10 Things Successful Online Education Families Do

Guest post from thinkTANK12 blogger Stephanie Hoaglund. Go to thinkTANK12 and other posts here.

1. Plan Ahead. Use the Advance Prep button a week ahead of time to review lessons for the upcoming school week. This tool allows you to see exactly how many days ahead you need to prepare for lessons, and what materials you will need to gather for science labs and activities.

2. Prep for the Day. Before starting school, review all the lessons to be completed that day. Visit any links within the lessons, and view the lessons in the context of your daily and weekly plans. It may also be helpful to print the weekly plan for your students, and have them check off lessons as they complete them.

3. Organize Your Materials. It’s a good idea to store all your materials in a permanent place that students can easily access. For each student, use folders to organize each subject. Many parents use a color-coding system to make finding materials even easier. Students can remove assignments and return completed work to the folders for you to review.

4. Teach to the Objective. Before you teach a lesson, review the objectives to see what your student needs to gain from it. The K12 curriculum is “a mile high and a mile deep” and each lesson includes a variety of activities to both reinforce and enrich learning. Every student is different; pick and choose the activities that will help your student meet the lesson objective.

5. Make a Schedule. Online education is very flexible, however it is still important for students to have some structure and to know what is expected of them. Establish a schedule that works for your student and you, and remember that you can always reevaluate should something change, or to allow for sick days and vacations.

6. Attend Elluminates. Our teachers and administrators are here to help! Attending Elluminate sessions and connecting with them is beneficial for both students and Learning Coaches, especially as you are first adjusting to schooling at home. Elluminates for students help to supplement daily lessons by focusing on academic subjects, both enrichment topics and extra help for struggling students.

7. Get Connected! “Like” K12 and your local school on Facebook to stay up to date on news and events, and connect with other parents. Read your email and visit your school’s calendar to look for field trips, and other opportunities to meet local families and teachers. Encourage your kids to exchange contact information and stay in touch with students they meet.

8. Communicate with Your Teacher. Your teacher welcomes communication with you and your student, and should always be your first resource for any questions or concerns you have. Make an effort to be available for opportunities to interact with your teacher, such as conferences and testing.

9. Track your Progress and Attendance. Each day, record your attendance and lessons completed and check for missing attendance. Remember that you can adjust the allotted time for each lesson if you completed more than one lesson in a subject. Be sure to also record any supplemental or extracurricular activities, such as music and physical education.

10. Mix it Up! Find ways to enrich your student’s learning and avoid burnout by incorporating a variety of educational activities. Visit museums or national parks, watch documentaries or educational programming, or try using educational games or apps to reinforce skills like math and reading. Move school outdoors or to a new location for a change of scenery, visit the library to explore new topics of interest, try a new sport or hobby, or join an interest-specific club. Search out ways to make learning come to life for your student!

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