1. Make space for learning
Just as adults have a specific area of the home in which they do work, it’s important that you create a similar space for your child. Virtual school students do their best work in a quiet, comfortable and dedicated space that is devoted to learning. This should be a different set-up than the space where your student normally plays games or watches television.
2. Limit distractions
Cell phones, TV, music, and other media can be very distracting to a student learning at home. During learning times, limit your child’s use of devices to allow only those that are needed to complete schoolwork. Parents and guardians should set expectations about recreational use of devices during a designated break, making clear boundaries about what time the student must resume schoolwork. Student laptops and Chromebooks have many natural distractions. Consider using free Chrome Extensions, such as Block Site, to help disable distracting sites, including social media, music, TV and movie sites, during learning.
3. Stick to a schedule
Nothing helps a remote learner (or work from home professional) like routines and schedules. Strive to keep sleeping routines similar to the routines you would use if going to a traditional school and classroom each day. Your student will also work with the RVA advisors to prioritize and learn to create goals, tasks and deadlines. This will help you both know what is expected daily. Check in with your child's teacher or advisor if you would like to learn more about monitoring your child's schedule and completion of work.
4. Take breaks
We know that students function best with predictable schedules and routines, and alarms or timers can be helpful as the day goes along. At lunch time and other natural breaks in the day, encourage your student to move around, get fresh air, go for a walk or bike ride, or have a snack. Breaks can also be a great motivator, such as rewarding the completion of an assignment with a 15-minute cell phone break. Depending on the schedule outlined with an RVA advisor, some students benefit from a 45/15 minute routine, where 45 minutes of focused work results in 15 minutes of a break.
5. Communicate regularly
RVA advisors will help your child create a plan, schedule, goals and deadlines. They will also share progress reports to update on your child’s progress. Contact your child’s RVA advisors or teachers any time you have any questions, concerns or need support. Virtual school teachers are not able to observe how students are progressing in the same ways they would in a classroom. If you sense that your child is confused, frustrated, finding their work too easy, or struggling more than normal, please get in touch with our team. We are here to support your child's success.