There is no tutorial that comes with homeschooling, or online learning. Non-traditional education isn’t so much step by step as it is a self defined process. After all, these education forms are geared towards being personalized, and adaptable.
There is no right or wrong way to engage in online schooling, but there are definitely some things you’ll want to avoid as well as some things you can do to make the most of your students experience.
To help you out, we outlined some do’s and don’ts to help guide you on your online learning journey:
DON’T: Work In Bed/The Bedroom
DO: Have A Personalized Workspace
We can’t stress the importance of your online student having a dedicated workplace. Having a set area to work and learn will help them to focus on the task at hand. Personalizing this space makes the area special for the student, and gets them excited to log on to learn every morning. Working for example in a bedroom can be disorienting — after all, you want to associate your bedroom with downtime, rest and sleep, not school. It’s good to separate these things from one another.
DON’T: Jam Pack The Day
DO: Take Breaks
Online learning is inherently flexible — you can learn how you want, when you want. We will say that although a schedule is crucial, that doesn’t mean no breaks! The key is to schedule breaks throughout the day that make sense for your online student and how they learn best. Maybe they need frequent short breaks, or fewer longer breaks — whatever works!
DO: Talk About Class After
You definitely want to allow your child to learn independently, however there is nothing wrong with opening a conversation, Designate an hour or even half an hour in the evening to talk about what they learned. You can have them ask some questions or discuss an interesting topic they came across during their learning period.
DON’T: Stay Inside All Day
DO: Go Outside
It can become suffocating sitting inside all day. Whether it be a lunch break outside, or a walk in the early afternoon, get your online student out and about. That way, when they go back to their learning they will return refreshed with a clear mind.
DON’T: Organize Your Students Day For Them
DO: Encourage Independent Planning
We highly recommend being educated on the curriculum your child is learning and collaborating to create a schedule that works well for them. However, a huge advantage of online learning is studying and learning on your own time. Utilize this advantage by having your student help determine their own schedule! Independent planning is key and online learning is all about task management. Let your online student learn how to manage their time by having them outline their day and their tsaks.
DON’T: Try To Have All The Answers
DO: Ask For Help From The Community
No one has all the answers — if you have questions about how to plan the day or how to make make the most of online learning, talk to others who are in the community. You are not the only one, the homeschooling community is huge and there are plenty of parents who write online, reflecting on what works and what doesn’t.