10 Tips to Effectively Homeschool Online
Make Sure Your Student Quickly Experiences Success
Help your student build confidence that they can succeed in an online study environment. Sometimes it is advisable to start students in a subject that is more simple for them, and then add more challenging subjects when they feel comfortable with the online format. Follow your student’s progress — encourage them when they struggle, and provide positive reinforcement when they do well.
Take Short Breaks Between Study Sessions
Encourage students to break up their study time into reasonable segments. Taking little breaks increases mental energy, and can help students remember what they have learned. This is helpful for older students as well as younger students with shorter attention spans.
Help Your Student Create a Study Schedule
While studying at home provides for a flexible schedule, it is still important for students to keep a good study routine. Routines are valuable for learning discipline. They also help your student stay on track with weekly, monthly and yearly academic goals. Create a schedule and expect your students to stick to it. Modify the schedule when necessary to help students stay challenged while still able to achieve your expectations.
Encourage Pre-Bedtime Studying
Studies show that information taken in before we go to sleep is better retained. Suggest that your students replace games and movies before bedtime with a short study period, especially when preparing for an exam.
Keep a Clean Learning Environment
A study by Princeton University found that people who keep their spaces clean are able to process information and focus better. Encourage your student to keep the area where they study clean and clear of distractions. Taking the time to do this before studying can prepare them with the discipline and organization attitudes that help with learning.
Put Away or Disable Distracting Technology
Teach your student to turn off, put away, or silence devices during study times. Messaging can be set for do-not-disturb, especially if messages appear on devices students are using for their courses. These distractions can make it hard to focus and interfere with learning.
Teach Effective Note Taking
Taking notes during lessons helps students remember the things they hear, and can be helpful in preparing for exams. Learning how to take effective notes is an important skill students need to master especially as they go into careers and college studies.
Engage Your Student in Activities that Support Mental and Physical Health
Students studying online will likely spend more time at a computer than traditional learners. Encourage them to take short breaks for walks, schedule time for exercise, get the recommended amount of sleep, and eat a well-balanced diet. This will support mental and physical health—for better learning.
Encourage Your Child to Come to You for Help
As your child’s teacher it is important you stay involved, and that your student knows they can come to you when they need help instead of getting frustrated and discouraged. Sometimes all a student needs is a supportive listener to talk to and encourage them and they are able to find the solutions for themselves.
Get Advice from Other Parents
Find out how incorporating online courses has worked for other homeschool parents. There are many online forums where homeschooling parents offer advice and suggestions. These discussions can provide support, encouragement, and ideas you can incorporate into your student’s education experience.