Kids all learn differently, so sometimes traditional schooling isn’t what they need. Even though they may love their teachers or school activities, there are many benefits to virtual classes that may be better for them.
Parents might feel intimidated to become both parent and teacher, but your kids will have a great experience with the right tips. Learn more about how to make your cyber school/virtual school transition easier, even if you’ve never done it before.
1. Use Familiar Technology
Investing in the latest technology seems like a smart move. Your child’s education will depend on the programs and software they use. An outdated laptop that barely holds a charge will only be the source of daily frustrations.
At the same time, it’s better to stick with familiar technology. Adapting to cyber school and learning a new operating system complicates things. If you’re better with PC or Mac computers, upgrade what you already know how to use.
2. Establish a Routine
In-person learning could never happen if students and teachers didn’t have a routine. Cyber school students need that too. After you know what classes your kids will take, write down their daily schedules, and post them where they can easily see them.
Include things in their routine like:
- Waking up on time
- Eating breakfast
- Taking breaks during the day
- Maintaining a lunch period
- Prioritizing study sessions
Eventually, everyone will memorize the schedule and virtual schooling will become the new normal.
3. Prepare Your Supplies
Before your child’s first class ever begins, stock up on the essentials so you have everything you need. Grab your shopping list and add things such as:
- Required textbooks
- Pens and pencils
- A printer that prints and scans documents
As the semester continues, you can add other things as you need them. Some parents prefer to use whiteboards to teach visual lessons for younger kids. Older students might need sound-blocking headphones to focus on live lectures.
Above all, make sure you have fast Wi-Fi. Everything will slow down and video quality will drop if you have more than one student trying to learn at the same time. Upgrade to avoid the headaches from lagging audio lessons and painfully slow homework uploads.
4. Set New Goals
Everyone benefits from recognizing the purpose of what they do. Sit down with your kids and set new goals for their upcoming semester or school year.
Talk about grades they want to achieve or subjects they want to get better at. You might ask them to sit still during class or not pick up their phones until the lesson is over. Goals drive students to work harder at both in-person schools and in your home.
5. Ask for Help
Even if you spend all your time reading about what to expect, the experience could still feel overwhelming. It’s a lot to get used to and there’s pressure to know what you’re doing right away. Your child’s future depends on the quality of their education. Potentially messing it up is a big worry for new cyber school parents.
Meeting with a mentor who’s there to support you will make your cyber school transition easier because you won’t feel alone. They’ll know what you’re going through and how to overcome new challenges. Their guidance will ease your nerves more than hours spent worrying about finding solutions.
6. Discuss Their Challenges
Every parent needs to sit down with their kids and reflect regularly. Keep an open line of communication. Your child should feel comfortable enough to explain what they like and don’t like about their new experience. Fine-tuning your first few weeks of cyber school together is a massive help to everyone involved.
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Before you start these discussions, work on your communication skills so nothing comes off the wrong way. What you say, how you say it and what body language you use all plays a role in how comfortable your kids feel about speaking honestly around you.
7. Create Social Connections
Sometimes children become lonely when they homeschool. It’s all too easy to slip into isolation when they spend their days participating in classes at the kitchen table or doing homework in their room. Create an intention to foster healthy social connections by giving your kids opportunities to connect with people.
After they start school, consider fun, engaging activities that interest them, like:
- Homeschooling study groups
- Community sports teams
- Local clubs
- Educational field trips with friends
- Part-time jobs
Let your kids have some time to get used to cyber school and form a routine. Once everything stops feeling new, they should consider these activities to make new friends.
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8. Give Your Kids Space
As children grow up, they need to learn how to be independent. Cyber school is a great way to do that. After they know how to complete their classes and what their daily life looks like, give your kids space. Let them take control of their education.
While you watch from a distance, they’ll learn crucial abilities like time management, communication skills, and critical thinking. These skillsets will carry them through their adult years and help them achieve lifelong success.
Don’t Set Expectations
As you use these tips to make your cyber school transition easier, don’t set expectations. Create healthy goals instead. Give yourself and your kids room to grow within your homeschooling experience. With time, you’ll know for sure if it’s the right thing for your family’s education.