Help! My Teen Gets Bored Being On The Computer. Tips To Keep Your Student Focused

Help! My Teen Gets Bored Being On The Computer. Tips To Keep Your Student Focused

How many of you go to work every day and are on the computer from the minute you walk in until the moment you leave? We hear you! It can be draining both physically and mentally. Not only can your back start to ache a bit from sitting, but your eyes can feel strained and your mind can start to wander. It’s perfectly normal to hit a funk when part of your everyday life revolves around being on a computer or device of some sort, but there are ways to combat your computer woes and actually become more productive along the way. Try these suggestions for both you and your student and we think you’ll notice your energy and motivation will be through the roof!

Switch up your work-spaceStudent doing homework

We encourage our families to have a designated school space in the house for their student. That should have a desk, lamp, computer, and plenty of work-space. However, sometimes they need a break from the everyday routine of things, and that includes where they do their schooling. If they have a laptop computer, try working at the kitchen table for a bit or outside on the patio. You could even suggest they have a big change of scenery and spend the morning studying and doing coursework at a local coffee shop.

Have you noticed that some employers are offering standing desks to their employees now? That gets them out of the ordinary and changes things up. Sometimes something simple is all it takes to break up the routine and kick up the productivity and creativity. Why not give the same thing a try at home?

Use a reward system

Remember when teachers would put gold stars on your paper if you did a great job? A reward, no matter how small, can go a long way! Implement your own reward system and make goals with your teen. For instance, if they need to catch up on their science work, set a goal of what you want them to accomplish by 1:00pm and if they did it, you will treat them somewhere for lunch or give them extra video game time. The rewards don’t have to cost anything either for them to be effective. Enticing them with being able to pass on a weekly chore could be incentive enough to get them plowing through their work. This gets them off of the computer and onto other things in no time. One more tip: keep the goals small and attainable. If your teen feels the goals set are unattainable, they won’t even try.

Add in a distraction

This sounds counterproductive, but as crazy as it sounds, some people work better when there are lots of things happening around them. If your teen finds a quiet environment where they are parked in front of the computer screen boring, or if they can’t keep their mind from wandering, try letting them listen to music on their headphones while doing their schooling. Does your student like to draw or squiggle? Let them express themselves on paper while taking in their math lesson or other coursework. Sometimes having the TV on in the background translates to a “white noise” sound and enables the student to focus better on their schoolwork. Whatever works for your student is what’s best and should be done. After all, virtual learning is flexible learning, right?

Take breaks from the screen

Just like in a work environment, it’s good to take breaks every now and then to clear your mind and regroup. Same goes for virtual learning. Every hour or so, tell your student to take a quick 5-10 minute break. Have them get up from their desk, walk around, grab a snack, and use the bathroom. Knowing a break is coming allows them to forge ahead in their work and not feel bogged down.

A break also doesn’t have to be limited to what we just mentioned. Before your teen begins their school day, see what lessons need to be done on the computer and what can be done away from it. Suggest that they group their computer work together so that they tackle that and get it out of the way. Then, they can do their off-line work afterwards. Or, if they want to break up the computer work throughout the day, have them do a little online work, followed by off-line work, and repeat until they have completed the day’s workload.

Make a date with the gym

A big reason why people love to workoutstudent doing cardio is because the exercise clears their head and gets them ready to tackle their next project. If your teen is feeling stressed with school or personal life, have them schedule some type of physical activity into each day. This time is spent on bettering themselves and will set them up for success for the rest of the day. To break up screen time throughout the day, have them plan on doing some schooling in the morning, followed by their workout and lunch, then get back at it in the afternoon. The exercise will provide a much needed break and will give them a boost of energy.

As we mentioned, the best thing about virtual learning is that it is FLEXIBLE. If your student feels like they need a break, let them take one. After all, they set their own schedule and work at their own pace. We’re sure you can identify with feeling like you need to clear your mind or break up the everyday routine when you are in front of a computer all day. Keep them motivated and ready to learn with our suggestions and you’ll be surprised at the great strides your teen will make!

Have you “liked” our Facebook page yet? What are you waiting for? Head over and check out all the great information we are continuously posting for our My Virtual Academy community. If you would like more information about our program feel free to call 800-297-2119 or visit our website.

“It’s All in a Day’s Work.” An Interview With an MVA Teacher

“It’s All in a Day’s Work.” An Interview With an MVA Teacher

Teachers are the backbone of a student’s education. Along with parents/guardians, they help keep their students moving forward when life gets hard and they feel like quitting. We go to great pains when bringing a teacher on board at My Virtual Academy, and we may have a slight bias, but we think we have the best teachers around!

Take a moment to watch this edition of “What’s Up Wednesday” with Renee Weaver-Wright where she interviews one of our high school teachers, Mr. Jason Z.

Jason’s passion for teaching radiates in every word he speaks. Like the rest of our staff, Jason makes it a point to develop personal relationships with the students and takes a strong interest in making sure they succeed. One of his main objectives is inspiring each student he meets to achieve success in their academic lives, which usually translates over to their personal lives.

As a student, contact with your mentors, teachers, and supporting staff is vital to your success. Jason contacts his students on an almost daily basis. This contact allows him the chance to see what his students are working on, answer any questions they may have, give some help with the lesson plan they are working on, and direct them to a Curriculum Specialist if they need additional help.

In this interview, Jason points out that a key difference between traditional school and virtual learning: the teacher-student relationship. Even though you are face-to-face on a daily basis in a traditional school, you forge much deeper relationships when you are in a virtual setting. How and when you can interact is not dictated by the bells at the beginning and end of class. With virtual learning, communication happens much more freely and is more flexible. Teachers become more aware of the challenges and struggles their student’s are facing and they can help guide them along the way.

In addition to being an outstanding teacher, Jason is also the designated “Bell Ringer” at MVA. Want to know why we ring the bell? Tune in here to find out why we have this awesome tradition!

After you watch that episode of “What’s Up Wednesday” with Renee and Jason, reach out to us for more information. You care about your student and their success and we do too. Bringing students in and getting them to graduation is our main objective and your student will be no different. You can visit our website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or simply give us a call at 800-297-2119. We are currently enrolling for the 2021-2022 school year so call today!!

Avoiding Distractions While Homeschooling

Avoiding Distractions While Homeschooling

One of the biggest perks about being a virtual student is that you can learn from the comfort of your own home. Unlike traditional school, we don’t care if you stay in your pj’s, are in your bed, or are lounging on the couch while looking over your coursework. You can be as comfortable as you want and learn from wherever you want. That’s part of the draw to virtual learning, right? While all of that is true, you have to have some self-discipline when studying at home because distractions are everywhere!

Studying at home with discipline

Your mind can wander. The television goes on. The neighbor’s dog barks. A loud car flies down the street. Distractions happen constantly around the house. With technology literally at our fingertips, it’s super easy to start browsing the internet or checking your social media accounts and before you know it, hours have flown by and no work has been done.

In a traditional school environment, you need to be physically and mentally present to succeed. Same goes for virtual learning. When your mind wanders or you get tied up doing chores or surfing the internet, it’s easy to start falling behind in your studies. Thinking that you will “catch up tomorrow” doesn’t always pan out so it’s really important to make the commitment and set some limits for yourself. Virtual learning definitely requires some discipline on the student and the parents to make sure time is carved out for learning.

At My Virtual Academy, your success is our number one goal. We design our courses so that success is knocking at your door. You just have to keep your eye on the prize and do your part. When you attend a virtual academy, you are always online. After all, that is how you complete your schooling. It’s vital that you stay motivated and distraction-free so that you can stay focused on the task at hand and keep your schooling on track.

Keep these tips in mind to keep yourself free from distractions:

Setup a study area

You need an area of your house that is dedicated to school. There should be a desk, lamp, computer, plenty of room to work, and other school must-haves like paper, pens, and pencils. This area should be free from distractions and be a warm, inviting area for you to study. Setting the stage for success is important when virtual learning and having a special area that is just for you and your studies is a great step in the right direction!

Turn notifications off

Since you will be learning virtually, you will be onlineTurn off phones during home school hours where there are sure to be tons of distractions. Try turning off your notification settings so that if you receive a notice from one of your social media accounts or a text message, you won’t be alerted and tempted to view it. Keep your study time for your studies. If you were at a traditional school, you wouldn’t be able to check your phone or Facebook in the middle of math class, so use that same mentality when studying at home.

Studies come first

Whether you reach out to a fellow virtual learner to get some help on an assignment or have another friend who gave you a call, make sure to stay on track and keep your studies first. Catching up with friends will have to wait until you have done your work for the day. Same goes for talking to a fellow student. You may find that your conversation wanders to things that don’t have to do with school but try to re-route the conversation and bring it back to school. Get through your work for the day then pick up where you left off.

Be successful with a schedule

As a virtual learner, the day is yours. You do not have to be to school by the time the first bell rings at 7:00am. There are no bells. You set your schedule. For this reason, it’s important to make sure you are responsible and carve some time into each day for your studies and coursework. Make a schedule and stick to it. View the time you scheduled for school just as important as any other thing you have going on because it is! Setting aside time for school every day helps you stay on course and not fall behind.

Plan out your classes and schedule

We are so happy we were able to share these wonderful little tidbits to help keep you on track and on the path to success. We can’t wait to see all of the great things you accomplish during your time at My Virtual Academy! Should you have any questions or are ready to complete your enrollment, give us a call at 800-297-2119. Our friendly staff is standing by and ready to help!


Every Student Can Thrive at My Virtual Academy!

Every Student Can Thrive at My Virtual Academy!

When it comes to your child’s education, it’s best not to have a “one size fits all” mentality because often times, that’s far from the truth. You may have one child who excels in the traditional school setting while another child is falling behind at a rapid pace. The rate and method of how each child learns can be vastly different. Back in the day, there used to be no real option to help out those who needed a different learning environment, but luckily the virtual schools today can do just that.

At My Virtual Academy, we take great pride in helping students with various learning needs. Our school caters to students who have previously been homeschooled, expelled, bullied, are teen mothers, those who have physical and/or mental illness, and even those who are advanced and need a more challenging, accelerated program. Virtual school has been a saving grace for those students who were struggling day in, day out. Our staff works diligently to ensure that every student has the resources they need to succeed!

Often times, when a student starts falling behind, they think their only option is to drop out of school. They are failing classes and they don’t see any way they could turn their situation around. A virtual school like My Virtual Academy could be the light at the end of the tunnel for students in this situation. With virtual schooling, the student learns at their own pace, in the comfort of their own home. It can reduce their stress, allow them to focus on their studies, and get back on the right path. When students make the switch, they often surprise themselves because not only do they make progress, but they thrive in the new school environment.

On the other hand, students who are gifted might be bored in a traditional brick and mortar school. They may need more challenging curriculum and with virtual learning, they will get just that! It is a great option for students who wish to complete their schooling ahead of schedule or want to stay ahead of the game. The rate at which they learn is up to them.

Virtual learning has benefited students with different learning needs, including:

Struggling Students

The traditional classroom isn’t the best learning environment for everyone. Students with learning disabilities find it hard, if not impossible, to learn at the same rate and in the same manner as the other students in their class. They may find it hard to stay seated for a seven hour school day and their minds may wander or daydream and before they know it, they missed the lesson being taught and are further behind. At My Virtual Academy, our curriculum is tailored to each student’s specific needs, making each course more engaging for the student.

Gifted StudentsFrustrated student

When a student has mastered their grade-appropriate coursework, it’s time to step up the game and keep them engaged and challenged. By providing stimulating assignments, they are allowed to continue to grow and thrive at the pace that is just right for them. Challenging coursework is exactly what they need to continue to expand their mind and we provide just that at My Virtual Academy!

Those Who Need More Support

Have you ever been in a classroom where a lesson was taught but it simply didn’t make sense to you? Chances are a lot of us have been in that situation. It can be embarrassing to ask for help in front of your peers. Aside from that, sometimes it can be hard to get the one-on-one help you need from the teacher because their attention is divided between 20+ students. That’s not the case with virtual learning! You have access to certified teachers along with a district approved mentor. There is two-way communication to make sure your student is getting the support they need.

Students Experiencing Social Difficulties

Bullying can happen to anyone, anywhere but it is prevalent in traditional schools. When someone is the victim of bullying, it affects every aspect of their life. They may not want to go to school or if they are there, they withdraw. They may start to lash out and begin exhibiting bad behavior. They may begin to hang with the wrong friends as means of aligning themselves with people who may be viewed as intimidating to the bully. Removing your student from that environment and placing them in a virtual school may be just the thing they need to get back on the right path. Their threat of bullying is removed and they can turn their attention to their studies.

Those Who Face Unforeseen Hardships

Life happens and sometimes it gives us more than we feel we can handle. Whether your student and/or family is going through a serious illness, divorce, or unexpected pregnancy, they can still stay on track with school and keep moving forward. When facing a major hardship, it can be very difficult to focus on school work. With virtual learning, you can set your own pace instead of being locked into a classroom during regular school hours.

Teen moms benefit from virtual school

Our wonderful staff at My Virtual Academy works tirelessly to ensure that every student can succeed. It can be a scary thing to venture out and try a new way of schooling but often times, taking the first step is the hard part. Once you see how much your student loves it and that they are flourishing, it won’t take long to see you made the right choice. We think your student will find that working on their own time, in their own home, in a virtual atmosphere works best.

Give us a call at 800-297-2119 and give your student a fresh start. You can also click here to enroll today!

Why Choose a Virtual Academy? How will I know if it’s right for me?

Why Choose a Virtual Academy? How will I know if it’s right for me?

In years past, when a child was enrolled in school, they attended in the traditional brick-and-mortar building. That was the only option. Didn’t matter if the child was gifted and needed a more challenging curriculum, if the child struggled and needed additional time or other ways of learning, or if they had other challenges that prevented them from excelling in that setting. They were essentially stuck and often times, those who struggled ended up dropping out. Those who were advanced were left unchallenged and not learning at their full potential. The good news is that times have changed and there are many ways a child can obtain an education – and that includes learning from the comfort of their own home, at their own pace!

At My Virtual Academy, we take pride in serving those in grades 5 through 12. Our staff is exceptional and we use flexible learning methods to prepare students for their future. We work with many different students such as those who are:

  • homeschooled
  • struggling in their current school
  • looking for an accelerated program
  • bullied
  • coping with a physical or mental illness

Our online program provides a unique learning experience and is set up to help your student achieve academic success!

Virtual schools are vastly different from their traditional counterparts. Here are some things to ponder as you explore if virtual learning is the right move for your child:

Tuition is FREE

Free is always good, right? Other virtual schools charge tuition but when you enroll with My Virtual Academy, tuition is FREE! This takes a big weight off of the shoulders of our families and allows them to direct their attention to what matters most – their child’s success! We want your child to start off on the right foot and for that reason, in addition to being tuition-free, we provide them with everything they need to be successful…this includes a computer and all required software while in the program.

A Dose of Flexibility

It’s not always realistic to have set, mandated school hours. Appointments come up; kids get sick; life can sometimes get in the way. Instead of falling behind or being reprimanded for missing part of the school day, your child completes the coursework on their time frame. They complete the coursework when it’s best for THEM. Some online courses may ask them to participate in a real-time meeting, but almost everything is done on their own time. Also, it’s important to note that coursework can be completed just about anywhere that has the Internet! If you have downtime in between appointments or are traveling, your student can easily stay caught up on their studies.

Extraordinary Materials and Staff

All of our teachers are certified in the state of Michigan and have worked diligently to prepare thorough, exceptional lesson plans. As we mentioned, we want your student to succeed. We provide a computer and software that is necessary for our virtual school. Our coursework is relevant, current, and competitive and will keep your student on the fast track to success.

virtual student

Bully-Free Zone

Bullying is all too prevalent these days, especially at school. We work hard to advocate for those who have been bullied in the past and it is not tolerated on any level at our school. Students who have been the victim of bullying in their previous school should feel safe and secure knowing that they are working from the comfort of their own home. That should reduce anxiety related to schooling and help your child direct their focus on getting good grades, which is where it should have been all along.

Paced Learning

Whether your child works at a high rate of speed or needs a bit more time to rehash their studies, we’ve got them covered! Your child may choose to work their way through at a faster rate, therefore completing their education much quicker than if they were in a traditional school. This is a great option, particularly for those who are eager to enter college or the workforce sooner than expected. On the flip-side, if your student needs additional time when it comes to their schoolwork, that’s okay too! They are behind the wheel, so to speak, and there isn’t any pressure from teachers if they need a little more time.

Self-Motivated, Independent Scholars Excel

By its nature, virtual schools tend to be less structured than traditional classrooms. Children who are self-motivated and who prefer to work independently rather than in groups really excel with this learning method. Your student will remain in frequent communication with their teachers and mentors, who will help keep them on track and on the path to graduation. Even with those check-ins, they’ll have enough space where they can work on their own without someone monitoring their every move.

We strongly believe that My Virtual Academy will be the perfect fit for your child. Should you have any additional questions or would like to enroll your child, please reach out to us online or by phone at 800-297-2119.

Cyberbullying: Can You Spot the Signs?

Cyberbullying: Can You Spot the Signs?

Think back for a minute and envision the days when you were in grammar school. Chances are when I say the word “bullying,” a few faces probably come to mind instantly. You can most likely think of at least one person who was bullied and at least one person who was the one doing the bullying. Every school had them. They existed in every grade. Some bullying was worse than others, but it affected the kids none the less.

The biggest difference about then and now is that back then, we knew our bullies. We could talk to our teachers, our principals, our parents, and try to work out the differences and at least try to agree to put an end to the bullying. These days, the bully is often times hidden behind a computer where the simple strokes of their keyboard leaves imprints on those they bully forever.

Cyberbullying, or the use of electronic communication to bully a person, is faceless and often times nameless. A person can hide behind the keys, so to speak, and be anyone they want to be and say anything they want to say, often times with no repercussion or consequences. It is for this reason that cyberbullying is on the rise and happens so often. Things are said online that one would never have the courage or audacity to say to someone’s face.

Computer hands

Cyberbullying can occur on social media and various apps that the child is using and often times, the parents or guardians are none the wiser. Sometimes parents may find themselves in a situation where they aren’t even aware of all of the apps and websites that their child visits or has accounts on. The greater their online presence, the greater their chance of being bullied becomes.

Knowing the Signs

The good news is that as parents or caregivers, you are not totally helpless in spotting and addressing bullying. There are some signs that your child may exhibit if they are involved with cyberbullying.

Keep an eye out to see if your child:

  • Hides their screen or device when you or others are nearby and could sneak a peek
  • Won’t discuss what they are doing on the internet
  • Has a sudden increase/decrease in frequency of device use or is using it at strange hours
  • Shows anger or other high emotional responses when using their device
  • Starts to dodge social situations (particularly those that were once loved), becomes depressed, or shows no interest in people and/or activities
  • Creates new social media accounts or deletes their account

If you noticed any of these signs, your child may be involved with cyberbullying.

I noticed some signs. What next?

If your child is showing some signs of cyberbullying, it’s important not to push it to the wayside in hopes that it will resolve on its own. Often times, as a means of avoiding confrontation or having an awkward discussion, that’s what happens. Keep in mind that you are the adult. You are your child’s advocate. You know it’s not right and it needs to stop and be addressed.

Let your child know that you are concerned that something is happening to them online and that often times people pick on others in this manner because they are unhappy and lack confidence themselves. Make sure you talk to your child in a private, nonthreatening setting and remain calm and collected.

If they admit to being bullied, dig deeper to try and find out where the bullying is occurring. Often time’s people need to be blocked or accounts need to be deleted and then reestablished under a new user name. This is unfortunate, but can act as a deterrent for the bully.

If the bullying is happening through a school site, administrators should be contacted immediately to help put an end to the situation. All parties involved should be addressed and the manner should be put to rest. If the bullying continues or starts back up, further action is needed by the school.

Perhaps the best way to understand cyberbullying is by perusing the social media, gaming, and other frequented apps yourself. Having an understanding of how they work and how people interact on these sites may prove to be invaluable, especially when you have the discussion with your child and try to take corrective measures. You may have accounts on these sites and have witnessed the bullying that can occur first hand. Knowledge is power and it will help if you know all about those apps that your child visits.

dude in grass

Luckily, devices often are made with a parental control feature. Some are more detailed than others, but they allow you to have some control over what your child is allowed to do while on the computer/phone/tablet/etc. Make good use of these parental controls. Put a lock on various things that could be of danger or should be regulated. This way, you will have to enter a secret code that you created to give them access to those areas. It’s also advised to change that code on a regular basis.

Always remember, you are your child’s biggest role model. They look up to you in every area. Demonstrate positive behavior and positive interactions with others. Assist your child in building self-awareness and teach them to have empathy for others. This goes a long way.

Cyberbullying will probably always have some hold on the internet, because it’s an easy, faceless way for cowards to attack and prey on others. It’s important for everyone to know what to look for to spot if it’s happening, and what to do if they think it’s occurring.

For any additional resources or tips on how to prevent bullying, visit: