Why Blogging and Video-Sharing Make Sense for School Credit

Female Student Learns at Home with a Laptop
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In an increasingly digital world, homeschool parents often wonder if their students’ online activity, particularly blogging or sharing their videos, can count for school. This is of particular concern for parents of high school students since an activity’s educational value may need to translate to credit hours.

These are two tools that make a great deal of sense in a homeschool setting, even for – or particularly for – high school students.

Blogging

Blogging easily translates to transcript-worthy credit hours. It involves writing, editing, and research. It requires proper spelling, capitalization, and grammar. It can encourage the most reluctant writers to turn their thoughts into written words.

Consider blogging as a credit for:

Journalism. Blogging gives students an opportunity to learn journalism basics such as:

  • Research skills
  • Fact-checking
  • Proper attribution
  • Style and voice
  • Strong headlines
  • Use of headings, sub-headings, and bullet points

Students can hone their writing skills while maintaining a blog that suits their specific interests, such as:

  • A lifestyle blog
  • Current events or politics
  • Photography
  • Cooking/recipes
  • Handicrafts, such as knitting, crocheting, or sewing
  • Art
  • Travel

Alternative to Reports. I have talked to parents who have used blogging as an alternative to traditional reports and assessments. Students write blog entries based on what they’re studying.

They might write an article about World War I, kangaroos, or Euclid’s contributions to geography. There are hardly any limits to the topics that could be included in a blog post.

Students can write a step-by-step tutorial with photos in lieu of the how-to paragraph in their English textbook. They can write a book review of the novel they read for British Lit instead of a typical book report.

They can write up their science lab report as a tutorial on the experiment.

Creative Writing. Your budding poet or novelist may also enjoy having a public forum for sharing their creative writing. Writing for someone other than Mom or Dad can be a powerful motivator. My 14-year-old would-be novelist feels awkward sharing her work with me, but she loves sharing it online for feedback from her peers.

If you’ve got a would-be writer, blogging is an excellent tool to allow him or her to combine real-life skills and practical application to connect with an audience. That is a powerful motivator to write well and a logical addition to course credit.

Video-sharing

The video-sharing sites YouTube and Vimeo are extremely popular with teens and provide another interesting opportunity to combine your student's interests with educational opportunities. Many are aware of the benefits of homeschooling with videos as a supplement to what you're studying, but creating videos is a valuable educational option, too.

Filmmaking. One of my daughter’s friends dreams of being a filmmaker one day. Video-sharing sites offer her an exciting opportunity to gain valuable experience. Teens can practice:

  • Filming
  • Lighting
  • Editing
  • Adding background music
  • Adding text, credits, etc.
  • Directing
  • Producing

Filmmaking can also be an exciting component of a drama course if students choose to get their friends in on the act. This can incorporate script-writing, costumes, hair styling, make-up, set design, and more.

Many students may also enjoy combining filmmaking with other hobbies such as using LEGOs or sculpting clay to create stop-motion animated films.

Tutorials. Instead of blogging to share their tutorials, many students may prefer creating a video. Videos make a fantastic medium for sharing school activities such as science experiments, but they can also be used for any kind of tutorial and may be combined with other skills students are learning.

Our family has been extremely grateful for how-to videos demonstrating LCD screen replacement for laptops.

We’ve replaced 3 so far. Whatever your student is studying, from computer technology to auto mechanics, guitar-playing to cake decorating, a video tutorial is an excellent tool for demonstrating what they’ve learned and helping others in the process.

Knowing that they have a real audience, other than just Mom or Dad, provides purpose for the project, inspiring students to do their best.

Documentaries. Producing a documentary is another fun alternative to reports that offers kids a chance to do research and conduct interviews. You might even be able to include geography if the documentary involves travel.

If you have a budding blogger or a videographer in your family, nurture their creativity and don’t be afraid capitalize on their interests. Both can definitely count for school!