8 Common Concerns about Virtual School

5 min to read
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When you first consider enrolling your child to virtual school, what’s on your mind? Curiosity? Excitement? Doubt? Chances are you feel a combination of all these, especially if you don’t have first-hand experience with virtual learning. 

To confront your concerns and decide if online learning is the best choice for your child, start by asking a lot of questions! Make a list to clear your mind, and then reach out directly to the school or even contact the parent of a current student. If you’re wondering, “What are the biggest challenges with online education today?” see if you can find the answers you need in this list of common concerns. 

1. Do online school Learning Coaches have to manage class schedules, coursework, and establish routines?

Figuring out your new role as your child’s Learning Coach is an adjustment, and it will take a few weeks for you and your learner to find the right rhythm. But the more structure you have, the easier it will be.   

Look at sample daily schedules for help in creating a daily routine and don’t forget to reach out for advice from teachers and other parents! 

2. I have more than one student in virtual school. How can I successfully juggle my time between them as their Learning Coach?

Learning Coach involvement typically varies by grade level. The younger students require more support and guidance than older children, who are more independent by the time they reach high school. Because each student’s needs are different, you can find ways to arrange multiple schedules so that you divide your time between your students.  

3. I’m worried about making mistakes as my child’s Learning Coach.

Every new Learning Coach feels nervous and worried at some point, but remember that you’re not on your own. Online teachers are there for you and your student. And soon after getting started, you’ll get a better idea of what makes a great Learning Coach and be on your way to becoming a pro. 

4. I’m not very tech-savvy. Is this a problem? I want to make sure my child’s schoolwork is being submitted properly.

A lack of technological skills is one of the most commonly presumed problems of online learning. If you can relate, we have good news: when you start the school year, you can complete a tutorial on how to submit schoolwork and other documents. If you have any trouble submitting work or anything else using system technology, a teacher can walk you through it. And tech support is always available to help you during the week. 

5. How can I make sure my student gets enough social interaction?

Social engagement is a widely-shared concern when it comes to the challenges of online learning. However, social opportunities are easier for virtual students to find than you might expect. Your student can join online clubs and activities, attend school-organized field trips, and more.  

One Learning Coach shared, "My daughter has been a Connections Academy student since kindergarten. We fill the socializing aspect with outside activities such as Girl Scouts, bowling, archery, and softball. Your child doesn’t have to go to a traditional brick-and-mortar school to communicate with other kids or make friends. That’s why extracurricular activities are available." 

Consider getting your child interested in volunteering or joining local organizations. Get inspired by how other parents ensure their students get plenty of social interaction

6. My child has an individualized education program (IEP). How do I ensure they get extra support?

Students with IEPs have access to a variety of virtual special education services. The curriculum can be modified to accommodate your student’s needs, and the IEP team can offer virtual direct instruction, virtual indirect instruction, or virtual occupational therapy if needed. Contact the school your child plans to attend for more information about the specific help he or she could receive. 

Explore how online learning can support students with special needs

7. The list of school supplies needed to set up an at-home learning environment is overwhelming. Do I need everything on the list?

You might not need all of the suggested school supplies if you already have some of the items at home; plus, there might be some things you can substitute with what you have. You can always contact your teacher if you have questions or wait until your student gets to the unit before deciding if you need all the materials listed. 

8. My student tends to get distracted and needs a little extra help staying motivated. How will I be able to keep them engaged and on track all year long?

All students are unique, but some benefit from the freedom provided by virtual learning and are able to build their intrinsic motivation and independence. Helping your student set goals and achieve deadlines will prepare them for long-term success in college, the workforce, and beyond. No matter what type of learner you have, Connections Academy teachers work with you as a learning coach to ensure your student’s needs are met. This may include adjusting how deadlines are delivered, involving you more in coursework and projects, or increasing your lines of communication. 

Supporting your child’s education can be a challenge sometimes, no matter where they attend school. But if it’s a good fit, virtual school can offer a rewarding and even life-changing experience to both students and parents.  Supporting your child’s education can be a challenge sometimes, no matter where they attend school. But if it’s a good fit, virtual school can offer a rewarding and even life-changing experience to both students and parents.  

To see what parents think about the challenges of online learning, student progress, teacher support, classroom technology, and curriculum quality at Connections Academy, take a look at our parent testimonials, or ask questions of our Facebook community

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