How Parents Can Support Their Blended and Online Students

Flexible learning options like online learning or blended learning create amazing opportunities for students who require extra accommodations when it comes to their education. 

Whether you’re the parent of an experienced online learner or this is your first step in considering online learning as an option for your child you may be wondering - how can you help your children in their online learning environment, and what are some best practices in online learning so you can support your child’s education?

While it is important to choose an online program from a reputable school with a proven track record in the world of online learning, here are some tips to help guide your child to find success in online and blended learning environments, while helping them learn valuable skills they will benefit from now and in the future. 

 

Have Access to a Computer With Reliable Internet Online_Learning_500x750

Just like a farmer needs a good tractor, or a doctor needs proper equipment, or a sprinter needs high-intensity running shoes, your child needs a computer that performs at an optimal level, and a strong internet connection to keep things operating smoothly. 

By having these tools readily available, you are providing your child with a key to success and are preventing frustrating barriers from occurring before they become a problem. 

Many students in online learning can fit their schoolwork into pockets of free time during their busy days, and encountering the frustrating “No Network Connection” as your child tries to submit an assignment or send an important email can be an annoying setback. 

Invest in a good quality–and preferably portable–computer or laptop so your child can take their schoolwork with them wherever they need, be it the rink, in between rehearsals, or while traveling to a game or event. 

 

Participate in Group Discussions 

The advantage of in-person learning is the ease at which group discussions can take off, sparking introspection and new ideas. 

However, the challenge presented by an online learning environment is there are significantly fewer opportunities for group discussions and collaboration, as most work is independent and asynchronous.

Maintaining active participation in group discussions is one way your child can make connections with their fellow online classmates, share study tips, and make the most of their time at OLu. Find out more about how OLu’s online learning students still lead vibrant social lives, even when not in a classroom setting. 

A recommended best practice for online learning or blended learning students is to speak up and participate as frequently as your child is able; group discussions allow students to practice valuable workplace skills like creativity, active listening, public speaking, and more.  

 

Stick to a ScheduleBlended_Learning_500x750

One of the biggest challenges students face when transitioning from in-person learning to an online learning environment is creating a schedule and sticking to it. 

When your child can design their own schedule and find time to accomplish everything they set out to do, be it their schoolwork, extracurricular activities, chores, socializing, a part-time job, or hobbies, your child will learn valuable skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. 

“We're able to build those skills such as discipline or accountability, and our dream is that as they move onto the next level, if they are to take an online class or just face difficult things, we've prepared them in ways that we can, and held those standards high so facing new challenges is something that's not uncomfortable for them,” says Sarah Klinkenberg, Academic Advisor for Orange Lutheran Online.

Many students come to OLu looking for a way to continue pursuing their passions outside of school but still want to earn a valuable education that will help them get into any school they desire. Find out more about how OLu’s online education prepares students for a Division 1 school

 

Create a Dedicated Study Space

Having a dedicated study space at home that is comfortable and distraction-free is an excellent way to help set your child up for success when it comes to online learning. 

Without the separation of school and home life, it can take some time to get accustomed to the fact that the space your child typically reserves for relaxation now has to morph into a library or study hall state. 

Study_Habits_750x500

Here are some tips for designing a perfect study space at home for your child:

  • Find a spot away from the busiest rooms in the house. Quiet study space will help your child focus and prevent distractions.
  • Remove any potential distractions like TVs, games, or anything that could cause a loss of focus during study time. 
  • Decorate and paint your child’s study space in a way that doesn’t distract from their work and increases focus. Studies show that certain colors can increase focus, or even lower your heart rate

Check Emails Often - Even Daily

Emails are the predominant form of communication in an online learning environment so your child must check their email regularly for important updates and messages.

Though your child may be learning in an online environment, they are not doing so alone in a vacuum. Multiple avenues are available to them as support, be they teachers, tech support, academic advisors, or counselors, all within reach with a simple email or phone call.

Teachers in an online learning environment ensure they are readily available to help guide online learners and are just as engaged with them as they would be if they were sitting in their classroom; the only difference is how they communicate.

At OLu, we provide learning options for all students seeking a Christ-centered education delivered in a manner that is most accessible to them, be it in-class learning, online, or a mix of the two.

 

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Topics from this blog: Parenting

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