4 Keys to Establishing Schedules and Routines for Online Students
Whether you’re thinking about transitioning to virtual school or you’ve already done it, you’re probably wondering how you’ll organize your child's learning day at home. Yes, it’s true that you get some schedule flexibility with your digital learning, but you’ll still need to maintain a type of routine so that your child doesn’t fall behind.
But at the same time, you’ll want to create a schedule that works best for them.
How to make a schedule for online school
At most virtual schools, as long as your online student keeps up with lessons and schoolwork, remains on track to complete the school year, and meets the number of learning hours required by the state,* there is no right or wrong schedule.
Read these four important keys that will help you establish a school schedule for virtual classes, and create a new routine for your student:
1. Make a schedule for online classes that works for your student.
Online school gives you the advantage of tailoring your learning around times and events that work best for your child. Knowing that, remember that one type of schedule that works for another student might not work for yours.
Try different online learning schedules during a school week to find the one that gets the best results from your child. It might take several attempts but finding a routine that complements your child’s learning style and interests is incredibly rewarding. Plus, there’s no pressure or rush to have the school system figured out right away, the staff and teachers understand that families will need some time to adjust.
Not sure where to start? Check out these five sample online school schedules to get some ideas, and to download a blank, school schedule template to get started!
2. Optimize your student’s interests into the online learning schedule.
With a more flexible schedule comes the ability to be a little creative with how you balance things. Since online school can be personalized, talk to your child about how they would like their school schedule to be organized.
- You may not agree with their suggestions, but the two of you can work together and negotiate a virtual schedule.
- Find out which subjects are their favorite and start the day with those.
- Put their least preferred course in the middle of the day so they can have more energy to tackle it after a break.
3. Include enjoyable hobbies in the daily routine.
If your student is involved in sports, clubs, or other fun activities, take those into account when you start planning for the day. With virtual school, students have the option to participate in daytime activities and may have the option of completing some schoolwork in the evenings or on the weekends.
Just like some of our alumni who have gone on to become Olympic athletes or professional ballerina’s, on days when your child has a long practice or rehearsal, plan a light learning day. They can then follow a more extensive school schedule on a different day of the week.
4. Schedule study breaks.
Just like anyone who spends a long time on a task or assignment, students can grow weary, and lose both their physical and mental energy. So, give them a study break every so often so they can give their bodies and brains a spark to stay sharp.
Encourage your student to do something relaxing such as a walk outside, eat a snack, or read a magazine. Even if it's just a five-minute break, it can really make a difference in your child's energy level!
With your help, your child can follow a flexible, customized, and productive online school schedule at home! Now that you know how to make a schedule for virtual school, it’s time to look into some top tips to make school from home a success.
*Before you start any schedules, please check the school handbook or other resources to determine the number of weekly learning hours and attendance policies required by their state, district, or school.