A Parent’s Role in Virtual Education
Because of the increased autonomy and self-motivation required to be successful in an online program, parent involvement is generally a key indicator of a successful virtual school experience. Studies show that there is a direct positive correlation between parent involvement and student success. This could probably be said for both face to face courses and virtual courses, but the connection to online classes is very clear. Simply put, virtual schools work better when parents take an active role in their child’s education. There are several ways that parents can get involved.
An important website to bookmark is our Achieve Virtual log in page. This takes you to Genius, our student information system (SIS). Parents have access to this website where they can find information about their student’s progress. This is a great place to see how many assignments your student has completed. Genius creates a pacing guide for you and your child to reference. It divides how many assignments they have left with the number of days left in the semester. This will give you an idea of how much work your child should do each day to stay on track to complete the course. It is here that you can also see student grades for current and past courses, including access to the unofficial transcript. We encourage all of our parents to reference this website on a regular basis to track their child’s progress.
In addition to using our SIS to track progress, a physical presence can be very helpful. Although not all parents of virtual students can stay home most of the day, daily and/or weekly monitoring should still be a priority. Daily checking on the progress of your child, especially at the beginning of their virtual school experience, is critical. As students become more comfortable and self-motivated with online courses, this monitoring can decrease.
Part of the monitoring each day or week should include checking the number of assignments that are getting completed, checking for student understanding, and affirming on-task behavior (as opposed to lots of time spent playing online games, browsing social networking sites, etc.). Your child may need assistance with developing a schedule for themselves and setting goals. The teachers and staff at Achieve assist with this, but we can be even more successful if families can serve as coaches for their students in this way, as well.
Here’s a tip! When helping your child map out their work for the day or week, have them start with the tasks and classes that are less desirable. By saving the classwork that the student is really looking forward to until the end, he or she can maintain momentum and motivation to continue working.
Encourage and Motivate
Being a positive encourager is possibly the most important role for the parent in a virtual school setting. Praise your child’s successes. Just as you would display good work from a traditional school on the refrigerator and the walls, do the same for your student’s online work. Surround them with examples of the positive things they are accomplishing.
When helping your child understand a concept or complete assignments, be encouraging without giving answers away. Coach your student and certainly work with them. If something becomes too difficult or they do not seem to understand, you or your child should contact the teacher and request additional assistance. Meanwhile, continue to be positive and encouraging with your child.
Here at Achieve, we acknowledge the importance of strong communication with parents and support from the families of our students. Thank you for being an involved part of your child’s education!