iUniversity Prep student Jadon Edwards shares how online school has helped him sharpen his focus.
What prompted you to switch to online school?
“In brick-and-mortar school I was too easily distracted by all the things happening around me, and once I get distracted it’s hard to pull me back. It just wasn’t working out for me, so when I learned about online school I decided to give it a try.”
What is it about online school that helps you focus?
“I can work on my own and I can do one thing at a time. It’s a good environment for me - challenging but relaxed, because you can work at your own pace. It’s helped me improve my grades and stay out of trouble.
The other part of online school that I really enjoy is the flexibility to work from anywhere. I once went on a trip to Jamaica with my family during the school year and I didn’t have to miss anything. It was so amazing to be so far away and still be able to log on and go to school!”
Did you experience any difficulty making the transition from traditional school to virtual school?
“I didn’t have serious issues, although I did miss the social interaction of brick-and-mortar school at first. However, that social interaction was often what got me in trouble! Now I don’t have any issues at all. I have made friends with other iUniversity Prep students and I also have friends in the local community of students who learn at home. Thanks to our flexible schedules, we can meet face-to-face often.”
What does a typical week look like for you?
They’re all a little different, but generally: My major work days are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. That’s when I do live lessons. I usually do my assignments on the weekends to get them out of the way for the upcoming week. On Mondays, I typically take the day off and spend time with friends. During the week, I try to have everything finished by the afternoons, because I go to the gym and work out in the evenings.”
Which are some of your favorite classes?
“Chemistry and math.”
What do you think you want to do after high school?
“Right now I am leaning towards attending the University of North Texas and studying for a degree in construction management. I love the idea of being able to build something, and then step back and look at it and know you’ve really accomplished something.”
What do you like to do when you’re not going to school?
“I play soccer, and I also enjoy hanging out with my friends - usually outside, as I love to be outdoors. I also like to travel. My parents and I are originally from the United Kingdom (we’ve lived here for about eight years) and we go back home every year to visit my grandparents and other relatives.”
What do you like about life at iUniversity Prep?
“I love the environment at iUniversity Prep. The teachers are friendly and I’ve really gotten to know them in a way I never did in brick-and-mortar school. When they say they are there to help you, they really mean it - they’re available early in the morning or late at night if you need them.”
What advice do you have for new online students?
“When you’re at home by yourself and on a computer, it can be easy to slack off if you don’t discipline yourself. You need to choose to focus before your brain goes down a road you don’t want it to go down.
In online school you have the option to work ahead - and it’s a good idea to take advantage of that option. You don’t want to face a holiday where you’ve got to catch up on a lot of overdue lessons instead of relaxing and enjoying your break.”
Jadon’s dad Matt Edwards also weighed in with his perspective on virtual schooling:
“Online school has been a great solution for Ja
don. He’s a smart kid, but he has trouble focusing, especially when he gets bored. The ability to work at a faster pace than the one he had in brick-and-mortar school has been good for him - in fact, he usually finishes the semester’s assignments with about two weeks to spare.
My advice to parents who are thinking about switching to online is to consider what your child’s needs are in terms of having a balanced education experience - one that minimizes stress, but that’s still challenging and rewarding. With some kids, that’s brick-and-mortar school, but for others, it’s online school.
For parents in their first year of online school, make sure that your kids are putting in the hours that they need to invest in order to be successful. Like Jadon said, it’s a good idea to work ahead when you can - you just never know when something might come up. Also, don’t be afraid to learn how the system works. Stay in touch with your child’s teachers and ask them how to best monitor your child’s progress.
“Lastly, encourage your child to take advantage of any of the social opportunities that are offered - and do the same with any parent activities, too. At iUniversity Prep, there are endless opportunities to get involved - lots of book clubs and meet-ups and so forth. And if there’s not an opportunity that suits you, consider starting one yourself!”
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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