Online Learning 101
What can you do as a parent to help your child get the most out of the EVA online school culture?
by Melinda Tavernier
Interim Curriculum/IT Coordinator
Establish a routine: Get students up and dressed each morning. Prepare them for online school just as you would in-person school. Set the standard that this is their “job” or “work” just like you have your job or work. Following a morning routine is important to a productive day.
Set up a space dedicated for school: Make this a fun activity. Allow them to decorate their space and fill it with fun school supplies. Once school is over, the school space needs to be shut down for the day. For example, I used to have school at our kitchen table. At the end of the school day, we packed up our school materials until the next day (we also needed to be able to eat on the table that evening). This helps children (and you) differentiate the school day from family time. Finding a dedicated school space is not always easy. Rolling carts work very well to store books and supplies and help to create a temporary space for the day.
Also our teachers will have classroom rules that we need your help to establish. Once we get these set up, students will know the expectations and will be better able to function independently.
Family is a priority. We can’t erase or hide the fact that we’re all at home with family members and pets. Distractions will happen. However, family members can also play a part in student learning.
Siblings: Siblings can join in on activities. By listening to a story or volunteering to read to younger students, siblings are a part of the school. Your children have just become not only siblings, but classmates. My children learned to work together during school time and became best friends (of course they were brother and sister, so they still argued).
Parents: It’s encouraging to the student and teacher to even have a parent join in on an activity. If you visit the school building, you are welcome in your child’s classroom to observe. Now you have the chance to pop in more frequently.
Extended Family: Grandparents can be very helpful with virtual field trips and during celebrations. Teachers are always trying to get people in to watch presentations. Now it’s very easy to invite in family from anywhere in the world.
4. Volunteering: Volunteering online will look a little different, but we still need your help. We will be sending out a parent survey to find out what skills or talents you have to share with our classes. If you play an instrument, have an interesting hobby, like to bake, etc. We would love to take virtual field trips to your house to visit. For example, I live on a river and just a short drive to the ocean. I would like to host virtual nature walks for some of our science classes.
New possibilities are just beginning to open. Let’s work together to make the best of this opportunity and give our children an incredible experience. Our online learning is not an alternative to class, it’s a new adventure in authentic education. Our physical doors have had to close, but new doors are opening every day!