactive books can offer your child a forum to build their skill levels or delve deeper into a topic of interest.
For younger children, these programs can introduce shapes, letters, numbers, and teach useful computer skills. Playing these games with their parents compliments a balanced learning environment.