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.
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!
Talk to an enrollment specialist today: 855-682-2333