Online learning platforms are relatively new when compared with traditional schooling environments. Even though they have been around for a number of years now, parents can be a little apprehensive when contemplating about enrolling their child in an online school. Yes, there is a learning curve and the environment for learning online is nothing like a traditional classroom. That is why there are a few things parents need to keep in mind when considering this option. Here are some tips for a smooth adjustment when transitioning from a traditional school to online homeschooling.
Stay Focused on Your Goals
The most important thing to keep in mind when transitioning from a traditional classroom environment to an online homeschooling environment is the reason why you are opting to do so. The primary reason most parents choose to enroll their children in an online school is to ensure they receive a quality education that allows them to achieve their full potential. In order to achieve this objective, parents need to stay focused on their goals for their children at all times.
Plan Your Schedule & Stick to It
In a traditional schooling environment, everything is done for you. It is the responsibility of the school authorities to plan and schedule activities for the day. All the students have to do is show up. On the other hand, in an online homeschooling environment, you are accountable for planning your child’s schedule for the day. This entire process comprises two important phases. The first one is to draw up a plan that works for your child, and the second one requires you to stick to it, if you are to be successful.
The beauty of online schools lies in the design of their virtual learning environments. They are designed and developed to cater to the individual needs of different students. This means students of all ages can customize their own learning schedule and make them work around their own individual lives.
Adapt Along the Way
Drafting a schedule with fixed timelines doesn’t mean you have to strictly adhere to them. While it is advisable not to stray too far from them, you should allow yourself some leeway in adjusting to your new timelines for online homeschooling. Most people focus only on the learning curve for students. But there is also a learning curve involved for their parents. Parents have never done anything like this before. That is why, at The Ogburn Online School, we have a dedicated team of teachers and academic advisors to help you and support you while you make this transition.
It is important that parents understand the need to alter schedules along the way. In fact, this is one of the key features on an online learning platform. In traditional schools, there is one set pace for learning for the entire classroom. That isn’t the case with online homeschooling. You have to experiment and vary the pace to determine what pace suits your child the best. Accordingly, you need to alter your schedule to bring out the best in your child.
Schedule Time for Socializing
In a traditional classroom, social interaction is a given. Your child is surrounding by students all day long. This makes it easier to make friends and interact with students of different ages. In an online school however, you need to make time for social interaction for your child. Find out if there are any other children in your neighborhood who’ve also opted for online homeschooling and buddy up with their parents. Schedule play time with their kids and work on plans for other activities. This way, your child won’t miss out on the whole experience of bonding with children of different ages. You get the best of both worlds.
Learning at home is one of the most important advantages of online homeschooling. However, just like conventional classrooms, a child’s home environment too, comes packed with distractions. Make sure you limit the number of distractions your child has access to during study hours. Social media should be a strict no-no during study time because that can be a major “time-waster”.
For toddlers, this can be an entirely different ballgame. They may not be able to comprehend the difference between spending time at home and studying at home. To them, online homeschooling may seem like just an extension of their usual life. Parents usually find it hard to clamp down on them at this stage. But while it may seem hard at first, you can be rest assured that your child will adjust soon enough. Once they make the distinction between study time at home and play time, your life will become a whole lot easier.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Once you’ve put in all the hard work and done all the groundwork, it’s time to evaluate your child’s performance. Make sure you stay on top of things every step of the way. Some online homeschooling platforms, like the one we have at The Ogburn Online School, provide you with an integrated feedback system that allows you to monitor your child’s progress in real-time.
Use these online tools to evaluate the feedback provided by teachers and implement their suggestions to improve your child’s performance. This is what makes online learning platforms so much more efficient than traditional schooling environments. You no longer have to wait for periodic report cards or detailed progress reports from the school to evaluate how your child is doing in school. You can now do that in real-time from the comfort of your own home.
Focus on these different aspects and we’re sure you’ll get the most out of the online homeschooling experience.