10 Questions about Going (Back) to Virtual School
When more and more school supplies begin surfacing at the store, you know that summer is winding down and the new school year is approaching. If your family is switching to virtual school and you’re not sure which materials to stock up on, it’s time to prepare by asking these 10 questions about going back to school in a virtual setting.
Compiled below is a list of links to resources that can help both new and returning parents and Learning Coaches get ready for a great year. Hint: With online school, it’s more about prepping yourself than it is about the supply cabinet. Read the questions below to find what you need to know.
1. What are some ways my student can socialize in virtual school?
Besides participating in in-person field trips organized by the school, students can check out Online School Clubs and Activities that provide opportunities to interact with other kids and explore different interests. If your student is returning to virtual school, don’t forget to revisit the list to see if any new clubs have been added. For more information, find out Why Joining The Monitor News and Other Online Clubs and Activities Is Easy.
2. What is the teacher’s role in supporting my student from a distance?
Lessons, assignments, and tests may be completed on the web, but Teachers Make All the Difference in virtual school. Teachers are accessible to parents, Learning Coaches, and students by phone and email, and new parents can even Connect with a Connections Academy Teacher before a student enrolls.
Teachers are so willing to help that one instructor wrote a song about it, which you can check out here: Call Me (Maybe): Teacher Support for Virtual School Families. But if you start asking “Why Don’t You Call Your Teacher?” and your student is hesitant to reach out, see what this teacher has to say about making excuses.
3. How can I prepare for the challenges of virtual school?
When the school year begins, you and your student need to make sure you’re both prepared to succeed. The best method is to get organized, so learn more about Starting Strong: Organization Tips for New Online Learning Coaches, even if you’re familiar with virtual school and just need a refresher.
Learning Coaches have to balance school with their existing responsibilities, so it’s important to make things easy for yourself. Check out Learning Coach Secrets: 9 Sanity-Saving Hints for Virtual School Families to squeeze some extra time into your day.
If your student is struggling to get started, determine the problem and find a cause as soon as possible. If he or she simply isn’t interested in learning, work on Overcoming the Why Do I Need to Learn This Syndrome to get him or her motivated again.
4. How is personalized learning balanced with the expectations of the curriculum?
No matter what kind of school your student attends, you’ll want to know what he or she is expected to learn each year. But at a virtual school that accommodates personalized learning, how much does the curriculum allow you to customize your student’s lessons?
First, take a closer look at the online school curriculum to understand the framework of your student’s education. Next, find out exactly how personalized learning works and compare it to the curriculum structure.
Finally, see how parents and Learning Coaches can personalize school for their students on a weekly basis using these 6 Steps to Preparing for Virtual School Lessons.
5. How can I create an effective learning environment for my student?
When you’re kicking off a new school year, prepare to shift gears so you’re ready for a successful start. Read through these back-to-school tips on Creating a Positive Home Learning Environment, which can guide you effectively through the first few weeks of the school year.
Most importantly, make sure you understand or revisit How to Identify Your Educational Philosophy and Why You Need One. This philosophy is crucial for establishing goals and keeping perspective on your student’s education.
6. What are the rules in a virtual classroom?
Although the teacher will have certain rules regarding school lessons and assignments, parents and Learning Coaches take the lead when it comes to setting expectations for the virtual school day.
Start by reviewing The ABCs of Virtual Classroom Etiquette. These guidelines can serve as helpful reminders for returning students at the start of the year, or they can help new students learn how to integrate into the virtual school setting.
Don’t forget to establish or review the rules for online etiquette as well. Attending online school means more exposure to the web, so make Keeping Kids Safe on Social Networks and minimizing virtual distractions your priorities.
7. How is my student’s behavior monitored?
Virtual school students don’t have the same in-person teacher oversight found in a brick-and-mortar classroom. Instead, the Learning Coach plays a significant role setting expectations for behavior and handling discipline.
So how does this differ from the parent’s role in monitoring behavior? Learn more about The Role of Parent vs. That of Online Learning Coach to find out.
8. How do I encourage good behavior during the school day?
The key to Making Virtual School a Success is keeping your student motivated, which will keep his or her daily behavior on track. For a better idea of the standards you should aim for, review the 5 Elements of Student Motivation in Virtual School.
Take a look at this list of 10 Ways to Make Effective Reward Systems for Kids in Virtual School for specific ideas on how to help your student become a self-motivated learner.
9. How do I help my student make his or her best effort?
Teachers, parents, and Learning Coaches all play a role in encouraging their student to do his or her best. But if your student isn’t trying very hard, what do you do? Uncovering the Reason for Underachieving could help you identify any underlying factors that are affecting his or her performance.
On the other hand, some students struggle to stay on task because they’re afraid of doing poorly. Learn more about Procrastination: When Perfection Isn’t Good Enough and how you can help an ambitious student get things done.
10. How do I track my student’s performance in virtual school?
Thanks to Accountability & Achievement tools, you can check on your student’s academic progress whenever you want. At Connections Academy, the education management system Connexus® keeps track of grades, attendance, and more.
To make your student more accountable at home, take steps to improve the school day with these Tips to Increase Student Focus and Tips and Tricks to Establishing Online Learning Routines.
What other questions do you have about going back to school? Don’t hesitate to ask!