Distance education offers a smorgasbord of educational opportunities and the utmost flexibility. As a result, the advantages of distance learning are as varied and as individualized as the students themselves. In fact, there are many ways to maximize these advantages and optimize the distance learning experience for your family.
Will you choose an online school and use its full academic program, or are you going to use online classes/materials/resources to supplement your own educational plan? Here are some tips to get started.
Determine & Implement Your Child’s Learning Style
Everyone has their own learning style. Additionally, using your child’s learning style will make learning so much easier for your student! Learn more about them here.
Have a Dedicated Study Space For Your Student
Talk to your student(s). How do they like to study? Find a place that is free from distractions and then stock it with the supplies your kids might need. Obviously, a desk area is ideal, but as a teenager and then later as a college student, my dedicated space was on top of my bed. Indeed, it can be anywhere your student feels comfortable and can be productive.
Schedule Separate Time for Learning and Studying
Because distance learning allows such freedom in setting one’s own study schedule, it’s also easy NOT to set a schedule — and not having a schedule is a HUGE mistake. After talking to your student, decide what time of the day is best for focusing on academics.
It’s important that your student schedule time every school day to work on courses (learning time) and adhere to the schedule as if he were attending class on campus. Your student will need to log onto the course/school website to stay on top of assignments, discussion forums, etc. Your students will need to check their e-mail frequently for messages from the instructor or from other classmates.
Of course, studying time is also to be scheduled. This is time spent reviewing materials, studying for tests, etc. Your student should also block out all other activities and not allow anything to interfere with learning and studying time. As a parent, you should emphasize that this time is a priority in your household.
Insist Your Student Prepares for Assignments and Tests
Just like he would in a regular classroom situation, your student must prepare! This means taking notes, studying, and following through.
Have Your Student Set and Stick to Deadlines
It’s important that your student keep up with the assignment schedule, submitting all assignments in a timely manner. In fact, adhering to deadlines is an important life lesson.
Find Your Student’s Most Effective Motivators to Stay on Task
Does your student(s) want to call their best friend? Of course, they can….right after they finish reading two history chapters! As a parent, you know what rewards work for your children. On occasion–use them!
Have Your Student Stay in Touch With Their Instructor, Counselor, etc.
Additionally, your students should contact their instructors and counselors regularly, especially if they are having difficulties or have questions about coursework.
Moreover, instructors like hearing from students! They don’t consider it a bother at all. I have always encouraged my kids to interact with their teachers. Teachers like the connection, and it benefits the children on so many levels!
Encourage Your Student to Join a Study Group or Club
See what is offered locally. Perhaps your library has a book club or your community has a quilting club. Perhaps your student can get together with local students who are enrolled in the same program/school. These are both academic and social opportunities for your child.
Encourage Your Student to Put What He is Learning Into Action
We all know that if you truly want to learn the most from a subject, you should try to use it in everyday life. If your child is taking a foreign language, find people who are fluent in speaking the language. Find mentors to help in the educational process!
Evaluate Your Student’s Progress Regularly
Are they getting it? If they aren’t, they need your help!