Homeschooling vs. Virtual Learning: What’s the Difference?

With the risks associated with coronavirus, many school districts have shifted to remote learning for students or set up virtual academies. This allows students to continue moving forward with their education, but their learning takes place at home rather than in the classroom.

However, with this transition also comes the misconception that remote or virtual learning is basically homeschooling. It is important to note that they are not the same. Homeschooling is not public education done at home.

Remote/Virtual Learning

Students who are engaged in remote or virtual learning are still following the public (or private) school’s curriculum. Teachers put together lessons and activities, they create projects, they do all of the grading, and they lead instruction. There are deadlines for assignments and specific times students may be expected to be logged onto a video conference or online class.

Students follow grade-level curriculum for each subject and every student learns the same material at the same pace. Many schools follow the Common Core or their state standards to determine what skills must be covered.


Homeschooling does not follow the same structure as public/private school. Parents are able to select the curriculum that works best for their child’s learning style, interests, and needs. They may select a comprehensive curriculum that covers many different subjects, or they may select separate curriculums for each content area. Learning is more self-directed. Parents find various resources and assign activities and projects.

However, many states have requirements and regulations in place when it comes to homeschooling. Parents must track their child’s progress and submit evidence of learning, whether through standardized testing or portfolios of work. This varies from state to state. In this way, it is similar to traditional schooling in that students are expected to master certain skills and have a certain level of proficiency.

One of the benefits that many parents and students enjoy about homeschooling is that it is done on their own schedule. Students can learn at home, on the road, inside, or outside. They may use cooking or baking to practice math skills. They may go to a museum to learn about history or science. They aren’t locked into a typical school day schedule, and work is completed at their own pace and at their level. Some homeschoolers participate in co-ops where they learn with other homeschool children and parents take turns with different subjects or lessons or days.

Getting Help

But whether students are homeschooled or attend a public, private, charter, or virtual school, there are still some subjects and concepts that will come more easily than others. Regardless of how they learn, they can benefit from tutoring and other supports to assist them with mastering material. Sometimes it helps to have it presented in a different way or from a different person. Crafting Scholars develops learning plans tailored to each student’s unique needs and learning style to empower them to maximize their academic success — no matter what type of schooling they participate in. Contact us today to learn more about our wide range of in-person and online courses!