Learning Coach Guide: 8 Tips for Starting the School Year

3 min to read
A father and son are doing school work together

1. Stay organized.

One of the most important responsibilities of a Learning Coach is to provide the organization and structure students need to excel. Kids of all ages can benefit from a tidy learning space where supplies are easy to find. Help your child create a filing system for classroom materials and a calendar for tracking due dates, project deadlines, and activities.

2. Master time management.

Many students look to their Learning Coaches for support with time management. This could include setting timers or alarms, helping establish deadlines, providing five-minute warnings before changing activities, or teaching your student how to divide a large project into smaller, more manageable chunks.

You’ll also need to figure out the Learning Coach time commitment for yourself, as it differs based on your student’s age level and needs.

3. Take a sneak-peek preview of the week.

When asked how to prepare for distance learning, many seasoned Learning Coaches advise taking an hour or two each weekend to prepare for lessons scheduled for the coming week. This sneak peek in the syllabus gives you the opportunity to print out any assignments, make a note of deadlines and assessments, purchase any needed supplies, and adjust your student’s extracurricular schedule to make room for more time-consuming projects or any extra tutoring. 

4. Create a balance of flexibility and routine.

While freedom and flexibility in where and when students learn are hallmarks of an online school, many students still benefit from a regular, daily routine with set times for meals, lessons, recreation, and other activities. When their schedule inevitably varies, it may be valuable to display the day’s itinerary where your student can see it, so they know what to expect.

5. Lean on your student’s teachers.

Some of the best advice for how to prepare for school will come from your student’s teachers. At Connections Academy-supported schools, our online public-school teachers are state-certified education professionals who are fully qualified to teach students remotely.  You can turn to them to discuss your child’s progress and comprehension, for insights into your role as Learning Coach, and for helpful motivational techniques for at-home learning. Instructors may also connect you to resources you may need, such as online references and guidance counselors for additional support.

6. Motivate your student with clubs and fun activities.

Everyone loves having choices—that’s why some online schools offer assorted student clubs and extracurricular activities for students. Whether your young learner is interested in the arts, science, games, or helping others, they're sure to find a club that’s a good fit as well as other friends who share that same passion.

7. Prioritize field trips and events.

Online learning extends beyond the computer. Attending field trips is a great way for you and your child to apply the concepts learned to the real world—and to make face-to-face connections with other members of your community. 

8. End the day on a positive note.

Even on days when you are struggling, remind yourself to end each school day by giving your child a bit of praise, encouragement, or affection. You’ve both worked hard to adjust to a new way of learning, so celebrate your successes. 

With these hints, the support of your child’s online teacher, plus a healthy dose of commitment, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a fantastic Learning Coach and enjoying the rewards of being part of your child’s growth every day! 

For more tips check out our additional Learning Coach Guide.

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