Virtual learning is changing the way that students can learn. However, just because the classroom looks different does not mean that social relationships are any less important to the learning experience for students enrolled in a virtual schooling program.
In this setting it is the parents and other caregivers who offer some of the most critical guidance that students need to be successful in their academic adventure. For students enrolled in virtual programs, the basic support they need from parents is just the same as any regular student!
Positivity, accountability, and the knowledge that family members are aware of and care about what they’re working on. But, virtual learning does come with some unique challenges. This is where some planning and strategies can really make or break the experience for both parent and student.
Here are five things you as a parent can do to help your child achieve success in virtual courses:
Build a Schedule with your child
One of the biggest benefits of virtual learning is the flexibility it offers. That flexibility, does comes at a price. That price is the absence of a predetermined schedule .
Students in virtual courses need to build their own routines and manage their time in order to stay on track. Having a well-thought-out, specific daily schedule is KEY! Parents can be a huge help, not only in building such a plan but also in making sure that it is followed.
Before your child’s virtual course(s) begins, sit down together and think through what he or she is responsible for accomplishing in his or her virtual courses on a daily and, or, weekly basis.
This is where you try to figure out how much time those tasks will realistically take, and what other commitments (sports, arts, work, family engagements, etc.) he or she needs to consider.
Bring your child’s virtual teacher(s) into the conversation too—teachers can offer valuable advise into what the demands of virtual courses really look like and how time will need to be managed.
Once you’ve talked through everything on your child’s plate, help him or her write out a weekly schedule with designated work time for online courses.
hang up the schedule in a noticeable place, like on the refrigerator or next to a calendar, to help keep your child accountable and create an effective routine.
Model Hard Work and Persistence
Modeling success in virtual courses takes a high level of motivation and self-directed effort.
For those new to virtual schooling remember to allow time for adaptation. For some virtual students, this motivation comes naturally, but for others, especially those new to online courses, getting adapted to self-directed learning can be a challenge.
Parents and other caregivers can make a big difference here, simply by demonstrating that pervasiveness is an important skill out in the“real world” beyond school.
Talking to your child about your own work and goals is a great place to start. Tell him or her about difficult projects you’re working on, new skills you’re trying to master, and challenges you’ve faced.
For instance, do you have a big presentation coming up at work? Tell your child about the extra time you’re putting in to prepare. Are you in the process of taking up a new hobby? Tell your child about how you’ve had to try and fail.
Take the time to sit down with him or her while they are working on coursework, and try to tackle some projects of your own at the same time. These don’t have to be big project or perfect examples (and don’t expect to hold your child’s attention), but demonstrating your own hard work and motivated attitude will help your child take a similar approach.
For your child seeing is much more powerful than hearing.
Set Up a Workspace
Everyone is different, and surroundings make a huge difference in one’s mindset and ability to focus.
Students enrolled in virtual courses have the ability to complete their work where they want, so it’s important to put thought into what kind of environment is truly most effective for them.
This means making sure that they have a designated space at home. Some where quiet, and, a place with the least amount of distractions.
If your child thrives in quiet, make sure that he or she has a desk and comfortable chair in a quiet area. If he or she needs a little more interaction and hands-on interaction, a desk or table in the living room or kitchen may be a good option.
No matter what the workspace looks like, be sure that your child has easy access to the materials and supplies that he or she will need.
like good headphones, a wireless mouse if he or she will be working on a laptop, paper for notes, pens, and other office supplies.
Familiarize Yourself with the Virtual Learning Platform
Students taking virtual courses spend their school days engaged in an online program.
For the parents, taking the time to get familiar with how the platform looks like, how your child is using it, and what resources are available are some of the best ways you can offer support.
You can start by exploring any resources provided by the virtual learning program next to your child.
Make sure that your child is comfortable exploring through the courses and completing basic tasks like submitting assignments and checking grades.
Communication between students and the teacher is equally if not more important in virtual courses. Many virtual course providers also offer parent portals—be sure to find and explore any tools like this, so that you can monitor your child’s progress.
It’s your child’s course, but by knowing the program, you will have a better grasp on what his or her learning looks like and how you can best provide support.
You also will know everything that is happening in your Childs academic life.
Build a Relationship with Your Child’s Teachers
Virtual teachers are teachers like any others!
They’re qualified, dedicated professionals who want to build strong relationships with their students it is simply amazing!!!
For parents, your child’s virtual teachers are your star teammates in supporting your child through his or her online schoolwork.
Essentially all virtual courses require a certain amount of communication back and forth between students and teachers, but these teachers are also available to you.
If you have questions about the course or concerns about your child’s progress, reach out and discuss them with his or her teacher. Remember to share your Childs successes!
You see your child on a very regular basis—the virtual teachers don’t. When you see your child reaching goals, making productive changes, or hitting important milestones, tell the teacher about it—it’s guaranteed that your child will appreciate the positive feedback coming from multiple angles.