Summer months are ideal for students to unwind, reset, and build on their skills. But with so much freedom to do anything, it can be tricky for students to refocus on the academic preparation needed as summer winds down and the online school year approaches. Thankfully, it’s a matter of parents and students finding the right balance between downtime and schoolwork. Let’s dive into what you can do now to lay the groundwork for a seamless and successful virtual academic year ahead.
Explore Your Online School’s Resources
Most schools have an extensive range of online resources, including learning platforms, rubrics, and even coaches and guidance counselors. These resources help give students an idea of what the curriculum will look like so they better understand what to expect. Students who are familiar with the school’s platform, format, and learning materials are better equipped to succeed. This knowledge also helps with time management and focus, so students are better prepared to complete their online assignments and assessments on time.
Encourage Positive Thinking
A positive attitude sets the tone for a good year ahead. Speak words of encouragement and praise to your student and help them establish positive self-talk, which is important for them to achieve their academic goals. For example, if your student is struggling in a particular subject, instead of getting frustrated, find creative ways to encourage them by focusing on their strengths and reminding them that hard work and perseverance pay off. Also, encourage them to view “failure” as a learning experience, embracing it as an opportunity to evaluate, revise, and improve. If needed, seek out enrichment or academic support opportunities to help your student increase their confidence and academic skills.
Set Personal Goals
It’s essential for your student to have a clear vision of what they want to achieve. Involve your student in the goal-setting process by finding out what motivates them and then making it fun. Use vision boards, tracking charts, or create a positive environment to encourage them to work toward their goals. The goals should be achievable, realistic, and timely, to help your child stay on track. Motivate them by celebrating small successes along the way and reflecting on obstacles that they have overcome.
Create a Flexible Schedule
Online students who work from home do best with a set routine and schedule to encourage good time management habits. Along with academic activities, plan for daily physical exercise and outdoor activities, which will help students keep their stress levels down, sharpen their minds, and set the stage for the upcoming academic year. Creating a flexible schedule will help students take control of their time and be proactive in determining when they should be studying and when they need to take a break. Don’t forget to block out time for recreation, family time, and relaxation.
Communicate with Teachers and your Learning Success Coach
Finally, don’t hesitate to reach out (or encourage your student to reach out) to online teachers or their Learning Success Coach (LSC) with any questions or concerns. This way, you’ll pave the way for better communication for the upcoming school year. Depending on the need, teachers and LSCs may provide supplemental learning material, clarify assignments, provide study tips, or offer advice to your student when needed.
Going back to school can be an exciting time for both students and their families. With the right planning and preparation, families can equip their students with tools and resources required to ensure a successful school year. All it takes is small steps, setting reasonable goals, and the commitment to improve continually.