When You Need More Than A Friend to Talk To: Reasons You Might Want to See A Therapist

When You Need More Than A Friend to Talk To: Reasons You Might Want to See A Therapist

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and we think it’s an important time to talk about keeping your teen’s mental health in check. As teens, you face a ton of things that take a toll on your mental health. Family issues, hormones, relationships, peer pressure, financial strains, and school can either enhance or hinder your mental state on a daily basis. When you are at the age that your brain is still developing and learning how to make informed decisions, these mental swings can be a lot to handle and digest.

Your parents and guardians try their best to help you learn how to deal with what life throws at you but sometimes it’s just not enough. You probably find it comforting to talk to friends about what you are going through but there may be times when talking to your parents and friends doesn’t cut it. It’s those times when it’s best to seek the help of a professional. Talking to a therapist can do wonders and really put things in perspective. Okay, so you’re open to talking to someone, but when do you know it’s time to ask your parents to make an appointment?

Here are the top 5 reasons that teens seek help from a therapist:  

  1. Behavioral issues. Have you found yourself in trouble in the past for your behavior? Have you been suspended? Do you get in trouble at home for acting aggressively? Do you get mad easily and lash out at your parents? A therapist could help you work through your anger problems and find ways to express yourself in a calmer manner.
  2. It’s perfectly normal for someone to feel down at times or to want their own space, but if you are experiencing sadness that lingers, the urge to withdraw from activities you once enjoyed, and/or are more irritable than normal, you may want to seek help from a therapist. Teens with depression should not be afraid to talk to a professional because the earlier they seek help, the better chance they have of not having it follow them into adulthood.
  3. Extreme stress. It’s normal for people at any age to feeTeen sitting with his head resting on his knees crippled with stressl stressed out. If you feel that despite your best efforts, it’s hard for you to manage your stress or if you are developing high levels of anxiety, a therapist can help teach you different techniques that can help you keep your stress at a manageable level and your anxiety in check.
  4. Problems at school. If you are being bullied or feel like you don’t fit in with others your age, your self-esteem can start to take a hit. Know that there is help for you. A therapist can help you build back up your self-esteem and help effectively address the problem of bullying.
  5. Processing grief or trauma. It’s very sad, but the reality is that teens experience trauma in their life such as a sexual assault, abuse, or a sudden death of a loved one or friend. The key is to seek help from a professional immediately, so you have the tools to process what happened and learn how to move forward.

A lot of the students that come to My Virtual Academy have had a lot of “life” happen to them. They’ve had to grow up quicker than most and are often left holding the bag with things that typically are left to adults. If you have faced a lot more than most teens and are looking for a different way to get your education, we’d love to discuss our virtual learning program with you. It’s a tuition-free, internet-based program that allows you to learn from the comfort of your own home, at times that best fit your daily schedule, and at a pace that’s just right for you. See how My Virtual Academy has helped thousands of teens just like you earn their high school diploma. Visit our website by clicking here or give us a call at 800-297-2119. We look forward to talking with you!

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!

Adding Physical Activity Into Your Teens Day

Adding Physical Activity Into Your Teens Day

Think back to when your middle or high schooler was a young child. Remember how they were little busy bodies, just bursting with energy? Those days were long and exhausting but you never had to worry if they were getting enough exercise because they never stopped moving, bopping from one activity to the next.

Now you have a tween or young teen. Their days of early rising are a thing of the past and their daily activity level has probably dwindled down. Adolescents tend to turn their attention off of physical activities like sports and dance and onto things like part-time jobs, friends, and their studies. They have a lot to juggle at this age and often times their fitness falls to the wayside.

It’s been shown that people who have led an active life starting at a young age tend to be active and healthy throughout their adult life. We all know that the benefits of an active lifestyle are plentiful. Not only will exercise help your teen to maintain a healthy weight, but people who exercise tend to have better outlooks on life, better overall health, and those who partake in sports have higher self-confidence. Let’s take a look at how you can encourage your teen to add fitness into their daily schedule and get them back on track.

Medical professionals recommend that tweens and teens get one hour or more of physical activity each day. Encourage your teen to incorporate some form of activity each day whether it is skateboarding, bicycling, yoga, swimming, sledding, snowshoeing, football, baseball, karate, etc. The list of exercise possibilities is endless.

Even everyday activities present exercise opportunities. Remember, chores burn calories (plus it frees your day up when the whole family helps with household chores). Need something from the convenience store at the corner? Have your teen walk there instead of driving. Is your teen looking for a part time job? Suggest they try babysitting. Watching kids is a sure way to burn calories because they keep you on your feet!

weight lifting activity

Some form of screen time is being had at most moments of the day, especially when your teen is a virtual learner. It’s no surprise it’s hard for teens to find time to exercise when upwards of eight or more hours each day are spent in front of the screen. This includes watching TV, completing their schooling, browsing online, and playing video games.

Sit down with your teen and discuss how you would like them to find time to add one hour of physical activity into each day. Let them have control on how they want to add it in. They may agree to wake up earlier and get it out of the way first thing. They may wish to break up their school day and clear their mind just before lunch. Or, they may find they like to exercise prior to bed. Anytime is fine as long as they agree to get it in.

Like most things, once you get rolling, the momentum builds and it’s easy to keep going. Exercise reduces stress, increases energy, and gives an overall feeling of good health. Once your teen starts adding daily exercise into their routine, they’ll love the feeling and want to keep going.

Just like when your kids were younger, try to encourage your teen to find activities that they find fun. When someone has fun, they are more apt to keep going. Suggest that they try to have a friend join them in their choice of exercise. They may find it more fun if they have an exercise partner to keep them on track and motivated. Plus, it gives them another opportunity to hang with their friends and what teen doesn’t want that?Physical Activity running

A great way to get your teen interested in exercise is to make it a family affair! Every member of the family will benefit from becoming more physically active. Join a local gym that offers something for everyone and go as a family every night. Becoming a healthier family will be good for everyone and you can help each other stay on track with your physical fitness goals. Be a positive role model for your teen by leading by example. After all, they look to you for guidance and follow in your footsteps.

Make sure that your teens don’t try to run a marathon their first time on the treadmill. If they have led a sedentary lifestyle, they will need to start off slow then build up their momentum. Trying to tackle too much at once will result in injuries and can be discouraging in the long run.

Talk to a doctor if you are concerned about your child not getting enough fitness or if they are at an unhealthy weight. They will be able to give you additional pointers and make sure that your teen is adding in a fitness activity that will best suit them.

Should your child have a medical condition that makes you concerned about them adding in exercise, bring this to your doctor’s attention also. Often times, there are still ways they can stay physically fit but it may take some modifications or shorter time intervals. Their doctors will be able to advise you properly.

Is there a type of activity that your teen enjoys doing? What activities do you do as a family to keep your family fit and active? Leave a comment down below and let us know! For more on how to get your teen motivated physically and mentally, visit our Facebook page.

Does Your Teen Struggle Motivating For The Day?

Does Your Teen Struggle Motivating For The Day?

The struggle is real folks. Teens love their sleep and motivating in the mornings can prove to be quite the challenge. Even though your student is a virtual learner, they still shouldn’t sleep the day away. If you are like many parents and have a hard time getting your teen up and motivated for the day, try some of these tips and hopefully your mornings will start to improve and become less stressful!

Encourage your teen to prep the night before.

Are there things that your teen typically puts off until the morning and then they are stressed and rushed? Something as simple as having your teen complete their coursework before bed can reduce stress and anxiety in the morning. Do you leave the home to work while your teen stays home to do their schooling? Ask them to make their lunch the night before and make sure everything is in order for the following day. You can relate this task to going to bed with a clean house versus a dirty one. When you have taken the time to do the dishes, clean up after dinner, and have everything in order, when you wake up the next day, you are fresh and ready to go. You aren’t playing catch up from the day before. Same goes for your student. If their “house” is in order, their morning will run smoother and they’ll be ready for whatever the new day brings.

Keep your teen’s morning straight to the point.

Avoid adding extra tasks to your teen’s plate early in the morning. When they prep the night before, the morning should be fairly routine and easy going. Unless something is urgent, try adding extra chores or things to their to-do list for the evening or weekends. Your teen could be grumpy in the morning and just like all of us, we don’t like it when we’re thrown a curve ball or have another expectation thrown on us when we are still waking up and getting ready for our day.

Encourage a reasonable bedtime.

Time To MotivateIt’s hard to get your teens to stick to a bedtime like they could when they were younger. Often times you may think they are sleeping but they are in bed on their phone or watching TV. When they are up late, it makes getting up in the morning that much more of a struggle. Your teen should aim to get an average of 8 hours of sleep per night so encourage them to go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time each day. This may not always be reasonable, depending on what’s going on in your lives, particularly on the weekends, but when you sleep and wake at the same time your body regulates and is working at its prime.

Let your teen make their schedule.

Being responsible about time management is a skill that is crucial for teens, especially teens that learn virtually. Distractions are abundant at home so it’s important to be aware of the time that is required to complete their coursework. The need to be able to tune out their surroundings and carve out the time needed to complete their schooling daily. Time management is an important skill that will be used for the remainder of their life so it’s best they learn about it now, while under your roof. Have your teen use an alarm clock so that they are responsible for waking themselves up. If they feel groggy in the morning and are not up to making themselves breakfast, give them some recipes for things that are easy and can be prepped ahead of time. Things such as overnight oats, breakfast burritos, or omelettes in a mug are things that require very little time in the morning yet will give them energy throughout the morning.

Make a checklist.

Try creating a morning responsibilities checklist for your teen. It will reroute their morning and set them on the right path for the day. If they struggle with time management, you could have their checklist accompanied by times of when those tasks should be completed. Have some extra time built in so if something takes longer than anticipated or something unexpectedly gets added to their morning routine, they don’t stress.

Ask them to make their bed and get dressed.Motivaitng in the morning

These two simple tasks have a BIG impact on a person’s day. When you make your bed, you are programming your brain to know it’s time for the day to start and you aren’t tempted to hit the sheets and crawl back into bed. It sets the stage for your day. The same thing goes for getting dressed. Although your teen could stay in their pajamas for virtual school, ask them to get dressed for the day. It changes their mindset and they will be more productive throughout the day.

Virtual learning is wonderful and students enjoy learning at home, in a comforting, relaxed environment. Just make sure that your teen isn’t sleeping the day away and then cramming everything into the evening. Cramming like that adds to stress and could put them behind. Following a routine as if they were attending a traditional school will help them with developing crucial time management skills and prep them with the life skills they’ll need once they graduate high school.

Have you checked out our Facebook page lately? Our staff is always posting updates about the school and other tidbits that help your student stay on track. Check it out by clicking here.

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.

Virtual Learning May Be Just What Your High Schooler Needs

Virtual Learning May Be Just What Your High Schooler Needs

If your high schooler is exhibiting signs that they may be struggling in school, it may be time to explore other schooling options. It’s very important that your teen continue to stay on track, working towards their high school diploma, regardless if it’s in a traditional classroom or from the comfort of their own home as a virtual student.

We realize every student is unique. What works for one student may not work for the next. That’s why it’s so important to provide students with a tailored program, and that’s just what we do at My Virtual Academy. Students love the flexibility and that they can work at their own pace. When students learn in this manner, a lot of pressure is relieved and they have a high rate of earning their high school diploma.

Other reasons that My Virtual Academy stands above the rest include:

  • Accreditation – We are accredited by Cognia.
  • Our teachers, success coaches, and mentors make personal contact to direct each student at least twice each week. Tutoring assistance is always available.
  • We use the Edmentum™ software and have customized its Plato® classes for high school student success. A team of grade specific teachers and curriculum specialists have created our own customized courses.
  • Our instructional design promotes learning through interacting with curricula by providing:
    • Student skills mastery and practice
    • Real-world application
  • Our curriculum is aligned with State standards. It is interactive and media-rich with activities and learning tools to really engage students.
    • Reading tools include dictionary, slide narration, and click-to-speak
    • Highlighter tool for note-taking
    • Computerized note taking section
    • Translation tools, especially helpful for ESL students
    • Scoring rubrics focused on learning and retention
    • Ability to replay and repeat lesson until mastery is achieved
  • Edementum™ Assessments provides a targeted intervention program using personalized, data-driven instruction to address the needs of all our students.
  • Teachers monitor each student’s progress and track activity and progress daily.
  • We keep parents informed and try to involve them in their child’s education.
  • Our curriculum can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week on any device.

Girl learning virtuallyOur wonderful staff at My Virtual Academy works diligently to ensure that every high schooler 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!