Time management may be the most critical way to stay on top of virtual schooling and due dates. With virtual school, there may not be any set start and end times for schoolwork. This requires the student and the support at home to find a way to manage their time. No teachers are standing over the student to keep them focused and on-task.
The student’s independence with online learning can be an incredible asset for later in life, but being able to differentiate independence from total schooling freedom can become an issue. The student must learn how to manage their time. If they are unable to hone this skill, it can be detrimental to their learning experience.
Staying organized will be pivotal for staying on top of virtual school due dates and assignments. If a student is all over the place, they’re more likely to forget to do something. Each student’s organization tactic could mean something different from the next. Whether the student needs to keep a calendar up to date with all assignments and due dates or create a checklist with all assignments may need to be established with some trial and error.
Social Activities: Fitting Them In
Socialization is a huge part of a child’s development. Without the social interaction of a traditional school environment, the student can fall behind on this development. That is why the student needs to join or keep up with any social activities they would like to.
Whether this is a sports team or a hobby, the student should feel no pressure to stop going because they are no longer in traditional schooling. These social activities should be encouraged, primarily because the student could struggle with their schoolwork without these activities. If there is no work and play balance in students’ lives, they could become weary of learning.
Finding the Perfect Workspace
A workspace should be comfortable but also effective. Sometimes it may be harder to find a workspace that is the student’s own, and that’s fine. The important thing is to make sure the space is clean and available for students anytime they need it. When choosing a workspace, it’s best not to choose a space that the student already associated with something else.
For example, the kitchen table or counter may not be the best choice because those spaces are associated with eating and food. While working in the space, the student may become distracted by what they associate the space with. Another space to avoid is a couch or bed. While these may be some of the more comfortable spaces, they are associated with sleep and relaxation, which can cause the student to find it challenging to stay focused.
If your space is limited, get started keeping the student associating any space with their schooling as soon as possible. Have the student do all their work in this space, so they begin to keep focused as they associate the space with online learning.
Try to keep the space as clean as possible as well. Remove any clutter to avoid it getting in the way, physically or mentally. A clean workspace includes eliminating any distractions. As long as the student has a comfortable and effective workspace, they will keep up with all their assignments.
Remember to Take Breaks and Increase Productivity
Taking breaks will reduce stress, but it can also allow the student to be more focused when learning which can increase productivity. A student that is bored won’t be willing to learn and therefore will not retain much. Allowing the student to take brain breaks will keep the student willing and able to get all assignments done and stay on top of all due dates.
Keeping a Schedule
Keeping a schedule may seem like it coincides with time management and organization, but sometimes people follow through on one thing and not the other. Some students find it easy to manage their time, but once they put everything in their schedule, including lessons, social activities, and things such as bedtime and wake-up times, they begin to struggle. It’s essential to find a routine that works and stick with it.
Finding the time to make sure online learning gets done requires a schedule to be made. This can also benefit the work itself. Some students find it easier to work in the morning, while others find it easier to work in the afternoon. Establishing a schedule and keeping to it will allow the student to get the most out of their learning experience, ensuring that the time they are dedicating to virtual school is when it will be most beneficial for them.
Creating a Support System
Some students have a built-in support system, but others may not have that at home. Without the structural support system of a traditional school, a student could find virtual schooling difficult. The student can build a support system, or you, the parent, can do it for them. If a student doesn’t have a built-in support system at home, they can seek it from friends or neighbors. For those with a family at home with a set support system, it’s important for the student to feel that support.
A support system should be there every step of the way as the student navigates their schoolwork. The support system should also be there emotionally and mentally. If you see your child struggling one day, ask them what’s wrong.
The support system should also understand what commitments are required of the student and the schedule the student must uphold. Sometimes the student will need someone to put them back on track. A solid support system allows the student to feel comfortable coming to them when they are having issues. Help build that for the student to keep them focused.