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  • Writer's pictureICL Academy

Strategies to Help Students Adapt to Online Learning

Updated: Apr 5

self paced online high school student

If you have never thought about an online private school for your child, you are missing out on an excellent educational opportunity. These days, online private schools have much to offer their students in addition to a quality learning experience.

More than Staring at a Computer All Day

Going to an online private school can be exciting. These days, kids of all ages and backgrounds are taking advantage of this alternative learning method. Students receive personalized attention, along with a wealth of educational resources that are often missing from regular public education. Parents often like online private school because it ensures their child is in a safe environment.

On the flip side, taking classes at an online private school still requires discipline on the student's part. They need to stay on track with assignment submission deadlines, as well as engage with other students daily. While having the necessary tools on hand helps, it’s common for new students to have reservations about attending an online private school.

Coming Up with Solutions Students Understand

When first starting, students may struggle to adapt to the environment of online testing or quizzing, or find online discussions to be less stimulating versus the in-person alternative. However, there are solutions available for any issue that may arise. Parents can gamify homework assignments and create rewards that encourage students to finish assignments quickly and accurately, simulating the environment of online testing and quizzing. As for the topic of online discussions, parents can challenge their kids to listen to various discussion topics and debate both sides of the argument to keep things interesting. When students are taught at a young age how to problem solve, they usually have successful careers when they reach adulthood. Online private schools can also teach them the art of being a self-starter when it comes to handling personal challenges. This trait alone helps young people manage their relationships and come up with a sensible solution as needed.

Common Obstacles Students Experience in Online Learning

In addition to various reservations or concerns that students may have about online learning, there also exist typical pitfalls or challenges that the vast majority of students experience at some point while adapting to online learning. Some of the common challenges, as well as solid solutions to address them, are below:

Lack of Motivation – When given assignments, the best advice for students is usually to jump in and start work on them right away. Putting off homework and special assignments often leads to chronic procrastination. Even if a student manages to do well on assignments they work on at the last minute, this won’t always be the case. There will be times when additional reading or research is needed. However, by tackling assignments early, students can learn to work and meet deadlines without anxiety. One method that works well is to break down assignments into increments. This can be done by the hour or day but there must be a realistic goal.

Time Management – Students who find themselves procrastinating often do so for a few reasons. They may be used to having playtime first and doing homework later. However, as children get older, this isn’t as easy. If a student has other obligations like a part-time job or watching after siblings, making time for study is challenging. However, just like unmotivated students, those with time management issues can do several things to stay ahead. Online private schools offer mentorships that guide students through milestones, or steps needed to complete assignments on time. Students should also be in the habit of completing homework first before engaging in outside activities.

Distractions – Online studies can be hard for students who attend online public and private schools because things unrelated to assignments are a click away. Social media interactions, watching entertaining videos, or just chatting with friends often kill productivity time. This can result in students not living up to their full potential and possibly falling behind. However, study apps are useful tools that help students stay on top of homework assignments and take effective notes. These also help them to establish permanent time blocks that everyone in the student’s home is aware of. Students should have a designated time to check emails or look at social media sites outside of study hours. Online private school is similar to in-person school when it comes to giving students timed breaks.

Technical Troubleshooting – Sometimes, the equipment you have at home may not meet the requirements set by an educational institution. Older systems tend to slow down with age, lack the memory needed to perform basic functions, and are more susceptible to viruses. For some, using the library computer has limits or the home internet service may have a weak connection. However, most online private schools have live IT support for students and teachers. They’re on hand during school time, as well as into the later evenings and weekends. They know things can happen but often identify whether the technical problem lies with the school or the student. An online private school can also assist in connecting to programs that assist families with getting modern equipment at a minimal cost.

Digital Etiquette – When students are having online group or one-on-one discussions, making mistakes is common. Either hands move faster than their thoughts, they read the message in a rush, or use a poor choice of words. Other times, it may be a matter of forgetting to deselect the caps button on the keyboard. Online private schools regularly use a few tools to communicate with others, so this is important.

It can helpful to remind students that even good speakers take their time with online conversations because there’s usually no way to delete something once sent. Sometimes using word processing software to check for grammatical or spelling errors helps. If that’s not possible, then entering the words and reading at least once before hitting the ‘Send’ button helps. If there’s a mandatory online discussion, students should take time to see how others are responding before expressing their thoughts.

Lack of Communication – It can be possible for students to feel lost when all they have is static text as a teaching tool. While a few online private schools do this, and it may work for some, other students prefer live interaction via video chat. Even if the basics have been covered with comprehensive reading, students may need additional lesson reinforcement.

The great thing about online private schools is they encourage live daily communication with all students. When instructors and mentors check in to see how they're doing, it gives students a sense that someone cares about their studies. Many students just enjoy having someone they can reach to discuss matters unrelated to school.

Feelings of Isolation – When students lack daily interaction, it can take getting used to. For most of us who’ve been in school, we only talked during class because we were bored. Boredom in the classroom usually makes the learning process harder for the student, and taking time to adjust to virtual studies is very common for students who attend an online private school after attending a brick-and-mortar school. However, when a student is engaged in their studies, bored feelings tend to pass. Online private schools are becoming a popular choice for parents because smaller classrooms allow teachers more freedom for creativity. In addition to live meetups, students can also communicate through chat boxes, online discussion boards, and social media.

Less Suitable for Certain Learning Styles - Oftentimes, people tend to write the way they speak, which to some may be too informal in an academic environment. On the other hand, some online private school instructors tend to write text in a way that doesn’t support all learning styles. There are also instances where the subject may be difficult for a student to comprehend. For the student who can’t follow the lesson by reading alone, they’re likely to lose enthusiasm for a particular subject. However, the great thing about modern online private schools is the curriculum not only includes a strong support system, but embraces different learning styles. This includes tools needed to reinforce comprehension of difficult subjects and trying different learning methods.

Dependency on AI Tools - These days, content creators and enthusiasts are making money from artificial intelligence (AI) technology. For students, AI can disrupt the learning experience by creating many shortcuts in the learning process. While there's reliable software that determines whether a student's work is their own, it shouldn't stop there.

Although AI is a fascinating tool that allows for creativity, it will never take the place of academic effort. This includes, but is not limited to, reading the assigned text, researching data, and writing a comprehensive paper that demonstrates actual knowledge. A good online private school will introduce students to AI tools while also ensuring they aren’t becoming overly reliant on it.

online middle school student

Helping Children Become Functional Adults

If you’re considering enrolling your child in an online private school, thinking about goals instead of obstacles helps build self esteem. It also helps to create or join a community of parents and students where mutual support and ideas are exchanged. Frequently, classmates may have the same concerns but with positive thinking and support, everyone can succeed. This is important as your child prepares to enter the working world. 

Using Modern Learning Methods that Make Studies Less Boring

Not all online private schools are made equal. ICL Academy offers a unique curriculum that aligns with student’s passions. We also encourage positive communication with teachers, mentors, and advisors through various channels.

In addition, ICL offers students extracurricular activities to boost their confidence and demonstrate positive interaction with others. We have past graduates who've excelled in the fields of acting, equestrian studies, tennis, and more. ICL offers a leadership program that helps students build character and create change in their communities.

ICL’s unique approach to learning is well-rounded and sees your child as an individual, not a number. If you’re ready to discover how modern online private schools make learning more enjoyable, we’re here to support you on your journey. Learn more about ICL Academy today.

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