Now summer is winding down, parents can do a lot to set their child on the path for online study success by addressing a few areas before classes begin. Whether this is your child’s first year working with a virtual classroom or their final year after many, it’s important to go over ways to set your child up for a great year.
Tips: How to Prepare for Your Child’s Virtual School Year
Some of your child’s yearly school prep for virtual school, and specifically online classes, is much the same as it would be for any conventional student. Here is a list of ways to help your child have the proper mindset and tools necessary to have a successful and enjoyable online study experience.
- Online classes are “real” classes – For students used to going to a brick and mortar classroom with assigned seating arrangements and having to store items in lockers around random kids, online classes may not “feel” like actual school. Let them enjoy the freedoms virtual learning allows, while emphasizing the discipline and accomplishment they will gain from “showing up” everyday and completing classroom assignments and goals.
- Set up their workspace – Think about the placement of their computer. Even with a laptop, it’s often helpful to have a designated place for class time and study. Students with difficulty staying on task might be best placed in the kitchen or other common space, where they can receive help or accountability. Other students may flourish in a private or quiet room with few distractions. You know your child. Think about this before classes start and try it out. Have your child help fill out assignment calendars and journals. They’ll appreciate ownership of how they prep, too.
- Technology, schedules, and supplies – Avoid poor starts due to unexpected internet trouble, computer issues, or other faulty technology. Before classes begin, make sure all necessary software is installed and your child practices connecting online and using programs they’ll rely on. Go over using the class portal or gateway, and how to look up each class syllabus. Download all class notices and materials before classes start. Get your child’s input as to the tools and supplies necessary to surround a useful workspace. This includes purchasing supplies, using a bulletin board or calendar. Not everything your child keeps track of needs to stay online or digital. Use physical reminders as well, especially for students who thrive with tactile learning.
Don’t allow last-minute preparation to create undue anxiety for your student or for you as parents. A good school start begins with eager anticipation, an understanding of scheduling, and creating daily habits that support effective learning. Preparation not only prevents anxiety but allows for assignments to be more creative and fun, which is always helpful in the learning process.