Summer flies! With everyone outside, engaged in a variety of activities, and finishing projects, it seems like these summer months whip by faster than any other time of year. You know what the end of summer means: It’s time for back-to-school! Because of our flexible schedule, some of our Excel High School students have been working on classes all summer, or they plan to jump into their regular schedule a little later. But if you’re in the majority, you took your break and you’re ready to get started again. We welcome our Excel High School students back for the 22/23 school year and are here to help you succeed.
Although our online students might not need a new backpack, lunch money, or a bus schedule, they do need some important support from the adults in their lives in order to help them succeed in online school. Here are five tips from Excel High School about how parents and guardians can help their online student succeed in the new school year.
Determine a Schedule
Before your student starts classes, sit down and help them determine the best schedule for them to follow. Some students are morning people, while the majority do better to start a little later in the morning just because of how teenagers’ brains work. Most teens’ brains are really not ready to go in the morning until about 9:30 a.m. Listening to your student’s ideas and taking into consideration what works best for them as an individual will help them stay motivated, avoid any conflict, and give them ownership of their schedule.
Determine how long they’re going to work each day. Do they want to work for a shorter amount of time each day or work longer and aim for an extra day off? Our flexible scheduling provides you and your student the chance to set the schedule that works for everyone involved.
Being sure that you know where you’re headed is a smart way to approach any big project, and with our self-paced courses, that can get a little overwhelming for some students. That means that it’s a good idea to set some achievable goals with your student, too. When will they be 25%, 50%, or 75% through with their classes? What grades do they want to achieve in each course? How can they improve from last year? Will they take more notes and get up and move around a bit more this year?
Without a goal to aim for, it’s hard to make visible progress and feel good about what you’ve accomplished. Giving your student some guidance to set achievable, measurable goals is a great way to support them, showing them that their academic progress is a priority for you, too.
This is a biggie. It’s very easy to become unorganized when you’re in a self-paced online program. And although some teens excel at organization, we all know they don’t all! Helping your teen get and stay organized by providing them with a couple of specific places where they can work, helping them set up a calendar, and gently reminding them of their deadlines is one of the best ways a student’s supportive adults can help them succeed. Time passes so quickly that things can get disheveled and out of hand before you know it, so being sure that their learning space is staying tidy and organized, their notes are orderly (and readable!), and they’re following their set schedule will help your online student achieve their goals.
Touch base with your student about what they’re learning and how their classes are going. Don’t settle for a grunt and shrug. You can check on your student’s progress through the Parent Portal and even sign up to see when they’re completing assignments and what their grades are. Help them review for their tests or read through their notes so that you can talk to them about their content. Watch some of their course videos and ask them questions to find out what they think about what they’re learning. In general, keep communicating about their schoolwork, about their progress toward their goals, and whether or not they need help.
Reach Out For Help
Helping your student figure out what to do when they need help can be tricky. Sometimes, they don’t want to ask for help because teens can feel insecure in that regard. They want to be independent, but you’re there to help them learn how to be independent. Independent people reach out for help when they need it. So if you’re noticing that your student is struggling, help them set up a one-on-one tutoring session with Train The Brain or help them figure out how to write an appropriate email with questions for their instructor. It’s okay not to know how to do everything right away; that’s why we have supports like easy to reach instructors and one-on-one online tutoring through Train The Brain. By showing them how to get help before your student is too frustrated to think, you’re teaching them a valuable lesson that they’ll carry with them throughout their life.
Back to school is upon us and whether you’re excited or dragging your feet a bit, we’re here to get you started on a successful new school year. If you’re not already a student with Excel High School but would like to learn more, feel free to check out our programs on our website. Still got questions? Feel free to reach out to us by text at 952-465-3700 or call us at 800-620-3844. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you have and guide you to the best program for your individual needs.