Just like in traditional school, virtual learners encounter coursework that may be challenging and they may get discouraged from time to time. We don’t want your student to let a hard assignment or a poor grade send them in a downward spiral. After all, the decision to become a virtual learner may have been made because they were struggling in the traditional classroom. While we want your child to be academically stimulated, we don’t want them to feel that they don’t have the skills needed to tackle a tough assignment or bounce back from a low grade.
Teaching your student how to deal with hurdles in life and in school will be central for their success. We’ve compiled some tips below that will help your middle or high school child get out of their funk and ready to tackle whatever they come across in school.
It starts with you.
An involved parent helps hold a child accountable for their daily actions. This ranges from school to chores. Your teen should be at an age now where they can work independently but still check in with them daily in regards to their schooling. Let them know that you are there to offer support. Ask them what their week looks like. What assignments are due? Do they have a test coming up? Do they have their time properly allocated to complete their coursework, study, and have free time? Do they find themselves struggling in any areas? Would it help clarify what they are learning if they reached out privately to the teacher? Make yourself available to your teen and show that you are vested in their life. These questions all show your teen that you are there to offer guidance and give them necessary support. Checking in with your teen in this manner will also allow you to motivate them and steer them back on track, should you feel they are in a slump.
Make a plan of attack with your student.
We are big supporters of planners. When your student learns virtually, time management is a skill that is of utmost importance. At home, distractions come easily and in the blink of an eye, it could be 6:00PM and your teen could have no schooling done that day. Learning how to plot out their day takes the stress off and stops the cramming. No one likes to cram and feel rushed, but if they don’t make good use of their time, that’s what happens. As we mentioned before, it all starts with you. Sit down with your child and look at what lies ahead in their week. Help them divide up their time appropriately so that they have time to complete their coursework and assignments each day. There may be adjustments that need to be made, and that’s okay. Your student will feel at ease and not overwhelmed once they see there is time for everything.
Reward good habits.
We all need motivation. We need something that sparks the drive in us and encourages us to succeed and do well. This is never truer than when we are in a rut. If your adolescent needs a bit of a nudge, why not think of a reward that they can work towards? Tickets to the movies, a new book, a new video game, or a nice dinner out might be the motivation they need to dive back into their studies with a new attitude. Work together to set a goal and be clear about what their reward will be. Check in with your child, off and on, to see how they are progressing. Knowing they are working toward a goal and closer to a reward, may be just what they need to get motivated and back to their good schooling habits.
Make rules and consequences.
When your teen is struggling with school and their behavior is unacceptable, they need to know what your rules are and what the consequences are for their behavior. Behavior that goes unchecked is bound to continue because there are no negative reactions for their actions. It can be hard if your teen simply gives up over one bad grade or hits a hard subject and shuts down. They need to know what your rules and expectations are of them. If poor school performance is something you won’t tolerate, let them know what the consequences are. When you see things you don’t like, it’s important to nip it right then and there or the time will pass and any disciplinary actions won’t be effective.
Help your teen by showing them how to stay organized and manage their time and workload. Letting them know there are consequences for unfavorable behavior/grades and rewards for favorable ones, will help your middle and high school student overcome any hurdle they may face during their schooling. Consider these tips and keep your teen motivated and on track for a successful school experience.
Has your teen ever hit a rut with their schooling? How did you motivate them and get them back on the track to success? We would love to hear your comments below! While you’re at it, head over to our Facebook page and share your parenting tips with the rest of the My Virtual Academy community!!