7 Tips for Transitioning from Public School to Online School
Many Acellus Academy students come from diverse homeschooling backgrounds, while others started their education in traditional classroom settings in either public or private schools. For those students coming from public schools, the transition from a classroom setting to online courses can be challenging. We have some advice for those parents and students making the switch to online school for the first time.
1. Understand the First Year Is the Hardest
Like everything new, getting acquainted with an online school will take some time. For students that have attended traditional public school, the online platform of the classes is very different than what they have experienced in the past. Slowly adjusting to the online-class format rather than jumping in will prevent students from feeling overwhelmed by all the new resources. No matter what online school your student is attending, they will need to get comfortable with the layout of the courses and the setup of the curriculum.
For those interested in Acellus Academy, our school uses the Acellus Student Interface for all courses, which may be accessed through an app or web browser. Students should take some time to explore the interface before beginning their classwork.
2. Give Your Student Time to Adjust
Parents should not have the same expectations for students who are transitioning from public school to online school. This applies to struggling students who are enrolling in online school for more personalized instruction. Both the student and parent should have a fresh outlook on courses, grades, and GPA. Over time you can both learn how to set appropriate expectations.
Young students who are enrolling in an online school in first or second grade will need some “hand-holding” in the beginning. You may have to sit with them while they are attending the online class or help them with assignments. Your involvement as a parent will change as your student becomes older. By the time your student gets to fifth and sixth grade, they will become more independent. By high school, most students are self-sufficient and require very little oversight when doing their schoolwork.
3. Encourage Breaks
Breaks are an essential part of any work or school day. Without breaks, your student will get burnt out quickly and lose interest. We recommend that our students take 15-minute breaks for every one to two hours of course work completed. Frequent breaks will boost productivity, as well. Using this time to get fresh air or eat a snack will give your child a mental break, which will help them retain more information overall.
4. Maintain Friendships
One of the biggest differences between public and online school is the students’ social interaction with peers. Your child will probably miss their school friends, so you should try to maintain these relationships by scheduling play dates and keeping in touch with other parents. If your child is older, encourage them to reach out to their friends or host a get together with a few former classmates. The change in schooling is new and shocking, so maintaining friends will give your student some sense of normalcy.
5. Take Your Child’s Input
Your student will probably compare the new online classes to their past experiences in the classroom. Consider their point of view when selecting classes, especially for middle and high school students. They will already know which classes that they enjoy more than others. You can also give them the freedom to choose extracurriculars so that they can experiment with new skills and discover new passions.
6. Develop a Schedule That Fits Your Family’s Needs
One of the many benefits of an online school such as Acellus Academy is that the courses are self-paced. Your student does not have to be in class from 8:00 to 3:00 from Monday through Friday. Rather, when they get their coursework done for the day, they can move on to something else. Many parents have shared that their students work from 8:00 a.m. to around noon with a short break at 10:00.
Additionally, they can do work on the weekends if they have a conflict during the week. Online schooling offers students the flexibility to do classwork when and where it works best for them, as long as they have Internet access.
7. Get Involved in Homeschooling Communities
Most cities and towns have homeschooling communities. Although online school is different than home school, these can be great support groups. Your student can meet other children who do not attend traditional public school, and you can meet other parents, as well. These parents can offer advice on things like how to keep your child focused throughout the day and fun field trips around your area.
The first several months of online school can be challenging because, like any new venture, it takes some time to get comfortable. Acellus Academy offers resources and support to ensure that the transition goes smoothly for both parents and students. A parent support group on Facebook is also available to connect parents who are new to online schooling with parents who are veterans.
Acellus Academy is an accredited online school for kindergarten through high school. We offer our students a wide range of courses to take. These courses are self-paced and give each student a unique learning experience. For more information regarding our online school program, contact us today!