How to Help Your Student Succeed with Virtual Schooling
Students taking high school courses online require parental support and involvement to meet educational goals. There are certain steps you can take to ensure your child has a positive virtual learning experience that leads to academic success.
Once you have determined that virtual learning is right for your student, it is important to stay involved and support your child as he or she begins high school courses online. Providing the virtual school program is the first step, but parents must go beyond this first step to ensure their students have the best chance for online learning success.
For starters, your student’s success in the program will be greatly influenced by how much they personally buy-in to the program. They need to feel involved in their educational plan, so they can feel like they “own it.” Use language that gets the student excited about the possibilities of virtual learning. Encourage your child to explore the virtual school websites and, if possible, meet with other families involved in the program.
If you have situation where your child is resistant to the idea of online learning, it is important to allow your child to freely express his or her feelings. Still, as the parent, you are ultimately responsible for making the best decision for your child’s education. Although you cannot force your student to want to do virtual schooling, you can make the experience as positive as possible. Creating a comfortable and positive learning environment will help to make the transition as smooth as possible for your child.
Here are some ideas for making sure your child is given the best possible virtual learning experience:
- Set up a specific area that is for the student’s school work time. Having a dedicated area will help your child stay focused and feel special. Keep it off limits during non-school time so that your child will look forward to it everyday. Make sure that it is well stocked with all the supplies they will need from paper and pencil to the computer, monitor, etc. Some kids love decorating their learning area with certificates from school, pennants, logos, etc. The learning area could be as simple as desk in the corner of a room or an entire office classroom.
- Set realistic goals for success. It is a myth that online schooling is easier than attending a traditional school. In fact, sometimes it can even be harder! But the appealing nature of online courses is what keeps many students interested and engaged. If your child has the impression that virtual schooling is going to be like a vacation, it is a good idea to help them gain a more productive and realistic perspective.
- Leave adequate time to complete lessons. No one knows your child like you do! This includes understanding how much time your child requires to complete her work. One of the brilliant benefits of virtual schooling is allowing your child to progress at their own pace and in their own learning style. As you work with your child, you will discover their areas of strength and weaknesses and be able to adjust the learning scheduled accordingly.
- Plan daily goals. Work side-by-side with your child to set reasonable and attainable daily goals for school work. Rather than keeping goals in vague terms, set specific goals to build a sense of accomplishment in the student. For example, avoid saying, “let’s do school work for two hours.” Instead, set a specific goal: “complete your math lesson by 2 p.m.”
Ultimately, the most important thing you can do to help your child succeed with any educational choice, but especially with online courses is to stay involved. Practice open and regular communication with your student, touching base often about specific goals and even thoughts and feelings about his or her virtual learning experience. When you child knows you are behind her 100%, even the most resistant and unsure virtual learner will begin to gain the confidence necessary to excel.