Making the move from traditional education models to online high school is a big shift. If you’ve decided that online high school is right for your child’s needs, you’re making a commitment to a lifestyle change for the whole family. Are you ready to adapt your support system to the online format to enable your child’s success? A little effort can go a long way when it comes to modeling healthy behaviors, determining boundaries, and setting your child up for a successful online high school experience.
Dedicate a Learning Space
The flexibility of online education is a big draw for families with children who thrive in non-traditional learning models. That flexibility, though, can lead to some unhealthy habits if the proper boundaries are not put in place. People thrive in spaces dedicated to specific activities; the association of a specific setting with a specific task primes your brain for focus and execution of the task. Your child’s setting for education should be clean, neat, and free of distractions. Not their bed, not the couch in front of the TV. Work together to find an ideal solution conducive to your child’s learning style.
Help Build Good Habits
Online high school presents the opportunity to teach good habits that will follow your child through life and enable their success. The less restrictive format of online high school does not mean that students can succeed without a schedule. Building a calendar and teaching your child self-accountability will go a long way. Regular check-ins of their progress are important as well. However, do not fall into a trap of completing their education for them. Virtual high school is a perfect format for teaching your young adult self-reliance, an important lesson in life that many miss out on.
Communicate Early and Often
As with all things, communication is key to success for the digital high school experience. Do not allow the computer screen to become a wall between you and your child’s experience. Keep talking to your student and to their instructors, just as you would with a traditional high school. Keep talking about school as part of the daily routine. Encourage your students to share their passions and interests as they learn an explore. Opportunities for them to teach the rest of the family about what they’re learning are a great way to nurture enthusiasm and reinforce lessons.
This is probably the most difficult lesson for any parent. Online high school can be a strange factor to adapt to as a family. It puts a lot more accountability on student and requires much more trust throughout the family. Don’t be afraid to be firm with them when needed, especially if they are putting their education at risk. Stick to your values and principles and require the same honesty and transparency from yourself as you expect from them. These changes can be initially uncomfortable but offer great ways to grow together as a family.
Want to learn if Achieve Virtual is right for your child? Contact us to discuss your family’s needs today.