FAQs About Cyber School, Student Engagement, and Focus
How can you help your child to succeed in their new cyber school setting? Engagement in the learning process is an essential part of your child’s education. Not only do you want your child to participate in their classes, you also want them to stay on track. If this is your child’s first cyber school experience, take a look at what you need to know about engagement, focus, and school-year schedules.
What Is Educational Engagement — and Is It Different In Cyber School?
Educational engagement is exactly what the name sounds like — how much (or little) your child engages or participates in the learning process. This includes the amount of time your child spends in or on classes. Asynchronous and synchronous class time, homework, and other activities that relate to school content and the academic curriculum are all parts of this equation.
Along with the actual amount of time (such as the specific number of minutes or hours) your child engages in educational activities, engagement also includes the quality of this time. A child may spend several hours each day in class, although they may not engage in the class or the learning process. While this may seem confusing, this example illustrates the difference between participation and engagement or just showing up. Engagement and participation require the student to devote time, energy, and attention to the subject.
Engagement may take on a different meaning in the cyber school setting. Even though it still means that your child will need to spend more than just time on their lessons, it also includes a level of self-motivation. Unlike the brick-and-mortar school setting, cyber education often offers a higher degree of self-determination, independence, freedom, and self-pacing.
Although in a synchronous program, instruction is live in real-time with a certified teacher, students still need to come to class prepared and on time. Understanding the value of education improves enthusiasm in the classroom and helps some children find ways to encourage and motivate themselves. This can build self-esteem, independence, and the ability to set (and reach) goals.
How Can You Support Engagement?
Engagement in cyber classes is often a self-motivational factor that your child will need to develop on their own. They will need your support to nurture their growing ability to focus on school and schoolwork.
There is not a one-size-fits-all or universal way to support engagement and focus that works for every young student. Instead, you will need to consider the surrounding factors that apply to or impact your child’s education. These include the cyber school program itself, the expectations for your child’s learning (both the school’s expectations and yours), your child’s age, your child’s developmental level, the at-home learning environment, and your child’s or family’s view of the educational process.
Before you can create a plan to support your child’s school engagement, you need to better understand what their (and your) expectations and goals are and how your child learns best. This allows you to choose methods that will work for your child as an individual — and may mean that you need to pick and choose academic or learning activities that your child finds interesting, enjoys, or feels most comfortable with.
If your child prefers a social setting and needs personal encouragement to succeed, a synchronous learning environment or your consistent presence may help. But if your child engages best through self-led discovery processes, an asynchronous learning environment or solo homework and educational activities are options to explore.
How Can You Help Your Child To Focus?
Focus is a top challenge for many young students — in either cyber or traditional in-person school settings. Even though focus is an issue in any educational environment, the cyber experience may come with a different set of challenges. But this does not mean that your child cannot overcome challenges and succeed with ease.
To help your child focus during classes or on schoolwork, minimize overall distractions. Turn off the TV, keep in-home noise to a bare minimum, and create an inviting school space. Along with the physical space, your child may benefit from concrete written timelines, checklists, or visual cues. Use a whiteboard to create a daily schedule for your child to follow, write step-by-step checklists for each activity, or use verbal prompts to return your child’s focus back to the lesson at hand.
What Else Can You Do To Support Your Child’s Education?
Do you have concerns about your child’s ability to self-motivate or focus? You are not alone. This is a common issue for many students and their families. Parental support can help the child’s school success. Even though the cyber setting provides the perfect opportunity for a student to develop independence, they also need help from adults.
While you do not act as their teacher, you can play the role of their cheerleader. Encourage your child verbally and celebrate their triumphs. Set realistic learning goals and communicate with their teachers regularly. If you notice that your child is struggling, talk to the educator. Cyber teachers have specialized knowledge in more than just the school subjects they teach. These educators have experience in cyber education, expertise in instructional practices, and the training necessary to help your child learn, grow, and develop.
Are you ready to enroll your child in cyber school? Contact Agora Cyber Charter School for more information.