4 Ways Parents and Students Can Prepare for Online Elementary School

It may seem like you only need a computer and Wi-Fi for your child to be ready for online school, but there are some other key steps you can take to prepare for virtual learning.  

As a Florida Virtual School elementary teacher, I understand that transitioning to online school may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Plus, FLVS gives you the opportunity to design your kid’s learning environment according to their individual needs and style. To help set you and your child up for success before the next school year starts, I put together some of my top tips to get you excited, confident, and ready for online elementary school.   

Set up Your Child’s Learning Space 

You want to make sure that your child has a designated space to work each day. You need to have a distraction free environment where they can focus on their lessons or attend live class times. For some students, that may be in a quiet spot in their own room, and for others, that may be in an area where a parent or guardian can monitor them. Ask your child for input on how they want their desk space to look. Do they need flexible seating, or the option to stand when they need to? Some students who are visual learners like to post schedules or calendars near their desk or hang helpful charts or other lesson materials. While one of the perks of online school is that you can do it from literally anywhere, having a designated space can help them set up a successful routine.   

Help Your Child Set up Their Schedule 

Students that have a weekly schedule to follow are much more successful at staying on pace and using their time wisely. Use the school calendars and pace guides to set up what live class times they will attend, and what lessons they will complete each day. Make sure they have frequent breaks and time to step away from the computer built into their schedule.  As they start their courses, you will get a better idea of how much they can accomplish each day and how to help them organize their time. Be flexible and modify based on your child’s learning needs and home environment.   

Maintain Good Communication with your Teacher 

One of the best things you can do as a parent or guardian is to stay up to date on what is happening at your school and in your child’s online classroom. Your child’s teacher will be able to help them navigate their courses, provide you with resources, and keep you up to date on their progress. Additionally, when challenges arise, your child’s teacher is often the person who will assist you, but there are many support staff in the online environment that your child’s teacher can connect you with if needed.   

Encourage Them to Get Involved 

There are many ways for students to get involved in the Florida Virtual School community. Attending school-wide events, joining a club, or attending face-to-face meetups and field trips are ways for them to connect with fellow students and teachers. It is also important for your child to have hobbies and interests outside of school.  

Many students find that they have more time to devote to extracurricular activities due to the flexibility of the online schedule. I’ve heard from many families that they love learning online because they are better able to balance their children’s academic and extracurricular interests with family time.   

I hope you and your child are excited to start preparing for online elementary school. Be on the lookout for communication from your school at the beginning of the year, so you can have a smooth start to your adventure.   

For more information about Florida Virtual School, check out our school overview videos which cover topics such as enrollment options, student clubs and activities, and more.  

Sarah HaynerSarah Hayner is going into her 5th year of teaching at Florida Virtual School. She taught 4th and 5th grades in the Full Time Elementary program and is currently teaching 5th grade in the Flex Elementary program. Her favorite thing about teaching virtual school is the relationships she has formed with her students and families.

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