With the rise of online schooling and the sharp decline of resources available to mainstream educators, many parents are considering the change to homeschooling, virtual school or independent study. The decision to go through with a mid-year school change can seem like a scary one and as a parent you are tasked with ensuring the transition goes as smoothly as possible. Here we give some tips on how to help ease the transition for your child and what the role of any new teacher should be while also discussing the advantages of transitioning to a digital classroom.
Understanding and Supporting Your Child’s Transition
The first step in supporting your child through this transition is understanding and acknowledging their feelings. Change can be daunting, and it’s important to have open and honest conversations about any concerns or fears they might have. Encourage them to express their feelings and reassure them that it’s normal to feel apprehensive about a big change like this.
Contrary to popular concerns there is no worst age to change schools. Each year comes with its own challenges. Changing primary schools can be scary for young children but with the right encouragement they are surprisingly resilient and make friends easily. Changing secondary schools in year 7 and beyond can be easier as the child understands more and can often communicate their feelings better, however the move from tween to teen can be unpredictable and cause big emotions to get out of control. What is positive about transitioning in secondary school is that they are better able to keep in touch with their old friends, giving them a softer ease into making new ones.
One effective way to aid the transition is to maintain a consistent routine. Even though online schooling offers more flexibility, having a structured daily schedule can provide a sense of stability and normalcy. This includes regular study times, breaks, and extracurricular activities. In addition, creating a dedicated learning space at home can help your child stay focused and organised, making the learning process more enjoyable and effective.
The Role of the Online School in Easing Transition
A quality online school plays a critical role in supporting both parents and students during the transition. Schools should offer you and your child a meet and greet with the schools student support services and discuss with you your own child’s personal needs while making the change.
Although the joy of online learning is that it can be self-paced and many online schools offer customised learning plans, if your child is planning on attending live lessons they may have some work to catch up on. The best online schools will offer your child a personalised education plan, offering quality resources, recordings of previous lessons and private one-to-one tuition should it be deemed necessary.
Keep the lines of communication open with both teachers and support staff especially if you have concerns about your child. An advantage of online schooling is the low ratio of teacher to student, therefore each teacher has much more time to dedicate to helping you and your child in the journey to homeschooling.
Advantages of Switching to Online Homeschooling
Switching from traditional schooling to online homeschooling offers numerous advantages. One of the most significant benefits is the flexibility it provides. Online schooling allows students to learn at their own pace, which can be particularly beneficial for those who need more time to grasp certain concepts or, conversely, for those who benefit from moving ahead more quickly in areas where they excel.
Online education also fosters independence and self-discipline, skills that are invaluable in higher education and beyond. As students manage their own time and learning, they develop a sense of responsibility and confidence in their abilities.
Furthermore, the digital nature of online schooling means that students become adept at using technology, a skill increasingly important in today’s digital world. While skills such as handwriting can still be easily nurtured, many children who learn in a virtual environment benefit from increased computer skills, faster typing skills and confidence in using new technology. This sets them on the right path for an increasingly digital future.
Transitioning to online schooling is a journey that involves adapting to a new way of learning. With the right support from parents and the online school, students can not only make a smooth transition but also thrive in their new educational environment. The flexibility, diversity, and development of key life skills are just some of the many advantages that online homeschooling offers, making it a worthwhile consideration for parents looking to make a change in their child's education.
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