Why I Love Online Learning (And You Might Too)

We often talk about writing and all things bookish here on the blog, but in light of current events, I feel it is important to share about another “hat” I wear: being an online teacher.

As an English teacher, I am a believer in online education and homeschooling. Although I realize these schooling solutions are not a fit for all students, I personally enjoyed homeschooling as a student and now teaching online as a profession. Even if you’re considering online learning for a season, I want to share the benefits it can offer.

Why study online or at home?

I was homeschooled from first grade through high school. As a result, I had more time to pursue my passion for writing, gain work experience at a young age, and graduate from high school with college courses already completed. (Many in-person schools also offer dual-enrollment options as well.)

Why I loved homeschooling from a student perspective:

  • You can work at your own pace. There are no other students slowing you down and no lecture that’s leaving you behind.
  • Because you work at your pace, you are so much more efficient with your time. When I homeschooled, if I hustled in the morning, I could be done on some days by noon which left room for free time or afternoon jobs.
  • When you do need help, you get one-on-one attention. At the online academy where I teach, students can book individual sessions with their teacher in advance or join an academic support session for immediate help with another English teacher.
  • You have flexibility. If your family wants to take a vacation, you take a vacation.

For over four years, I’ve been teaching English online. From a teacher perspective:

  • Even though I work with more students, I absolutely love that I work with them one-on-one when they need help.
  • The approach allows me to be “hands on” when needed and “hands off” unless necessary. Honestly, no one wants a teacher breathing down his neck. I think this approach definitely results in more personal motivation for the student.
  • I don’t waste time in a commute and in busywork related to maintaining a physical classroom.
  • I also enjoy more flexibility and the comfort (and these days, safety) of working from home.

In light of Covid19, there has never been a better time to be a home learner or teacher. That’s why, in addition to teaching online for an amazing accredited academy, I am excited to be part of a brand new online community, created by author and teacher Victoria Duerstock.

About Study Anything Online

Study Anything Online is a growing course marketplace and homeschool community where students and families can find free resources and reasonably priced courses that meet their needs.

I’m offering two English elective courses, one that helps students navigate the often confusing world of essay writing and a second course that explains correct MLA documentation and format. I’ve taken my experience teaching students these very topics and created some practical, hands-on (and dare I say, fun?) classes on these oh-so-important subjects.

These courses are ideal for 7-12th graders, because regardless of the essay’s level of difficulty, the same basic principles apply. They are also a perfect refresher course for adults who are returning to the classroom themselves or wanting to help their student understand essay writing but haven’t picked up an English textbook in a while.

5 Steps to Essay Writing Success

Have you ever written you heart out for an essay project, only to have it returned with a low score and covered in red ink? If so, you’re not alone. But I have good news for you. Anyone can master these 5 steps to essay writing success. They are a failproof roadmap for virtually any kind of expository essay project.

Learn More


MLA Documentation & Format

Plagiarism. It’s not a four-letter word, but it’s just as naughty. The hard truth is, maybe you didn’t even mean to plagiarize, but ignorance is not an excuse. The good news is that we’re going to unpack everything you need to know to avoid plagiarism, give proper credit to your sources, and do so in a way that presents you as a respectable and honest writer.

Learn more.

Opportunities for life-long learners

I am both a teacher and a life-long leaner. From reading books to taking courses created by respected experts in fields that interest me, I plan to always keep growing as a professional.

Study Anything Online also offers business training courses for the adult leaner. Another great online platform, designed specifically for writers, is Serious Writer Academy, and I offer several writing courses there as well.

The bottom line? Education should work for you, for your family, and for your dreams. Whether that’s in-person, online, or a hybrid approach, I wish you the best this year!

Have you tried online learning, or are you interested in doing so? Please share your experiences and thoughts in the comments!

~ Kristen

Why I love online learning (and you might too) by @khogrefeparnell

Win a Kindle Fire! Go Places Giveaway

Last month, I went to Egypt. This month, I’ve got a trip booked to Sudan.

Not in real life. In books.

I confess. My husband James and I very much wanted to travel extensively in real life this year. Our bucket list destination later this fall was going to be Paris. We planned to check off some of the typical places like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe as well as Monet’s gardens and maybe Versaille. But we also wanted to explore some lesser-known but no-less-breathtaking places like Mont Saint-Michel.

Since currently all Americans are banned from traveling to Europe and new Covid19 cases are soaring, it’s looking less and less likely that we’ll get to make this trip this year. But that’s okay. We’re currently brainstorming possible places we can visit closer to home, which have already included Beech Mountain, the setting for my next novel.

Here’s the good news: Whether we can’t travel because of Covid19 or our budget, we can go anywhere we want through reading. And that’s why I feel this giveaway is so important. Because even if we can’t go there right now, we can still live vicariously through words.

Reading as an adventure

Reading is a life-long adventure that takes you new places and teaches you new things. And the best part is: You choose the destinations and the curriculum.

Reading is a life-long adventure that takes you new places and teaches you new things. And the best part is: You choose the destinations and the curriculum. @khogrefeparnell

Although I enjoy reading nonfiction in several genres, my favorite reading hands-down is fiction. Some people think fiction is a waste of time, because isn’t it all “made up”? Yes and no. Sometimes, settings are fantastic, but they can also be realistic. Although characters are imaginary, they’re often grounded in real life experiences and struggles. In other words, fiction presents real life and reveals truth about people. I’ve learned incredibly valuable life lessons from characters who never actually lived and breathed.

I mentioned “traveling” to Egypt and Sudan earlier. Here’s a sneak preview of my latest read and my upcoming one. I’d encourage you to connect with me on Goodreads where I share about all my latest travels … in fiction.

Where We Belong by Lynn Austin

My takeaway: Our lives don’t always play out the way we imagined, and yet, if we trust God in spite of our disappointments, He will make way for His best (even if it wasn’t our first choice).

Long Walk Home by DiAnn Mills

I can’t wait to start this one! Here’s the first part of the excerpt from Amazon: As an Arab Christian pilot for a relief organization, Paul Farid feels called to bring supplies to his war-torn countrymen in southern Sudan. But with constant attacks from Khartoum’s Islamic government, the villagers have plenty of reasons to distrust Paul, and he wonders if the risks he’s taking are really worth his mission.

A giveaway for you

This month is back-to-school for many, and it certainly doesn’t look anything like school seasons of the past. If you’re a student, yes, you will still have assigned readings, but those shouldn’t be your only readings.

This fact goes for adults as well as teens. I’ve known adults who hated reading because they associated it too strongly with education (or work), but when they discovered the freedom of choosing what they read, everything changed.

Maybe this Kindle Fire will do that for you. Or maybe it will become a gift for someone. Or maybe it will become your car companion. Hello! The Fire’s Immersion Reading feature is better than sliced bread.

How do you enter?

It’s super easy. Click here or the image below. You can enter one way or more than one way for multiple entries.

A few considerations:

  1. You must be over 13 years of age to enter.
  2. You must have a US address. (Sorry to my international friends!)
  3. I’ll pick the winner using my app’s random generator and will notify the winner via email. (The winner’s name may also be posted on this site and/or social media for marketing purposes.)
  4. While this contest may be shared on social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, this promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with these entities.

The giveaway runs now through August 31, and I’ll announce the winner the first week of September.

What would you do with a Kindle Fire? Where is your next reading destination? Share in the comments!

~ Kristen

Win a Kindle Fire! Go Places Giveaway by @khogrefeparnell

And the Giveaway Winner Is …

Congrats to Amanda Whitley on winning our Go Places Giveaway!! Thank you to everyone who participated and shared about the giveaway online.