Page 1A computer with Internet access is essential to a homeschool for a number of reasons, including the following:
- You can access most of the reference information you will ever need, both for your students as part of the learning process, and for you to plan and conduct your homeschool.
- Enable your children to learn valuable computer skills that they will need throughout their life.
- Your students will be able to use word processing and other software to do their work.
- Use educational software, such as typing programs, electronic encyclopedias, reading games, and so on.
- Take part in online courses.
- Keep in touch with friends and family all over the world.
Choosing a Computer
There are two basic types of computers from which you can choose; those that run the Windows operating system and those that run the Macintosh operating system. Either type will provide everything you need for your homeschool.
It is likely that the most important consideration when choosing a computer for your homeschool is cost. When it comes to buying a computer, there are two basic schools of thought regarding how much you should spend. One is to spend as much as you can afford so you get a computer that will be able to run the newest software for as long as possible. The other is to spend as little as possible and just pay for the minimum capabilities you need today, recognizing that you might have to replace the computer before too long.
Either approach will work. Most new computers will provide all the processing power you need and will be capable of running any software that you want to use in your homeschool.
A good Windows computer system can be purchased for $1,000 or less. You can get an Apple eMac for as little as $799 or an iMac for as little as $1,299.
Be aware that most computer suppliers offer educational discounts. While these are typically offered through traditional schools, some companies, such as Apple, recognize homeschools and will provide an educational discount to you as long as you provide some limited proof that you actually homeschool.