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.
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.
Help 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!
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Talk to an enrollment specialist today: 800-297-2119.
When people think of virtual learning, they often think the students that attend are teens on the verge of dropping out, who had unplanned pregnancies, or who have learning difficulties. While we definitely cater to those students, we also have families who turn to us in their greatest time of need.
Whether a loved one has just been diagnosed with a terminal illness, lost their home in a fire, or found out that their student has an illness and needs to be in a homeschooled environment, virtual learning can be a saving grace. We try to remind families that even though they are suffering something and feel that their world is crashing in on them, their child can continue to move forward with their education and work at a pace that is right for them and the rest of the family.
Virtual learning during hard times can be a life saver for your middle/high school age child for a variety of reasons, including:
They can still have a sense of routine.
When the rest of their life is in turmoil, school could actually be a source of comfort for the student. It gives them an avenue to spend their thoughts and energy. School could preoccupy their time instead of leaving them on their own and possibly turning to other things to help cope with the stress.
They don’t have to kiss their dream of graduating goodbye.
As a teen, the first step to having a successful life is to obtain your high school diploma. If teens hit a hardship and feel that slipping through their fingers, they often feel hopeless. They can get wrapped up in a downward spiral because they feel they’ll never get anywhere in life. Virtual learning allows them to continue to earn the credits needed to graduate, but on their own time.
Virtual learning provides the flexibility their lives need.
Tough times call for flexible measures. A rigid schedule that traditional school calls for most likely won’t work when your family is going through a crisis. Being able to do your coursework in a flexible manner is key to success. Your teen can also work wherever they are at, as long as they have internet access. If they find their days are spent at a parent’s bedside in the hospital, or they themselves are on strict bedrest, they can complete their studies from there. If they find they are on the road a lot, they can do their studies from their pit stops. Their school can go with them practically everywhere.
Teens are able to help out whenever needed.
When an illness strikes a family, people can be left feeling helpless, especially the kids. They often feel there is nothing they can do to help and feel even more helpless because they are gone to school for 8+ hours each day. Virtual learners can easily fit their studies in around the times they help out around the house. If they need to drive a parent to important doctor visits, help prepare meals, etc., they are able to do that without the added stress of getting behind in their studies. Their schoolwork will be waiting for them and they can tackle it when the time allows later on in the day.
Keeps ill students in a safe environment.
Sometimes the illness or tragedy that strikes doesn’t affect the adults; sometimes it affects the student themselves. Should an illness strike a child, they may be too weak to be exposed to the plethora of germs found in traditional schools. The safest environment for them to be in is probably their own house. Virtual learning works perfectly in those scenarios. Students can learn from the safety and comfort of their own home and can switch their focus away from the dangers lurking in traditional schools and onto their studies. If they are low on energy and need time to rest, that’s okay too. Our goal is to work with each individual student and keep a flexible, custom plan that keeps them on the path to graduation while taking into account their unique situation.
Regardless of the curve ball life threw at your family, we are here. We can help keep your child’s education moving in the right direction. Our teachers and mentors work closely with the students to ensure that they’re doing well and are fabulous at helping in any way that they can.
Our enrollment team is standing by, waiting to answer any questions you may have. Let’s get through this together and help your teen move forward during this stressful time. Please give us a call today at 800-297-2119 or visit our website by clicking here. For more content like this head over to our Facebook page and start following us today.
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.
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!