Whether you are new to online school or a well-seasoned veteran, now is a good time think about what it takes to succeed in this particular educational endeavor. You can set your student up for success by following these basics steps.
4 Steps for Successful Online Learning
Step 1: Plan for Success
Students, their families, and their teachers need to have an agreed learning goal. It might be clear to everyone that the goal is to complete third grade curriculum by the appointed end date but what is the plan to ensure that happens? Will the student complete a certain percentage per class, per week? Or will the student focus on two courses at a time? Whatever the plan is, it needs to have deadlines and a way to keep the student accountable.
Step 2: Set up a Successful Learning Environment
Once a plan is in place, it’s time to get to work! Here are a few things to be considered when setting up a successful environment for online learning:
- Schedule – When will your student work? Which days of the week and what time of the day? How will music lessons, sports practices, and online learning opportunities figure into the schedule?
- Supplies – Yes, of course your student needs a computer or other device, but they also need some traditional school supplies as well. These could include a notebook to journal time and topics covered, scrap paper to work math problems, a scientific calculator if taking higher math, copy paper and a printer for downloaded assignments, calendar, printed assignment list, and contact information for teachers/success coach/tech support.
- Location – Where will your student work most effectively? In a quiet room at a desk? Sprawled on a coach with music playing?
Knowing your student’s learning style is critical for knowing what kind of learning environment will enable your student to succeed.
Step 3: Know Who Can Help You Succeed
Your student’s teachers and success coach are great resources for learning success. Be sure your student knows how to contact their teachers and that you yourself have established communication with them. At IVLA, your success coach is your go-to person for anything school related. What they do not know immediately, they will find out. When you receive messages from your student’s success coach, be sure to look closely at the progress made as well as any information the success coach includes. A key to success in online school is to reach out for help as soon a question or issue arises.
If your student needs regular assistance or tutoring, look for local tutors or family members to assist your student. Another resource is online tutors available at www.time4tutoring.com.
Step 4: Be Sure Your Student is Showing Progress
Obviously, making progress is crucial to success in online school. Not only is it essential to meeting academic goals but also it is required by school policy and state laws. For example, at IVLA if progress is not made in any course for a month, the account is deactivated. If the parent does not contact the school within two weeks to reactivate the account, IVLA is required to send a letter of truancy. If illness or travel or other reasons keep a student from working for any length of time, teachers or success coach should be notified.
Online school is an incredible opportunity for your student to work at their own pace in an environment and schedule that best fits your family. Together with the highly qualified teachers provided by your online school, you can provide your student a successful educational experience.