Homeschooling on the Internet requires no more infrastructure and expense than the cost of a smart phone or tablet, a computer, and a USP connection. Two critical components for parents wanting to minimize state control over the home school are VPN on your Internet connection to keep nosy people out of your family business, and the TOR browser for access to “pirate” websites like Z-Library and Sci-Hub.
The VPN augments your broadband connection. If VPN is still a mystery, here is a recent article on both free and paid VPN. Brassword Publishing uses Nord VPN because “free” usually comes with a price in reduced privacy. Hackers hack, so parents should do the research. https://www.techradar.com/vpn/best-free-vpn
TOR claims you can “Browse Privately. Explore Freely,” and mostly that is true. https://www.torproject.org/ TOR Browser will not prevent all intrusion, but it makes detection of your traffic harder for state or other malicious hackers.
Homeschool parents teach basics after walking, talking, potty-training, and family morality. Common sense says to teach reading by reading, writing by writing, and mathematics by doing math. The Internet provides millions of teaching resources for FREE.
Parents can even teach advanced subjects after the basics. Mastery comes from doing things, building knowledge, gaining experience, and mastering reasoning skills. Science uses reading, writing, and math in combination to master logic, reasoning, and the finer points of the scientific method. History uses reading and media to explore the past. What is the motivation for teaching basic skills? No real learning is possible without the basics.
Christians after the Reformation stressed reading as the gate into the Bible. For hundreds of years families used that book alone to teach reading. Consequently, at the time of the American Revolution, the colonies were among the most literate population on Earth. This continued to be the American tradition. Abraham Lincoln’s mother taught him this way and for this reason. His interests broadened as he grew older, but his fundamental literacy was unquestioned.
Writing can be mastered with a reflective journal and copy books to show that the material read was comprehended. The digital homeschool can use an e-book toolkit like Calibre to make digital journals and notebooks.
Young children can learn math as part of household economics. Middle class people after the Reformation taught math to the family as part of the mercantile culture. Learning to make, to buy and to sell, is still a great way for children to master math in the home school. Because the Internet is born in math, limitless tools for mastering every form of math are available online.
Deeper knowledge comes organically to a child from basic skills, depending on aptitude and interest. The dungeon of curriculum should not stop the young organic farmer from mastering the science and math of earth science and horticulture. Neither should it block the young historian from reading and reasoning through the mysteries of the past. Some children may move from crawling to walking to dancing and this should be okay. Maybe Tik-Tok is the right classroom for the young dancer.
Young humans must be free to pursue interests to become expert. Advanced subjects, beyond the comfort zone of the parent, live on sites like MIT Open Courseware https://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm where all MIT courses are offered for FREE, but without certification. If the student can do differential calculus, no certification is needed. The path for the child aimed at engineering can start with homeschooling on the Internet.
Your First Trick
First things first. Homeschooling on the Internet begins with digital copies of books. Put the title of any desired book into your search engine with “PDF” after the title. Not every book is available, but some university students never purchased textbooks in four years.
Beyond the free search, those parents who want to teach the basics using the free Internet can start with Gutenberg, LibriVox, The Internet Archive, and Calibre.
“Project Gutenberg is an online library of free eBooks.”
The dream of Diderot and Voltaire was FREE information for the people. Project Gutenberg goes far toward fulfilling that dream.
“To make all books in the public domain available, narrated by real people and distributed for free, in audio format on the internet.”
This is a free version of Audible. The readers are volunteers, so the quality is sometimes uneven, but the price is right. Much of the material is aimed directly at the homeschool. Look at the lists that homeschool parents made just for you. Consider reading your own favorite book into the collection.
- “Librivox is a non-commercial, non-profit and ad-free project
- Librivox donates its recordings to the public domain
- Librivox is powered by volunteers
- Librivox maintains a loose and open structure
- Librivox welcomes all volunteers from across the globe, in all languages”
The Internet Archive supplies millions of files for homeschooling on the Internet. Every conceivable form of digital product is freely available. Whereas, Gutenberg has books and Librivox has audio books, the Internet Archive also has movies, television programs, pictures, and software programs. In their words:
“The Internet Archive began in 1996 by archiving the Internet itself, a medium that was just beginning to grow in use. Like newspapers, the content published on the web was ephemeral – but unlike newspapers, no one was saving it. Today we have 25+ years of web history accessible through the Wayback Machine and we work with 750+ library and other partners through our Archive-It program to identify important web pages.”
“As our web archive grew, so did our commitment to providing digital versions of other published works. Today our archive contains:
- 475 billion web pages
- 28 million books and texts
- 14 million audio recordings (including 220,000 live concerts)
- 6 million videos (including 2 million Television News programs)
- 3.5 million images
- 580,000 software programs “
“Anyone with a free account can upload media to the Internet Archive. We work with thousands of partners globally to save copies of their work into special collections.”
Calibre is an e-book manager, a program that runs on your computer and allows better viewing of your digital material. Calibre also downloads current newspapers and magazines. An interesting feature is the ability to create and edit your e-books, so it can serve as an interesting digital writing tool for the homeschool.
“Calibre is also completely free and open source and great for both casual users and computer experts”
- “Save time on managing your e-book collection
- Use it everywhere and with anything
- Comprehensive e-book viewer
- Download news/magazines from the web
- Share and backup your library easily
- Edit the books in your collection
- Satisfy every e-book need and get support”
Advanced homeschooling on the Internet can use more advanced scientific and scholarly materials from Z-Library and Sci-Hub. One person’s import-export is another person’s smuggling, so we recommend you follow the wisdom of Chinese students exploring Democracy articles on the Internet to use VPN and TOR for these links.
Digital information is leaky and researchers from across the globe have been using Sci-Hub to get access to current information in their field without paying the exorbitant fees charged by academic publishers. A single paper on robotics or biology can cost hundreds of dollars, making it impossible for students and researchers in the third world to afford the information they need. The need found a solution.
“Z-Library file-sharing project for scholarly journal articles, academic and general-interest books. Z-Library says the project provides access to more than 6,754,720 books and 80,759,561 articles as of April 1, 2021”
Sci – Hub
“Sci-Hub the first pirate website in the world to provide mass and public access to tens of millions of research papers”
“A research paper is a special publication written by scientists to be read by other researchers. Papers are primary sources necessary for research – for example, they contain detailed description of new results and experiments.”
Papers in Sci-Hub library:
more than 85,483,811”
Homeschooling on the Internet really means Homeschooling on the Internet.