Many homeschooling families draw a distinct line between the learning activities they design together—visiting museums, writing poetry, conducting science experiments—and those offered by online or distance learning providers. But what happens when a student’s interests lead to a very specific fascination in a topic about which their parents can offer zero assistance?
Perhaps the topic is medieval studies or gothic literature, criminology or agriscience, archaeology or creative writing. If this sounds familiar, Clonlara’s online courses might be a solution.
For Clonlara students in grades 6–12, we offer a robust catalog of optional online courses with two very important distinctions from other distance learning programs. First, families interested in purchasing our online courses work closely with their advisors to determine how the class meets their educational goals. Second, Clonlara teachers facilitate each of the courses we offer (except for foreign language classes), giving students a distance learning experience with the caring support of our own staff.
Freedom to Learn at Their Own Pace
Syndie, the parent of Off-Campus Program student Annika, especially enjoys the flexibility afforded by Clonlara’s online courses. This year, her family has kayaked on the California coast and in the Bahama Islands; backpacked and skied in the Cascade Mountains; mountain-biked on the northern rim of the Grand Canyon; and whitewater-rafted with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).
She appreciates that online courses allow her daughter to work at her own pace. “The classes are great quality and give us a theoretical framework for experiential learning and self-designed courses. The online classes are very practical. Annika has designed her own marine science experiment; written a resume and cover letter; learned how to write a business plan, do taxes, and project interest to be paid; and started her own blog.”
Discussion Groups Add Peer Interaction for High School Students
New for the 2021–22 school year, Clonlara teachers have created discussion groups for select online courses at the high school level, providing yet another way for our students to connect with each other! In many cases, student participation in these groups serves as a substitution for coursework or as an opportunity to earn extra credit.
In the literary topics group, students enrolled in any of our online English courses may join in live discussions about books, literary techniques, writing, and other English-related topics. Students taking online U.S. history and U.S. government classes engage in weekly meetings to share their thoughts, ask big questions, and contemplate issues from multiple viewpoints. For those enrolled in Clonlara’s online art courses, a weekly art appreciation discussion group meets to talk about artists from influential art movements and to practice the techniques and mediums those artists used to create.
Off-Campus Program student Maria “loves” the new discussion groups. Her U.S. history class has been meeting online each week for one hour. “We talk about what we have been learning,” she says. “It is fun and helps me to understand what we are learning better.”
For students interested in specific careers, we also offer a range of online courses about occupations in health and fitness, business administration and management, and information technology. Student interested in coding, web development, dentistry, nursing, business law, entrepreneurship, criminal justice, cosmetology, culinary arts, fashion, hospitality, engineering, forestry, national security, or the military will also find a distance learning course where they can learn more.
As someone hoping to start her own wilderness-guiding business in the future, Annika appreciates the practical applications of these courses. Clonlara’s online entrepreneurial classes have “given me the tools to [start a business] with the real-life projects,” she shares. “Financial literacy and media literacy will help me with advertising and bookkeeping. I feel like I’m learning things that I will really use!”
Additional Options to Complement Learning
For students like Bruno who, according to his mother Sanja, “discovered amazing things about people from other parts of the world in his social studies class,” Clonlara’s online courses provide a convenient option. They complement learning with “ready-to-go” material on a wide range of subjects from introductory to advanced level, and they give students the freedom to complete online coursework at their own pace with the support of a teacher to answer questions and grade assignments.
To learn more about our current online course offerings, browse our middle school catalog (PDF) and high school catalog (PDF). If your student is already enrolled, we encourage you to contact your advising team to see if any of our courses would enhance your child’s learning journey, and we invite prospective families to contact us for more information about enrollment.
How has online learning helped your student (or you) move forward on your educational path?