The Evils of Video School

I’m sure this title must be misleading, but  – no, I DO NOT think that video school is evil…..But I do believe that it CAN be very dangerous, and if not used properly, it can work AGAINST the homeschool family.

A couple of months ago, someone heard a pastor that I know,  tell his congregation NOT to homeschool.  He told them, that it was better for them to put their children in a public or Christian school.  When I heard this, I was very disturbed!  So I went to this pastor (who I thought was a supporter of homeschool) and asked him why he would say those things.  And this is what he told me:  ”Ronnie, you KNOW I’m not against homeschool, but you have not seen the things that I see.” He went on to tell me how he has numerous homeschool families in his church, and this is what he experiences:  The parent’s take their children out of public/christian school, and they let videos do all the teaching for them. So the child is basically sitting in the same room all day (sometimes all by himself) and staring at the screen and working among kids (who are in the video) but not there with them – therefore they are alone.  Meanwhile, the parents carry on with life as normal, some of them even running businesses while their kids are in ‘school’…. As a result, those homeschool kids are constantly coming to him (without their parent’s knowledge) and telling him how lonely and depressed they are.  They hate homeschool and miss their friends. And… they are begging him to try to convince their parents to put them back into public school.  Then he said “THIS is what they do to prisoners…they put them in a cell by themselves,  days at a time, and they break down mentally (solitary confinement).  Kids are not supposed to go through that – school should not be like that –  it’s torture”.   When I heard him say that, I had to admit – he was 100% correct.  I’ve seen it before – in fellow homeschool families.

Now, lets look at it from a different view…  Imagine going to your children’s former school, and seeing the teacher on the phone, and all of the kids are at computer’s.  Then you find out that ‘this’ is what they do all day.  Computer Math, Computer science, Computer history, computer art…..How would that make you feel?

I do understand that we parents sometimes cannot teach EVERY subject – there is a limit – we don’t know everything……so sometimes we have to use videos.  But my question is: how much is too much?  And why are we using videos in the first place? Is it because we need help teaching certain subjects, or is it because we want the homeschool experience but don’t want to take the time or pay the price of actually homeschooling – so we buy videos to babysit our school aged children?

Homeschooling works best for our children, when they get to spend time interacting with their parents on a day to day basis, like a teacher would interact with their students – just on a more personal level.  This type of interaction is what socializes our children – making them more mature, and helping them to fit into our world in a mentally healthy manner. But children that are to themselves doing videos all day long can become moody, depressed and introverted.

To the parents that are doing 100% video school:

Be sure to interact with your children between subjects….ask them what they are learning, and make them reiterate lesson facts to you.

If you can, check their work manually and discuss wrong answers (from the answer key)

Consider using videos JUST for the subjects that you need help teaching and YOU traditionally teach the other subjects.

To break up the monotony of video school, take your children out to lunch once a week, or for a hour long picnic in the park or back yard.  You can also go for quick walks together between some of their subjects.  Don’t forget to use your local library.

Field Trips are a must!

To the parents that are considering doing video school:

Try traditionally teaching as many subjects as you can. (You don’t have to be a scholar in the subject…buy the teacher’s manual, and do some background research when you need to – remember, Mr. Google knows everything) Challenge yourself, you may be surprised at how much you learn, and how well you do at teaching.

Consider hiring a tutor…(someone in your church…another homeschool student…a friend). That way, they are getting live interaction with another person, and not just watching a screen.

Online tutoring is another option. Even though it’s still a screen, there is a person there that they are interacting with.

There is so much more I can say about this subject, but I will leave you with this question:  The day to day operation of your homeschool…. is it more for YOUR benefit or for your child’s?

When classes are small enough to allow individual student-teacher interaction, a minor miracle occurs:  Teachers teach, and students learn”  – LeAnne  Johnson


3 replies

  1. I think if half the day or more is videos that’s a problem. I’m new to homeschooling myself and because my son is first and only child I’m more of the mindset of let me see what this is about before I let you watch this by yourself. If it’still a subject I have trouble with myself and unable to find someone who could help me then as a last resort I’ll do videos because maybe that person can help my child grasp the info better than I can but not all subjects


  2. Wow! Nailed it! Thank you for sharing. What a powerful post. Keep sharing. We need more homeschool mamas out there like you willing to speak up and share the tough stuff.


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