How to Teach Your Cyber Student to Stay on Task
Being involved in your child's education can be very rewarding as a parent, and it's something many cyber school parents cherish. However, there are various daily challenges you may face as a parent of a cyber school student, especially if you are new to the model. One of those challenges may be teaching your child to stay on task without having to provide constant reminders.
Allowing our students to have too much independence too soon can be detrimental. However, it is helpful to teach our students to monitor themselves so that they can gradually mature into independent students. Here are some ideas for encouraging self-monitoring habits in students.
1. Model the behaviors you want to see in your students.
Our children, especially when they are young, learn a significant amount by watching and imitating our actions. Sit alongside your students and demonstrate ways to stay on task. Listen to the teacher, take notes, and prompt your student to participate appropriately. After class, discuss what was learned.
2. Create specific lists or checklists for what should be accomplished during various times of the day.
Make specific lists of what your student should be doing during class time, during independent work time, and during time spent working with the Learning Coach. Use pictures on the lists if your student does not read yet. Review the lists with your student and use them together at first. Gradually, your student will be able to use the list more and more independently.
Consider providing incentives for when your student accomplishes everything on the list. Some students will also respond well to having a specific amount of time in which to accomplish a list.
3. As your student matures, work with them so that they can create their own lists for what needs to be done each day and each week.
Continue to monitor the creation and completion of the tasks on these lists.
4. If your student gets distracted when working on independent assignments, consider setting a timer and giving the student a specific task to do during that time.
Check on the student at the end of the time to be sure progress is being made. Repeat this process until the entire task is complete. If the assignment is overwhelming to the student, perhaps completing it over several days will make it seem more doable. Try starting with what seems “easy” to your student to help them build momentum and feelings of success.
5. Be patient as your student develops these skills.
Encourage your student and be sure to recognize their successes regularly.
We hope that these ideas are helpful in helping your child build good habits for staying on task. Remember that every child has unique learning needs, so it may take some trial and error to find what works best for them to stay focused with their schoolwork.
You will probably hear it often here at PA Virtual, but being your child’s Learning Coach will be the hardest job you’ll ever love! There are certainly challenges that come along with the role, but many experienced parents at PA Virtual have expressed how fulfilling it can be to play such an important and active role in their child’s education.
If you’re interested in learning more about PA Virtual, you can click here to request more information.