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Setting Students Up for Success

Some students have a natural ability to organize themselves and complete work independently.  Others need a little extra encouragement and guidance from their Learning Coach.  Here are some tips to help set your student up for success in online learning. 

Create daily checklists or a To Do list

For some students, looking at all of the activities for the day can seem overwhelming.  Breaking the day down into a list of tasks they can check off as they complete them can help them see the progress they are making throughout the day.  Your daily checklist can include not only school assignments, but also household chores, personal activities and family time. 

Have your student read, just for fun

Encourage reading outside of school assignments - even if it is not a book.  Magazines, comics, even websites that your student is interested in can exercise their brain, improve concentration and increase vocabulary and language skills.  A student who reads an extra 20 minutes of personal reading material each day will read almost 2 million more words by the time they reach middle school! 

Encourage breaks during times of frustration

One of the benefits of online school is the flexibility it provides during work time.  If you find your student becomes frustrated during certain tasks, create breaks for them to step away for 5 minutes and recharge.  Stepping away from a task can refocus the brain on the task at hand and allow for increased concentration when getting back to work.

Ensure your student is getting enough sleep

Even as adults, we know that we don't function well when we don't get enough sleep.  Children are no different but are more likely to be the ones who aren't actually getting enough rest each night.  Lack of sleep can cause irritability or hyperactive behavior that make it hard for kids to focus during the day.  Elementary and middle school students should be getting 9-12 hours of sleep each night and teens at least 8-10 hours. 

Turn distractions into incentives

Going to school online provides numerous opportunities for students to engage in learning in a way that fits their needs.  But it also places common distractions - phones, TV, video games - right at their fingertips.  It is important to create a learning environment where these distractions do not interfere with a student's ability to complete their daily work.  Instead, turn these distractions into incentives.  Activities completed from their daily checklist can be rewarded with a predetermined amount of time on the incentive of their choice.  For example - once your student completes their math and science assignments they are allowed a 30 minute electronics break.  Then once they complete their reading and social studies, another 30 minute break.  Setting up a plan with your child's input will show that you respect their opinion, ensure they understand your expectations for work completion, and increase the likelihood they will stick to your family plan. 

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