When you first start online schooling with your child, you may face a new set of challenges to work through. Adjusting to online learning can take some time and effort until you find a sustainable routine that lets your child maintain a healthy balance between schoolwork and their personal life.
It’s essential to figure out what kind of schedule and habits work best for your child, so they can navigate online school successfully while enjoying fun activities and time to relax. Review these hacks for online school to learn strategies to prepare your child for success.
1. Choose a Specific Learning and Study Space
One fundamental thing to consider when shifting to online schooling is your child’s learning space. Location can impact mood, productivity, and overall performance. Set your child up for success by ensuring they have the right resources, including a designated area to complete their schoolwork.
Their study space should include the following for optimal learning conditions:
- Good lighting: Make the most of natural lighting when you can, and supplement it with artificial lighting when you need to. Bright, indirect lighting can prevent eye strain and help reduce the risk of headaches.
- Flat work surface: Include a desk or table in your child’s workspace with enough room for their laptop, books, notes, and any other supplies they may need throughout the day.
- Privacy: Many older children will want to be free of distraction as they work, which means having a space to themselves.
- Supplies: Ensure your child has access to the tools they need as they work. This may include a laptop or tablet, pencils and notebooks, books, and other school supplies.
- Storage: Keep your child’s workspace clear of clutter with simple storage solutions. Add a bookshelf, overhead shelves, or store supplies in desk drawers for an organized workstation with accessible learning tools.
2. Eliminate External Distractions as Much as Possible
When learning from home, it’s easy for your child to become distracted by everything going on around them. Pets, siblings, phones, and easy access to food can all contribute to losing focus and straying from their schoolwork. Be proactive against distractions so your child can start enforcing healthy habits from the beginning.
Keeping a checklist of tasks to complete each day can help your child focus on their work by giving them clear goals to achieve before the end of the day. Make sure your child maintains a clean workstation and keeps their cellphone in a separate area for better concentration.
You can also incorporate a reward system. After completing an assignment or studying for a block of time, give your child a chance to take a quick break, get a snack, or play a tablet game before getting back to work. Having something tangible to work toward in a manageable chunk of time can help your child concentrate on the tasks at hand.
3. Manage Your Time Wisely
Learning productive time management techniques is crucial for success in online schooling. Unlike in a traditional school building, your child will have much more control over their schedule and will need to figure out how to find the time to complete their work independently.
Use these simple online school hacks to help your student plan their time wisely:
- Plan ahead: Look at deadlines and assignments well in advance and schedule time to complete work at least one week ahead of time. Prioritize essential tasks with larger blocks of time.
- Focus on one thing at a time: Avoid multitasking so you can put all your effort into one task at a time and produce more accurate and thorough results.
- Reward yourself: Give students some extra motivation by having rewards planned out for successful time management.
- Break tasks into manageable chunks: Break down daunting projects and assignments into manageable tasks and schedule accordingly.
4. Maximize Productivity by Listening to Ambient or Classical Music
Research shows that music can boost your mood and improve your work quality. Every child is different, and some researchers agree that the degree to which music improves your work depends on how much you enjoy listening to music in general. If your child is musically inclined, including background music in their school routine could help them concentrate on their work.
Some genres of music are more conducive to online learning than others and promote higher productivity and focus. Music without lyrics, such as ambient or classical genres, is more likely to increase focus and foster a calm, motivating environment.
5. Use Smart Searches to Find Things Quickly
One of the most useful online schooling hacks is learning to use search engines to find specific information efficiently. Conducting smart searches is an essential skill for all education levels and in the workforce.
Here are a few simple tips that can help your child find specific information and resources on Google and make their online schooling life much easier:
- Search for exact phrases: If you need to identify where an exact statistic or quote came from, surround your search with quotation marks to pull up results that include that exact phrase.
- Find related sites: When you find a good resource and want to see more sources like it, search “related:” with the site name to see results for related websites.
- Conduct time-sensitive searches: Google has an option under the “tools” section that lets you choose to see results from a specific timeline. When you need current sources for research, you can filter out older studies.
- Get results from specific domains: Many teachers prefer you cite websites that are from “.org” or “.edu” sources. Filter your search results to include only certain domains by including “site:” and your desired domain after your search query.
6. Stay Organized
Organization is a key component of navigating online schooling. Your child will be more successful at staying on top of projects, deadlines, and assignments if they can learn how to organize their time and workspace. Strong organization skills are linked to higher performance rates and greater future success.
One of the best ways to get organized is to use a planner or online calendar system. Fill out important deadlines and keep track of daily assignments so you know exactly what has to be done and when you have time to complete it.
It’s also crucial to keep your physical space clean. Ensure your child puts away all their books, notes, and school supplies at the end of each day so they can start each morning with a fresh slate.
7. Don’t Forget Your Physical and Mental Well-Being
While every parent wants to see their child prosper in a learning environment, prioritizing their mental and physical well-being over schoolwork is crucial. Online schooling is a relatively new system, and everyone is different when processing the transition from traditional schooling.
Ensure your child’s workspace is ergonomic and well-lit for optimal physical comfort and health. Additionally, let them know it’s okay to prioritize their mental health and recognize when they need to take a break. Plan time for socialization and outdoor play, eat healthy, balanced meals, and make sure you have plenty of time to rest and relax.
Contact CCA to Learn More About Online School
Commonwealth Charter Academy is a public online charter school for students in grades K-12. We offer a personalized curriculum designed to meet your child’s unique needs. CCA has a staff of state-certified and specially trained teachers committed to giving your child the knowledge, confidence, and skills they need to succeed.
Learn more about how your child can succeed in online classes at CCA, and contact us today!