Moving to online learning from a traditional school setting can be a significant adjustment for students and their families. Check out these online school tips to help you develop a plan for the start of school.
Traditional School vs. Online School
As you and your child are transitioning from traditional school to online learning, it is essential to understand the difference between the two. Traditional school is brick and mortar education, where students spend eight hours each day moving between pre-determined lessons before heading home to study more.
Online school covers the same topics as traditional education but offers additional benefits. Flexibility is one of the main perks of enrolling in online learning. With this learning method, you and your child can create a learning schedule that fits their needs and learning preferences. They can learn when best for them, encouraging them to excel and succeed.
Personalization is another unique aspect of online schools. Your student can follow what interests them with personalized curricula and pathways. They can explore subjects they like and discover new material and applications they will want to pursue more. Teachers and counselors work directly with students and families to help prepare students for success and their futures.
5 Simple Swaps to Make Before the First Day
As you prepare for the start of online school, there are some easy ways you can make the transition to online learning easier for your child and help them adjust.
1. Set Up an At-Home Workspace
When students are used to a clear separation between school and home, you can help ease the transition from traditional school by establishing an area within the home that will serve as their designated workspace for school. These workspaces are unique and depend on the needs of your child. You can specify a room for their studies or separate a section of another room, like the kitchen or bedroom.
While online education allows your child to work from anywhere, you will want a space that optimizes their learning methods. Creating a solid space can help ease the transition to their new learning environment.
2. Buy Supplies to Keep at Home
Supplies are often available at a traditional school, whether provided by teachers or students. This way, students can access what they need whenever they need it. You can help ease stress and streamline your child’s transition from traditional school by ensuring they have everything they need in their workspace.
You can also talk to them about materials they like to use and keep solid stock. Each student has a unique system for the supplies that help them succeed in school. With online schools’ freedom, flexibility, and personalization, students can invest in what works best for them.
3. Upgrade Your School Equipment
You can help your child adjust to online school by upgrading their equipment. Back-to-school upgrades are typical in the fall when students need new materials that have worn through from the year before, like notebooks, backpacks, and even clothes. However, online education comes with unique needs you’ll need to refresh as the start of school approaches.
Consider the technology you have available and what needs updates and upgrades. Does your student have access to a laptop or computer they can use specifically for schoolwork? Do you have a printer with a steady supply of ink for when they need it? Do they have access to a headset with a microphone that they can use to participate in class? Keep in mind, your online school may provide some of these items already.
4. Request Resources to Arrive at Your Home Address
If you discover you need materials you don’t have when transitioning from traditional school to online learning, you can request them from your school. At CCA, we offer technical materials like a laptop, monitor, and printer to students to ensure they are ready for the start of school. All laptops are pre-prepared for your convenience, so your student has everything they need for the first day of classes. CCA also provides other necessary materials like workbooks and learning supplies, and we will send everything right to your home.
5. Minimize Home Distractions
While you might have already tried to minimize distractions when developing your student’s workspace, there are many ways to eliminate distractions at home while your child works. An ideal school space is:
- Quiet: Make sure the area is somewhere quiet with minimal distractions. Their bedroom might be less centralized than the kitchen, but it might give them easy access to their phones or toys. A calm space can provide them with an area where they can focus solely on their coursework and hear lessons with ease.
- Clean and organized: Clutter can distract as well, and schoolwork can create it with various papers, folders, and writing utensils for your student to keep track of. Before school starts, you can help them transition by implementing ways to keep it clean and organized.
- Comfortable and functional: An uncomfortable chair or desk can distract from work as much as noise. Especially since students have little control over furniture and comfort at traditional schools, creating a comfortable and functional workspace at home can help get them excited to work from home.
Have your child print out their daily and weekly schedule. You can encourage others in the house not to disturb them at the time. Working with their learning schedule can help keep them on track.
How to Ease Your Child’s Transition to Online School
While you can make changes to your home to help prepare your child for the start of their new school, you can also implement new habits to help them transition from a very different learning environment. You can help ease the change by:
- Creating a realistic schedule: While traditional schools control their students’ schedules, with online schooling, your child’s learning is up to them and their self-motivation. It might take time for them to discover self-discipline or when they learn best. Creating a learning schedule can help them stay on track and give them some structure as they adjust to online learning.
- Setting rules for learning times: You can help develop their self-control during online school by starting them off with good habits. Establish the expectations for learning times, such as not using their phone or listening to music.
- Acting as a resource to your child: As your child switches to online learning, parents will become more than just parents — they also serve as learning coaches for their children. Encourage your child to come to you with questions and concerns. However, CCA also works with families to help them adjust through our family mentoring program that matches new online parents with existing ones for support and guidance. Teachers and school counselors are also available when you need them.
- Offering encouragement as they adjust: Switching schools is challenging for students, but changing learning methods can offer additional difficulties. Remind your child of how well they are adapting and the benefits of switching to online learning.
Implementing these online school tips can help you and your child adjust to virtual learning.
Learn More About Online School at Commonwealth Charter Academy by Checking Out Our FAQs
Transitioning to a new learning environment can offer unique challenges for students, but online learning can provide several benefits to your child that can impact their education and future. With increased personalization and flexibility, you and your student can have more control over their learning.
If you have questions as you and your family adjust to learning with CCA, we offer many online resources to help parents and students, including our FAQ page. For additional questions not covered there or if you are interested in enrolling, please request information from CCA today.