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Role of Parents in Cyber Education: How Your Involvement Makes a Difference

By: Katie Barnett on June 30th, 2024

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Role of Parents in Cyber Education: How Your Involvement Makes a Difference

About Cyber Education

student with parent 2The role of a parent in a child’s education cannot be emphasized enough.  Parents are a child's first teacher, and children imitate what they know, especially in the younger formative years when a love or distaste for education can take root. Even as children grow into high school, parents continue this crucial role by providing guidance, support, and encouragement. Navigating the world of teenagers from a parent’s perspective is not easy. Academic challenges, social pressures, and making important decisions about the future can be daunting.

Parents of children in cyber education are crucial to student success, often being the deciding factor in their achievement. If they help their child set up their physical workspace, support them in learning to manage all the digital and non-digital tools necessary for instruction, and advocate for them in various other ways, their cyber student has a greater chance of exceeding their goals.  If a parent is not seemingly supportive of school requirements, the student will quickly learn that school is not essential - whether that is the true feeling of the parent or not. This blog post will explore how parents, a child’s first teacher, can play the starring role in a student’s ability to become an academic superstar. 

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The first essential thing that often gets overlooked for any student is organization. Teaching children to be organized is crucial, especially in cyber education.  A child might miss important directions or instructional content if they have to leave their work area to find materials during a cyber class. This could lead to interruptions or the need for repeated instructions, which could have been avoided. Parental support in developing routines that promote organization benefits the child and the overall flow of a live cyber classroom. This organization is especially true for younger students still learning to manage their workloads.  However, it is just as crucial for middle and high school students to know that adults in their households hold them accountable and will help them when they inevitably make mistakes or need support.  If a parent does not establish a routine for the student and themselves to support the child’s education, it impacts the student in various ways.

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Let’s explore the impact of parents a bit more.  Student A’s parent ensures the student is awake, dressed, and has breakfast in plenty of time before signing into class early.  This parent also checks announcements and emails before the start of the day to ensure any necessary materials are available for the student and made aware of any schedule changes.  This parent also consistently communicates with the teachers, asking questions and learning with their child. 
This parent may not always sit with their child during live sessions but consistently follows up with them throughout the day to ensure work is completed and turned in on time. 

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The parent will contact the teacher should the student need a concept or assignment support.  As the year progresses, Student A is likely showing independence with managing materials and assignments and beginning to advocate for themselves to the teacher during classes to clarify tasks and learning content.  Student A’s parent may have times throughout the year when things slide a bit due to illness and emergencies. However, because the routine is already established, it is easier for the student to take a more active role in their education, knowing the support is there should it need to be called on.  

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Student B’s parent starts the school year keeping to a schedule but quickly lets it slide.  As a result, the student often arrives late to the day's first class, showing up tired and groggy from just waking up and trying to eat breakfast while the class is in progress.  Consequently, the student’s entire focus is not on class. They may struggle with learning the material, miss essential directions, and need extra reminders and support that might not have been necessary if they had been ready to begin class on time. Student B’s parent did not establish a consistent working space for the student, did not define space to keep student materials, and did not ensure the materials were not spread out all over the house. 


DALL·E 2024-06-14 12.41.36 - A simplified and abstract digital illustration of a parent calling the girls teacher about poor grades or attendance. The parent, a Caucasian adult wThe student often has to walk away from class to gather the materials being used, which again takes time away from participating in the learning activities.  The parent inconsistently checks announcements and emails and often misses communication from the teacher regarding necessary materials for full class participation and learning engagement.  Therefore, assignments are often turned in late or not at all.  Often, in these circumstances, the parent is unaware if the student is struggling with an academic concept or assignment and may not know to reach out to the teacher for support, even if the teacher is attempting to provide it.  As illness and emergencies pop up throughout the year, the student can often not manage things independently, even for those short periods.  

There was no mention of the child’s academic ability or grade level in either scenario.  That’s because, in these circumstances, it doesn’t matter.  Student A was set up for success and was learning that school is a priority.  Student A learned life skills such as working within a deadline, organizing tasks, and advocating for themselves.  Student B was learning that school is an afterthought and does not need to be a priority or something to be prepared for.  Student B was learning to react to things after the fact instead of being prepared.  Student B may even be learning that submitting things late is the norm - which will not work out well when the child is now an adult looking to pay bills!  Student B may also lose confidence in asking for help due to inconsistent support from the adults around them.  Consider which student will likely work through struggles and come out on top throughout their educational years and beyond.  

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As a parent in a cyber school setting, you will notice things about your child that teachers may not.  Teachers cannot always see how your child reacts when the camera is off, how they are handling an assignment, or even when they may need a movement break.  Taking an active role in advocating for your child and connecting with the student’s teacher is vital to a student’s success.  While teachers are focused on a group of students, you can focus solely on your child.  Parents do know their children best!  Bring your observations, successes, failures, concerns, and brags to the teachers!  The more teachers learn about their students, the more they can support them.

At PA Virtual, we designate the parents or adults supporting a child’s education as Learning Coaches because of their essential role in the child’s education. PA Virtual places such a high value on Learning Coaches that we have the Learning Coaches walk their high school graduates across the stage at the graduation ceremony!  Learning Coaches/Parents are also part of our Diamond Model of Partnership, a foundational concept here at PA Virtual.  We have experienced Learning Coaches who serve as Parent Ambassadors to help support parents and make their child’s experience here at PA Virtual the best it can be.

Overall, parents in any educational setting can significantly impact their child and their child’s overall success through their schooling years.  The lessons a parent can help a child learn can be translated into success well beyond high school graduation.