By: PA Virtual Charter School on August 11th, 2020
How to Be the Best Cyber School Parent [5 Tips]
You may be considering a cyber charter school for your child or are new to the cyber charter model. Being a cyber charter school parent can be a difficult adjustment at first. Today, we’ll cover five helpful tips that will hopefully make your job as a cyber charter school parent easier.
1. Set up a designated learning space.
Explain to your child the importance of having a dedicated learning space and that it will put them in the mindset for school. The space should be quiet and free from any possible distractions, and students should know where to find all of their school supplies. Don't hesitate to include students in the process of creating this space so they can make it their own and will be a place they will enjoy learning each day. Be sure to post visuals such as charts, posters, and students' work so they have quick and easy educational references. If you'd like some more tips on setting this space up, check out our blog post, "How to Set Up Your Child's Learning Space."
2. Establish a routine.
All children and even adults need a solid daily routine. Not only does it save time, but it also reduces stress and leads to more productive school days. Establish set hours for the school day, including wake up time, start and end times, breaks, and active play. Hold this time sacred and limit distractions.
3. Keep everything organized.
Keep a calendar to organize everything. You can even make it color coded so that it's easier to read and identify priorities. Some people prefer paper calendars, while others prefer digital versions. Ask yourself what helps you stay organized and go with whatever would work best for you and your child. There should be a place for everything and everything in its place. Creating "to do" lists for both the parent and student can be helpful, too.
4. Communicate with teachers, principals and school staff.
It is important to be proactive. Communication is vital to getting questions answered and understanding processes and expectations. Check your school email account regularly, as this sets a good example for your students and will keep you in the loop. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to other cyber parents as they can be helpful resources, too.
5. Be patient with yourself.
Give yourself time and patience to learn the new systems, and take advantage of as many opportunities to learn and get involved. It will take time to transition, but remember this is normal. If you need extra support, reach out to school staff who are there to offer help and guidance. Many schools have programs or support staff in place to help new families.
At PA Virtual, we established the Parent Ambassador Program where parents support other parents. We provide opportunities for parents to connect with one another to develop relationships, offer support, learning from one another and provide feedback. The program includes online parent learning sessions, parent certificate programs, volunteer opportunities, and an optional one-on-one mentorship with an experienced PA Virtual parent.
The job of a cyber charter school parent isn’t always easy and it can come with daily challenges. If you are a new to the model, it can take some time to adjust. We hope these tips will help make that adjustment a little easier. When you get to see what your child is learning and see them thrive first-hand, it’s worth it.
These tips were compiled by Jennifer Brodhag, Director of Parent Education and Engagement. Jennifer is also a former PA Virtual parent - her youngest child graduated in 2018 from the school. She has picked up a lot of helpful tips along the way through being a cyber school parent and through helping other parents at our school.
Are you interested in learning more about cyber schooling? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Attending a Cyber Charter School in PA. This guide will help you weigh the pros and cons of cyber charter schools and help you decide whether the cyber model might be a good fit for your family.