Almost every parent will at some point become frustrated with their student’s level of motivation. Whether your child has chronic issues in this area or is just going through a temporary slump, these tips to keep virtual students motivated can prove helpful:
Troubleshoot problems immediately: Persistent technology problems that slow progress can zap your student’s drive. Check in regularly with your child to see if there are any issues, and then contact an iUniversity Prep teacher or administrator right away if you are having trouble. [is there a go-to staff member for tech issues?]
Encourage breaks: Students who are working online should take a break every hour to stretch, take a walk, and recharge. Also: Discourage your student away from marathon work sessions, even if they have fallen behind. Instead, work with them to map out a realistic plan for getting caught up that tackles each subject in manageable “chunks”.
Encourage online and face-to-face friendships: Students who connect with other students tend to find their online schooling experience more satisfying. Ask your child to tell you about some of the friends they have made in other parts of Texas as a result of their iUniversity Prep experience. When possible, facilitate real-time connections, or suggest ways of staying connected virtually (such as Face Time or Skype). Also: iUniversity Prep sponsors meet-ups on a regular basis. Stay tuned on social media or contact your child’s teacher to find out more.
Connect the dots: You’ve probably heard your child grumble about how they are “never going to use this in real life” at least once. To re-direct this attitude, ask your student about what they are learning on a regular basis, and then point out the relationship between their studies and current events, college experiences, careers and jobs, etc.
Help your child get organized: If your student struggles with staying focused, you might sit down with them and get a handle on their level of organization. Cleaning up digital files and work spaces and setting up study schedules are great places to start, but don’t forget to tackle your child’s non-school environment, too. Physical clutter can result in mental clutter, and you might be amazed at the results you’ll see when your child’s room, closet and bathroom get tidied up.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Kaye Rogers received her Ph.D. in Educational Administration with a minor in Statistics from the University of North Texas. She earned her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Tarleton State University. A life-long Texan, she has taught math and science in public schools and also in Spain. She has worked in public education for over 18 years, where she is committed to innovation and choice for families. She has opened three choice schools and is currently the Director of Virtual Learning at Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, where she oversees their state-wide virtual school and blended schools program.
Learn more about iUniversity Prep and see if online learning is right for your child. Check us out at www.iuniversityprep.org or give us a call at 817-305-4895.
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