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Know When Your Child Should Switch to Online Learning?
Being able to understand when it is appropriate to switch your child to online learning is a challenging task. There are too many options, and how do you even know if you are making the right choice?
However, looking and answering a few questions might help you make the best possible decision for you and your child. - Maria Lindquist
Q: Is your child enjoying their current school education/environment?
This is a fundamental question but essential nonetheless. If your child is consistently begging not to go to school, crying at the sight of leaving, coming home cranky, and overall "hates" school, your child might not be thriving in their current school environment. Creating a good environment is essential for your child to fall in love with learning. Having a guided, warm, trusted, and open environment can help build a better relationship with the school and help your child want to learn. In addition, the online school provides the child with learning in the comfort of their home.
Q: Do they have time to pursue other interests with their current school education/environment?
Being able to allow your child to explore other interests and having time to pursue those interests is important. This allows the child to discover what they genuinely like. With their long days and piles of homework, sometimes schools stop this kind of discovery. Online learning allows the child to complete their lessons when there is time. Rather than trying to discover more in their learning, they might just be focusing on what they have to complete right now. For example, giving the child a couple of hours to look up information on their favorite character from a book will enhance learning that material and maybe spark interest in other similar areas.
Q: Does your child need more time for lessons or a schedule that fits more with their lifestyle?
Understanding if your child is struggling to get through lessons because the curriculum goes too fast or needs the curriculum to go faster is an excellent way to gauge if your child needs to have a curriculum that caters to their needs. Online education allows a personalized curriculum that will be able to go faster or slower for your child. In addition, having a catered curriculum might help your child learn and retain lesson materials.
Q: Does the current school offer interactive and enjoyable lessons?
Some schools only try to deliver information to the student rather than allow for more interactive/creative learning. Providing lessons in a more enjoyable fashion for both the teacher and student in various ways will help with information being more pleasurable and help with dull lessons. For example, going to museums and exploring learning differently will help the student become more involved in the activity and actively learn the lesson.
Q: Does the current school environment fit your values as a parent?
As a parent, we have values that we want our child(ren) to hold and develop. However, these values might not be present or taught in your child's current school environment. Being able to teach your values might be necessary to you, and you should be willing to express those to your child. Having an online curriculum will allow you to add those teachings to your child's education.
Q: Do you want to be more involved with your child's education?
Being involved in your child’s education is essential for learning. These educational interactions help develop a better relationship between you and your child. It also shows your child that you are interested in what they have to say and what they are doing. You might even be able to add in a few personal anecdotes about the material that your child is learning.
Author: Maria Lindquist, Student CWRU.