| TIPS ON MAKING DISTANCE LEARNING SUCCESSFUL FOR YOUR CHILD
Distance education offers a smorgasbord of educational opportunities and the utmost in flexibility. As a result, the advantages of distance learning are as varied and as individualized as the students themselves. There are many ways to maximize these advantages and optimize the distance learning experience for your family.
Are you going to choose an online school and use their full academic program, or are you going to use online classes/materials/resources to supplement your own educational plan?
- Determine your child’s learning style and then use it.
Everyone has their own learning style. Using your child’s learning style will make learning so much easier for your student! To determine the learning style of your student, you can request a free copy of “Homeschooling and Loving It” at Homeschool.com.
- 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 students 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. It can be anywhere your student feels comfortable and can be productive.
- Schedule learning and studying time (these are two separate things).
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 a campus.
Your student will need to log onto the course/school web site 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.
Studying time is also to be scheduled. This is time spent reviewing materials, studying for tests, etc.
Your student should 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 that your student prepares for assignments and tests.
Just like she would in a regular classroom situation, your student must prepare! This means taking notes, studying, and following through.
- Have your student set deadlines and stick to them.
It’s important that your student keep up with the assignment schedule, submitting all assignments in a timely manner. Adhering to deadlines is an important life lesson.
- Find your student’s most effective motivators and reward your student for staying on task.
Do your student (s) want to call their best friend? 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 his/her instructor, counselor, etc.
Your students should contact their instructors and counselors regularly, especially if they are having difficulties or have questions about coursework.
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 associated with his/her studies.
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?
Student progress…..student success…..student safety……a world of opportunity and knowledge…..all reasons we choose distance learning for our children. By following the above tips, you and your student can maximize the success of distance learning in your home.