Virtual Learning Can be a Life Saver

Virtual Learning Can be a Life Saver

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.

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!

What is Personalized Learning?

What is Personalized Learning?

Personalized Learning

Danielle Yanssens

Personalized Learning “refers to a diverse variety of educational programs, learning experiences, instructional approaches, and academic support strategies that are intended to address the distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations, or cultural backgrounds of individual students”, according to The Glossary of Education Reform by Great Schools Partnership. How does Back on Track, offer personalized learning?

When a student submits an inquiry online or calls the Back on Track office, we are able to offer them several different options to acquire their high school diploma. For students who have previously dropped out of high school and are 21 or older, we enroll them into Clintondale Virtual School, a credit recovery program which, for a small fee, allows adults to achieve their high school diploma. This appeals to adults who had considered getting their GED in the past, which limits their options for post-secondary education.

For those students who have previously dropped out of high school and are between the ages of 18 and 20, we suggest our tuition-free Step Up program where students work on one class at a time and are required to complete a minimum of one class per month, with the ability to work year round. This gives students the opportunity to work on completing their high school education at a faster rate than if they attending a full time high school. We have also found that for this population, students are able to find more success when focusing on just one course at a time, rather than the full six class course load.

Girl smiling by computer

Many students who are between the ages of 16 and 20 choose to attend one of our brick and mortar alternative education schools. This student population includes students that are teenage parents, potential dropouts, have been expelled from their traditional school, or have been court-ordered by the juvenile detention systems. Our alternative education locations offer various skilled trade courses where students can graduate with a certificate of completion to help them obtain employment right out of high school. While there is increased security at these locations, they are also staffed with caring employees who encourage students to complete their education and get on a better path for their future.

Parents with students in grades 6 through 12 will often contact us requesting information about our virtual school, My Virtual Academy. MVA partners with school districts throughout the state of Michigan, offering a fully online option for students. This appeals to a wide variety of students, including those looking to graduate early, students who struggle with mental or physical illness, teenage parents, students who do not feel safe in their traditional school due to bullying or students who have to work full time in order to help support their family.  We have students who are pursuing their passion, such as the theater or gymnastics, and choose online schooling to work around their schedules. Some parents even prefer their children attend a virtual school based on their cultural and religious beliefs.

In addition to the several different educational programs Back on Track offers to help meet the different learning needs of our students, we also offer a variety of learning experiences and instructional approaches. Our highly qualified, certified teachers ensure that the curriculum meets all Common Core Standards. Teachers have the ability to offer students different types of assessments based on their instructional needs, and offer in-person tutoring in addition to daily online tutoring. Students receive one-to-one instruction, with teachers contacting them a minimum of once per week, as well as participating in whole group activities in our weekly live sessions.

2016 graduates

While there are some obvious limitations to virtual and alternative learning, the many benefits often make Back on Track the best option for many students.