Make Your List and Check It Twice, Graduation is Right Around The Corner

Make Your List and Check It Twice, Graduation is Right Around The Corner

Senior year is kind of weird because it seems to drag on forever (think Senioritis) and yet it flies by in the blink of an eye. There is a lot to keep track of such as making sure all of your graduation requirements have been met, that you are prepared for your graduation ceremony and celebration, and that you are preparing for life after high school. It can be overwhelming, but if you make a check list of things you need to accomplish, you’ll be all good!

Spring:

  • Make sure you talk to your mentor to double check that you are still on track to graduate. You don’t want to find out that you have fallen behind in any credits when you’re trying on your cap and gown.
  • Stay on top of your assignments and check in with your mentor weekly. Now is definitely not the time to fall behind in your courses. Graduation is around the corner and a missing assignment could put your graduation date back if you are already teetering on the edge of passing.
  • Now is the perfect time to make sure you have confirmed with a trade school or college that you will be attending in the fall, should you have plans to go to secondary school.
  • If you are continuing your education, make sure all loose ends are tied up in regard to financial aid.
  • Get your cap and gown steamed, and order any picture packages you wish to have of your big graduation day!
  • Walk across the stage and get that diploma you worked so hard for!

Summer:

  • Enjoy your graduation celebration!
  • Send out thank you cards to everyone that congratulated you with a gift.
  • If you’re heading off to college in the fall, make sure to secure living arrangements.
  • Buy books, supplies, and anything else you need for your secondary education school.

This time in your life flies by and then you’ll have the rest of your life to have adult responsibilities. Enjoy this time while you can because it’s fleeting. We hope that by having a check list, you’ll stay on track from now until September and be able to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you know of other teens that would benefit from learning as a virtual student, make sure to tell them about your experience with My Virtual Academy. It takes a lot of courage for a student to change schools and switch up the way they learn, but for many students, it’s a total game changer. Being able to work when they want, where they want, and at a pace of their choosing, relieves a lot of stress and puts their education back in their hands, where it belongs. Encourage your friends to visit our website, or give us a call at 800-297-2119 to learn more about our tuition-free program. Thank you and congratulations graduate!

Tackling Test Anxiety When You Have Learning and Attention Difficulties

Tackling Test Anxiety When You Have Learning and Attention Difficulties

When you have learning or attention difficulties, even the easiest task can be quite the challenge. Things that other students whiz through can leave these students struggling to decipher the directions, let alone complete the assignment. Now picture those difficulties but apply them to a test taking environment. It’s a recipe for failure, especially if their anxiety rises and their difficulties get the best of them. There are a few tips that will help you prepare your student to the best of your ability prior to a big test, especially tests such as the M-Step or SAT. Let’s take a minute to go over them.

Schedule Prep Time

In order to make sure you have enough preparation time worked into your student’s schedule, you need to know a bit more about the test. How many questions is it expected to be? Is the subject one that your student feels comfortable in or do they struggle to learn the concepts that the test covers? How much information is the student being tested on? Make sure you and your student are on the same page and understand how much time should be carved out for studying for the specific test. Blocking out the right amount of time will avoid them cramming for the test and will decrease their anxiety regarding the test.

Share as Much Information as Possible

Think about your life for a moment…if your boss passes by your desk and says she wants to see you for a minute regarding a project you are working on, wouldn’t your nerves kick in and your anxiety increase? You would want to know why she wants to see you, what area of the project she has questions in, and perhaps if you’ll have access to your files to pull up notes if you need to refer to something. The same exact feelings and thoughts run through your teens mind when a test is mentioned. If a study guide is not provided, reach out to the teacher and ask a few questions like how the test is formatted (multiple choice, matching, fill-in-the-blank, etc.), will they have access to their notes, are their certain areas your student should focus on (definitions, graphs, etc.)? Being able to provide your student with enough information that they can conjure up an idea of what the test might look like will be beneficial during the studying phase and when it comes to actually taking the test.

Know What Support is Available

For students with learning and attention difficulties, Teen with test anxiety looking at her computer with her hands on her headhelp can be made available. If you know your child has these differences to overcome, be an advocate and make sure they have an IEP or a 504 Plan on file. These plans allow for certain accommodations that might make test taking a little easier on your student. It’s important that your student knows what accommodations are set in place and that they should speak up if their needs aren’t met.

Even the best, well-intended plans can go wrong, but by talking with their teacher, school administrators, and test administrators, they can have other stipulations put in place that will help them do their best on the test. Take the time before the test to talk with your child and see what fears they have regarding the upcoming tests. This will be an eye-opening experience and will help you to guide your child in the best, most effective way possible. If you should ever need our assistance or have concerns regarding your student, give us a call at 800-297-2119. Should your student still receive a score that displeases them after all of their hard work and accommodations, remind them that it’s okay. We don’t all hit it out of the ballpark every time, and they can use the test as a learning tool to adjust their game plan for next time.

Avoid Summer School with the Help of  Clintondale Virtual School!

Avoid Summer School with the Help of Clintondale Virtual School!

When a teen starts to fall behind in school, the stress the student and family feels is palpable. Often times when a student fails a class, they start to struggle in their other classes too. They begin to doubt themselves and the grades in their other classes reflect that mindset. In order to make up the classes/credits, in the past, they have needed to enroll in summer school. However, that isn’t the case these days! We want you to know that there are other options out there to help your student avoid the dreaded summer school.

Clintondale Virtual School offers a unique program that allows students from any high school across the country to take a high school class within an eight week time period. That’s right…just eight weeks! The classes are delivered online utilizing Edmentum so they can earn their missing credits from the comfort of your home!

Once enrolled, each student is assigned an academic coach who will contact them twice weekly to discuss progress and provide advice. They will also call the parents twice weekly to keep them informed of their progress.

Upon completion of the eight week course, the final exam is given. This exam can be taken at the Clintondale Virtual School office if the student is within 20 miles of the office, or at the student’s current school with an approved counselor from the school district. Clintondale Virtual School classes meet State and Common Core Standards.

Classes through Clintondale Virtual School are very affordable, with the cost for a half credit class being $200.

It’s not always realistic to think that a student will learn the material taught to them the very first time it is presented in class. That’s why we offer credit recovery programs. Programs such as ours give struggling students another chance at successfully completing a course. It’s a shame some students end up in summer school or worse, drop out because they are shy a credit or two to graduate. We aim to prevent that and get teens graduated!

Credit recovery programs can enhance a student’s schooling experience and ensure that they stay on the path to graduation. When they earn a credit with our virtual school, they can learn from the comfort of their own home, which is a very successful way to learn for most students.

Another positive aspect of credit recovery is that we focus on each individual student and their learning needs. What works for one student may not work for the next and we understand that. We offer a wide range of courses and are certain we can meet the need of each student that comes to us for help. This is a huge benefit compared to placing your teen in summer school where they essentially are “pushed through” and are expected to have the same learning styles as everyone else in the classroom.

At Clintondale Virtual School, we keep a tight level of control over the material taught in our courses. Students have the ability to focus on areas that they struggled in, which allows them to master the subject. As we mentioned, academic coaches will follow up with your student a couple times per week to ensure that they are staying on the right track and understand the material.

Just like traditional schools have to meet certain standards, Clintondale Virtual School has been awarded accreditation by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), the regional accrediting agencies that span the AdvancED global network. Your student is guaranteed a quality education to make up those missing credits that are needed for graduation.

Graduate

We want every student to succeed. One of the biggest stepping stones in a person’s life is their high school diploma. It is needed for them to go on to college, enter a trade school, or pursue various careers. Often times, students still struggle with summer school because the material is being taught in the same manner as it was the first time around. A fresh, new approach may be just the thing your student needs!

Credit recovery schools are a great alternative for your teen and will keep them out of summer school and on the road to graduation. Don’t feel that your student is too far behind to graduate or that their only option is dropping out because there are other alternatives available!

We would love to discuss all the ways we can help your student, so please reach out to us today! Feel free to give us a call at 800-297-2119 or click here to visit our website for more information.

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.