Study Tips: Become A More Efficient Studier

Study Tips: Become A More Efficient Studier

Book Worm Studying When your kids exit elementary school and enter their middle and high school years, it’s really important that they have the skills to study efficiently and effectively. This will allow them to gain more independence when it comes to studying and stops them from spinning their wheels and getting nowhere when studying for a big test.

Go over some of these study tips with your 5-12th grader and give them the power to use their time efficiently. Everyone will be happier and more productive once they get these pointers under their belts.

Carve out study time.

Block out a certain time slot each day that is dedicated to study time. Whether they need to finish homework, review daily lessons, or study for a test, that time is waiting for them. It helps to know how much time is needed each day by projecting the week ahead. On Sunday, sit down and take a look at what they plan to accomplish throughout the week. Do they plan to take a big test in history on Thursday? Time will need to be allowed to study for that test. Are they finishing up a science project? Make sure time is allocated to work on it. You get the idea.  Knowing your teen has time allowed for each task will take some of the stress out of the week because they won’t be cramming or falling behind.

Use study time sensibly.

It’s hard to avoid distractions, especially when you are home and perhaps the TV is on, people are cooking in the kitchen, or someone is talking on the phone. Make sure your teen has somewhere that is relatively distraction-free to go and study. When there are no distractions, their mind can be focused on the task at hand (studying) and make the most out of their time. If your teen is doing their work on a device, such as a laptop computer, tell them to avoid having any unnecessary windows open. Keeping social media accounts unopened, gaming sites off, etc. will all help to keep them focused on their studies and not distracted by messages and posts.

Study TimeThe evenings go quick – we know! It’s hard to schedule study time that doesn’t conflict with other activities, but try your best. If your teen is too tired, they won’t be able to concentrate and really lock in what they are reviewing. When they are dosing off, encourage them to try a change of scenery. If they won’t be too distracted, have them sit outside on your patio in the fresh air. They need to make good use of their study block so they stay on track and sometimes a change of scenery or a quick 5-minute break will let them clear their head, refocus, and then get back at it.

Develop good note-taking skills.

When you have good notes, studying goes quicker because you don’t have to scour page-by-page for information. They will summarize what you need to know for your upcoming test. When you write notes, it increases the ability to recall that information. Teens can create their own note taking system because it should be one that works best for them. If they are taking notes, and have questions or need to revisit something, have them put an asterisk next to it or some other icon so they can come back to that area later.

Don’t multitask.

When your brain has too much going on at once, it tends not to remember everything and it can also jumble up the information. These factors will reduce your recall ability because you will either be unable to recall the facts or could have them mixed up. Have them focus on one subject at a time and work on it until the daily tasks are completed. Then they can move on to the next subject.

Study With Flash Cards

Make flashcards.

Flashcards are a great way to prep for a test. They can even use their notes as a quick guide to making flashcards. All of the important information should have been pulled out onto their notes. By going through those and making flashcards, they are avoiding skimming every page in the textbook for important information. Flashcards are also an easy way to quiz them and see what areas they still need help on.

Get rest!

Teens tend to lack on the amount of sleep they need during the week. Less than 20% of teens say that they get the recommended 8+ hours of sleep each night. That means over 80% are functioning at a subpar level. Make sure your teen goes to bed at a reasonable time so they are refreshed and ready the next day. This, and a good breakfast, will set them up for a successful day.

What helps your teen the most when it comes to studying for an exam or finishing a big assignment? Leave a comment below and let us know. Others would love to hear what you have to say too!

If you haven’t already, go follow our Facebook page and check out our website to see how My Virtual Academy helps students become better studiers and prepare them for life after high school.

Time Management 101: How to Juggle Both Work and School

Time Management 101: How to Juggle Both Work and School

As a virtual student, you probably have already discovered that it can be challenging to stay on track when you are studying and going to school from home. The everyday distractions can seem like simple 5-minute breaks here and there to take out the trash, fix a quick snack, check your text messages or social media (you get the idea) but before you know it, hours have flown by and time got away from you and the task at hand. Whether you are in high school for a few more years or are graduating and getting ready to enter the real world, time management is key to success.

Often times our students are faced with challenging home lives including financial hardships. Whether it’s to help support your family or put gas in your tank for running around with friends, our students find themselves juggling both work and school. Juggling work and school can really stress students out and some students start falling behind if they don’t have the tools needed to stay on track. We don’t want that to happen to you, so let’s go over some ways that you can be a successful student while earning a paycheck.

Set up a work station

First of all, in regard to school, are you setup for success? By that we mean do you have an area designated for your schooling that is relatively free from distractions? Do you have the supplies needed to get your work done (pencils, notebooks, computer, etc.)? When you are running around looking for a sharpened pencil so you can take notes or you can’t focus because your work station is in front of the family TV, you’re not really setting yourself up to be successful. Prepare your school space and you’ll save yourself some valuable time and energy.

Fast food workerConsider the time of day you are most focused

Second, take a second to think about your day. Do you tend to be someone who wakes up and gets their day going with a bang or do you pull the sheets over your head and let the snooze go off 5 more times before you wake up? Think about when you feel like you are at your peak performance and make a mental note of those times. Try to do your school work when you’re most alert and motivated. If possible, schedule work hours around your school schedule.

Schedule ahead

Third, let us introduce you to your new best friend: your planner. Whether you have a schedule that changes each week or one that is set in stone, creating a schedule that you can live with and stick to is going to be key in staying sane while tackling both work and school. Hey, when you’re running here and there and trying to get your lessons in, the stress will get high. With a thought-out schedule, things will get easier because you would have made time for everything. The trick is to stick with it.

Listen, no one said this would be easy but by taking some time to carve out your days in the beginning, you will avoid mass chaos at the middle and end. If you feel that your school work is suffering because of your work commitment, see if there are areas that you can reduce your spending so perhaps you don’t Girl laying in the grass with a book smiling at the camerahave to work as often. If you made a schedule thinking that you were really productive in the afternoon, but it turns out that is when you hit a lull in your day, make some tweaks and move your obligations to the earlier hours of the day. We are confident in you and know that after a short time, you will have found the perfect balance and things will fall into place.

Have you checked out all of the entertaining and informative posts on our blog? What are you waiting for? It’s a great resource for those within our MVA family and for those families that are contemplating making the leap to virtual learning. We post on all kinds of topics that will help keep you on the right path and also gives parents some guidance on things they may be dealing with. Click here to check it out! If you or someone you know could benefit from a virtual learning environment please give one of our enrollment specialists a call today at 800-297-2119.

The Role Of Parent And Learning Coach: Tips On Playing Both

The Role Of Parent And Learning Coach: Tips On Playing Both

When your child is a virtual learner, it can sometimes be tricky switching back and forth between playing the role of a parent to the role of being a learning coach. It helps to be able to see the two as separate roles that need to be on the same page to direct your teen towards the end goal: high school Parent Role Modelgraduation.

In this post, we will go over some helpful tips on keeping the two roles separate from each other and also help you define each role so you know how they differ.

The Role of a Parent

Remember, the role of the parent is to be loving, nurturing, and caring to your child. It’s important that you keep in mind both their physical and emotional needs. When you “play” this role, you help your child develop many characteristics such as their ability to empathize with someone, to be nurturing, trustworthy, etc. This is also a great time to teach your kids to handle situations in a positive way by teaching them how to be a problem solver.

As a parent, these traits come naturally because you are hard at work actively listening, letting your child know that they matter and that you hear them, playing with your children, showing affection, and building strong relationships with those around you. When you are the parent of a virtual learner, this includes actively seeking opportunities within your community for your child to socialize. These activities allow them to interact with others their same age and develop those much needed social skills. Get them involved in 4-H, community theater, sports groups offered at the rec center, or faith-based organizations. These groups will help build up your teen’s self-esteem, communication skills, and leadership skills.

Life throws us curveballs and it’s impossible to be the fun, carefree parent all the time. Sometimes life presents us with times when we need to be “the bad guy” and hand down discipline or strongly enforce some rules. Those times might be hard but they are necessary in parenting. One way to handle tough situations is to remember that it’s a teachable moment. Did your child get a poor grade? Were they unkind to someone? Did they act carelessly in a choice they made? While discipline may be called for, you can also encourage them to do better next time and use it as a time to give them skills they need to handle the situation better, should the situation arise again.Which role you need to play at which time

When you are in the “parent” role, just as you need to discipline, you can also reward good behavior and actions. Let your child know that you are proud of them and congratulate them on a job well done. Your child may increase their work performance if a reward system is put into place. It may also give them that extra motivation that they need to excel.

Being a parent is natural. The hard part may be knowing how to handle the role of the learning coach. Let’s look into that now.

The Role of a Learning Coach

When your child learns virtually, it takes some practice and patience to train them to focus on their studies. A good rule of thumb is to create a schedule with your student. This helps them know the expectations that are on their plate that day and provides some structure. This structure and guidelines will help keep your student focused on their studies.

Think back to when your child was a toddler. Everyone probably preached that consistency and structure are keys to a happy kid. The same rules apply even into the teenage years. Providing structure to your teen’s day is of utmost importance. Let them know what is expected of them during their “school day” and things won’t catch them off guard.Role Learning coach or Parent

Some simple ways to create structure are:

  • Have a daily schedule.
  • Set limits on screen time.
  • Offer help with school work only when asked. Let them try to figure it out first.
  • Give them chores and rewards once they are completed.

As a parent, you want to make things easy for your child. As a learning coach, you have to resist those urges and let them try to work things out on their own before jumping in and helping them. If they are begging for help before even trying, tell them you will set a timer for them to problem solve themselves.  If they are still stuck once the timer goes off, then you will sit down and help them. This encourages independence and develops better learners over time.

If your child is a master at pushing your buttons, let them know it will not be tolerated. If they begin to exhibit negative behaviors towards you, themselves, or others, encourage them to find positive solutions and redirect their energy.

There may come a time where your student puts up a fight and doesn’t want to do their schooling. Their motivation may be lost. Encourage them to see how what they are learning today will come into play later on in their everyday lives. Sometimes students fail to see how something such as learning a math equation will have real-world application, but it does, so it’s important that they learn the lessons at hand. If math is a problem subject for your student check out this article, and remember, you can always reach out to your teen’s teacher or mentors for guidance should this become an issue.

Switching Between the Roles

It can be difficult stepping out of the nurturing parent role to take a firmer stance as a learning coach but it is needed when your child is a virtual learner. It’s all about creating a balance and positive learning environment for your student. All of your hard work will pay off and your teen will be better because of your involvement.

What struggles have you faced when playing both roles? Let us know in the comments section and on our Facebook page. There are others out there who could learn from your first-hand experience! If you ever need help coaching your student, feel free to give us a call at 800-297-2119.

How To Turn Your Teen Into A Successful Virtual Student

How To Turn Your Teen Into A Successful Virtual Student

Congratulations! You and your teen decided it was time to take control of their education and allow them to learn in an environment that will work best for them. Becoming a virtual student is a very exciting time in one’s life and it can also be a bit scary and nerve-wracking. Often times, the parent hasn’t had to do any virtual learning themselves and the teen might be anxious, wondering what virtual learning will be like.

Virtual learning allows your teen to rest easy knowing that many of the stressors that hovered over them in their traditional school have been left there – in their old school – and they can feel comfortable turning their attention to their academics versus wondering if they’ll be bullied or peer pressured. While there is still interaction with other students online, it’s not quite the same as sitting in a class with someone who is picking on you or being self-conscious during class because you aren’t sure if your learning disability will allow you to sit through the whole class, uninterrupted.

Virtual schools still expect dedication, drive, and determination from their students, but when students are learning in a more relaxed environment (their home usually) and are able to learn at their own pace, good results follow. High school is a time that is to be used to prepare students for life after graduation, whether that is college or the workforce.

Here are a few things you can do to prepare your student so they are a successful virtual learner:

Talk about their responsibilities as a virtual high school student.

When your teen learns from home, the responsibility of staying on track and doing their daily work falls on their shoulders. Let your teen know that you are there to support them, as are their mentor and teachers, but that they need to take responsibility and know how to manage their workload. Should they encounter times when they need extra assistance or feel they are struggling, they need to know who to contact. Make sure they know they can come to you at any time but also have them keep their teacher/mentors contact information somewhere that is readily available. It’s important to also let them know that when they face a problem with schoolwork, they should try to resolve it themselves first or try to think of a solution. Being a virtual learner is a great time for them to learn to be resourceful.

Teen Working at Desk

Allow your teen to work independently.

As a virtual student, your teen will be working by themselves often so it’s crucial that they learn how important self-discipline is. Distractions are everywhere, especially at home. A ringing phone, a loud TV, the mailman, a barking dog, these are all noises that are common in a household, but can be distracting to a young person trying to study. Help them set up an area of the house that is just for them and their schooling, preferably in a distraction-free area. Let them know with virtual learning comes great trust, responsibility and the belief that they can work independently and stay on track. They also need to know there are consequences should this trust be broken.

Set a schedule up with your teen.

Think about your work life…you have meetings, deadlines, business lunches, etc. It would be impossible to keep track of everything unless you had a calendar or planner. The same will go for your teen. They are responsible for keeping track of all their schoolwork, due dates, test dates, and online classes. Buy them a planner or calendar, sit down with them and map out as much as you can for their first semester of school. You could help them color code various subjects, if they think that will help them see things at a glance. They also should have an area to keep some file folders that contain materials and assignments. Let them know they will be in charge of managing their own schedule when it comes to school, as long as they don’t misuse the privilege.

Teen Taking NotesHelp your teen write down goals for the year.

Everyone does better when they are working towards a goal. People tend to be more motivated and driven when they have an end result in mind. The same logic applies to your teen. Does your teen want to earn a certain grade point average? Would they like to excel in science and take a more challenging course the next semester? Would they like to join a sports team to meet new friends? Whatever their goal may be, help them map out a path to achieve it. Ever heard of vision boards? Help your teen create one. Setting goals is vital and will get them eager to begin working towards whatever they have their heart set on.

Success at My Virtual Academy

At My Virtual Academy, your student’s success is our main priority. Our staff works very hard to tailor our programs to meet each student’s individual learning needs. We are very excited that you decided to join the MVA family and cannot wait to see what the future has in store for your teen!

Have you visited our Facebook page? Hop on over and check it out! It’s a great way to stay in-the-know and hear what others within our MVA community have to say.

Talk to an enrollment specialist today: 800-297-2119.

I’m A Teen Parent and a Student.  How Do I Manage It All?

I’m A Teen Parent and a Student. How Do I Manage It All?

High school is hard enough as a typical teenager, but when you add having a baby into the mix you’re looking at very hard times. Juggling taking care of an infant and going to school will be hard, but it is 100% doable. Whatever you do, don’t let your future slip through the cracks simply because you are a teen parent. The benefits of having a high school education are great for both you and your child.

My Virtual Academy helps students from a variety of harsh and/or challenging backgrounds achieve academic success and earn their high school diploma. Teen parents and pregnant teens come to us because they need another way of getting their education – one that will work with their current needs. The biggest of those needs is flexibility. When you are a student with My Virtual Academy, you do your schooling from the comfort of your own home, and since you have access 24/7 to the coursework, you can complete your lessons at times that are convenient for you. Being a virtual student has wonderful perks, especially for new moms who are running on little sleep and can’t leave the house easily to go to traditional school.

So now that you know you have other options out there, what do you do to stay on track and successfully work towards earning your high school diploma? For starters, get yourself a good day planner! Creating a good schedule and sticking to it will be key in making sure nothing slips through the cracks. Once your baby is a few months old, they will most likely be set on some type of routine. There will be estimated times that you know the baby will nap, eat, bathe. You can then plug your schooling in around those times. As long as you’re keeping up with your obligations, it doesn’t matter if you have to break up your studies into a bunch of 30-minute sessions in between naps and feedings. That’s what is so great about this program. You really can work it whenever your time allows each day.Teen mom kissing her child

Make a list of babysitters that you can rely on. You never know when the need will arise for a babysitter. You may have a test to study for that you want some consecutive time to study, not 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there. Having a few reliable babysitters to help watch the baby when you are in a bind can be really handy. Call on them to help you out when you need it so you can stay on top of your studies.

Rely on those around you for emotional support and for helping you care for the baby. A baby is a huge responsibility for anyone, especially a teenager. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child and they are certainly right! Even though you may need to lean on some people now, keep in mind that you are working to set up a stable future for you and your little one. They will thank you and be amazed at all you did for them one day.

If you are someone who is struggling to get their education in a traditional school setting, whether it be from teen pregnancy, bullying, illness, or any other reason, reach out to us and let’s discuss how we can help you reach your goal of earning your high school diploma. You can visit our website or give us a call at 800-297-2119 to discuss your options with an Enrollment Specialist. After giving them a call, check out our Facebook page and hear stories from others that have been in your shoes. We hope to hear from you!

My Child is Gifted: Is virtual learning right for us?

My Child is Gifted: Is virtual learning right for us?

Are you a parent who has heard year after year that your child is excelling in school? They may have even placed in your school’s academically talented and gifted program, if they have one in place. However, there are probably times that arise where you wonder, is my child being challenged enough? Your child may even tell you that they are bored with their schooling or that things are too easy for them.Student on a laptop While some might look at a situation like this and think they wish their child had those types of “problems,” it can be looked at much like the situation of a struggling child: they aren’t getting their individual learning needs met. Both students in that scenario aren’t able to excel to their full potential until the right program is put in place. That’s where we come in!

At My Virtual Academy, we help students on both ends of the spectrum, and everywhere in between. We are able to offer courses that are customized to fit your child’s needs. We realize that every student learns differently and at their own pace and our staff works diligently to make sure every student has what they need in place to excel!

As a parent contemplating schooling options for their gifted student, there are a lot of things to consider. Let’s take a closer look at things that might be on your mind to see if virtual learning is the right fit for your family.

Time Management

One of the benefits to virtual learning is the immense flexibility that comes along with it. Students can learn at their own pace, at their own time, and from anywhere that has an internet connection. They have due dates and things of that nature, but the daily schedule can look different for practically every student. Students often feel that this removes a lot of pressure and allows them to focus as much time as they need to master the lesson being taught. They aren’t rushed along, nor held back, to fit the needs of 25+ other students in their class, like in traditional schools. Some gifted students find a flexible schedule to be a huge plus because they can dig deeper into what they are studying (if they so choose) or can proceed to the next lesson.

As with all time management, there needs to be responsible use of time. You should feel confident that you and your student can properly commit to the time it takes to learn from home. Whether you work or learn from home, it’s very easy for someone to get sidetracked and before you know it, hours have passed and the work you set out to be done is still waiting there. It’s important that lessons get done and as a parent, it’s important that you have time to monitor your child’s activities. You don’t have to be over their shoulder at every turn, but it’s important to stay active in their education. Especially in the beginning of making the switch to virtual learning, it’s essential that you make sure they understand how to do the work online and are there to get in touch with us if any issues arise.


What is your child’s attitude toward school? Do they love it and look forward to it? Is it boring and viewed as more of a chore? Is it a struggle to get them motivated to learn or are they eager and excited to learn new math skills and how things interact in science?

Helping student attitudes

These factors are important when thinking about enrolling your child in a virtual school. If they dread every aspect of school, getting them online to do their studies could become a hardship for the parent. It would take a lot of patience and dedication to make that situation work. On the other hand, if they are eager to learn and don’t mind completing their coursework, then this would be an easy transition for both the parent and child.


When parents think of schooling from home, they often are worried that their child may be withdrawn or lack social interaction with others their same age. That’s definitely not the case! There are many activities and organizations that students can involve themselves in from community theater, sports, choirs, 4H clubs…the list goes on and on. There are also different outings that are dedicated for students that homeschool and they could tag along on those field trips! When you get connected to these various groups, you’ll realize that your student is socializing just as much as students in a traditional school.

Resources and Materials

When you choose to enroll your student in My Virtual Academy, we provide everything your student needs to succeed while enrolled in our program. That includes a computer (if needed) and the software required to complete their coursework. Our staff is dedicated to helping your student shine and they keep in close communication with their students. This gives the student and teacher time to check in with each other and discuss any questions they have. Each student also receives a mentor that works closely with them. Students studying as a group


Parents often worry about the financial commitment that learning from home might bring. The good news is that we are a TUITION-FREE school! That’s right – tuition free! Your student will work toward obtaining their high school diploma from home and it won’t be of any cost to you. So now, you and your student can focus your efforts on obtaining the best middle and high school education in the comfort of your own home with no financial worry.

I’m interested! What do I do next?

We think your gifted student would exceed your expectations when enrolled at My Virtual Academy. Our enrollment specialists would love to talk to you and answer any questions you may have. Please give us a call at 800-297-2119, go to our website, or visit our Facebook page. We look forward to hearing from you!