Is your child enrolled in an online education program but you are not sure how to help? You are not alone. Over 1 million K-12 students are participating in some form of online education (Lips, 2010). Here are some tips to help you and your child find success.
Find the right online education program for your child – With so many students participating in the online education experience, you will have a wide breadth of options. Some programs are asynchronous (not real time) and some are synchronous (student participates in real time). Each type of online educational experience has positive aspects and negative aspects. The key is to find out which program will work best with your child’s preferences.
Prepare your home for the online education experience – Once you have selected your online education program, it is time to prepare the home. Several things can be done to ensure a successful online education experience. One is to prepare a home office. This space should be comfortable, but not too comfortable. For example, remove objects that will distract your child from their online education program. You should also create a daily schedule for your child to be online. Educational opportunities may not be completely online, but your child should check in to the class every day.
Help your child get started in their online education program – Many students find navigating online education programs difficult. As the parent, you can go over the syllabus with your child. Whether you print out the syllabus or look at it online, educational objectives should be discussed. In addition, putting due dates to major assignments on a calendar will also help guarantee success in the online education program. In some online education programs, an assignment is due at the same time each week. You and your child can write out a weekly chart of activities that are always due on the same days as a visual cue to your child.
Communicate with your child about their online education daily – Children in online education programs still need someone to ask them about what they are learning and how the school day is going. This may seem a bit strange at first, since your child is sitting at home working online, but education is education. By communicating with your child about the online education they are receiving, you are increasing your son or daughter’s level of connectivity and motivation. This conversation also shows that whether your child receives a traditional education or an online education, you find value in what they are doing.
The number of students enrolled in online education programs increases each year and there is limited research to show that students educated online are learning at the same level as traditional students (Means, et al., 2009). So, if you find the online education option is best for your child, make sure you work with your child to help them be successful.
Lips, D. (2010, January 12). How online learning is revolutionizing k – 12 education and benefiting students. Retrieved from The Heritage Foundation website at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/01/how-online-learning-is-revolutionizing-k12-education-and-benefiting-students
Means, B., Toyama,Y., Murphy. R., Bakia, M., and Jones, K. (2009). Evaluation of Evidence-based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-analysis and Review of Online-learning Studies. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education.