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Thoughtful Parenting: Online school survival tips

Michelle Raz
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

Are you finding yourself in new roles?  

You might have just become a teacher or an academic coach and a home health care provider. Things that you didn’t typically think that would be in your repertoire but now are forced upon you by these new changes. 

You might be feeling overwhelmed, confused and frustrated and a have questions. 

Here are online school survival tips to help get you started. 

It’s essential to be your own best advocate and self-advocate if you’re not understanding something and need clarity. You need to reach out to your instructors. You’re in charge of letting people know what you need best. 

Second of all, there are many resources in this day and age.  We are so lucky that we have resources such as online tutoring programs. A lot of the schools probably are going to be offering those. There’s online counseling you can seek as well.

Goals are super important to set when you have a lot of unstructured time. When working with clients that have online classes, the biggest pitfall for them is not setting weekly and daily goals. 

An example of setting goals might be: if your instructors are giving you weekly to-dos on a Sunday evening or Monday, start the week off with a goal-setting session and budget your time accordingly for each class. Structure it so that you have built-in time for breaks lunches and tutoring time if you need that.

If you take the time to set the goals that will give you purpose each day and a focus which is an added bonus. We really need a purpose and something to do for our mental health. Map it out so that they have a purpose each day 

 It’s essential to look at the instructions and read the syllabus.  Now as easy and common sense as that sounds, I can’t tell you how many students that I work with that don’t read the instructions. They don’t look at the rubrics. They’re not following the syllabus. 

The instructors are going to be communicating a lot via email and possibly sending documents for you to read and follow. If you have a student challenged with executive functions, take the time during goal-setting to go over the syllabus for the week. Check the rubric if they’re doing a project so that they understand what is expected of them. This is an independence skill that even college students struggle with at times. 

If you feel frustrated with too many instructional sites to coordinate, come up with a plan to take charge of your time and get organized with a planner. 

I have a systematic way that I do it that you can find at razcoaching.com/video-podcasts.

It is very important to hold them accountable for work each day. The accountability I recommend is for whoever’s in charge of overseeing student work, whether it be an elementary, high school or college student, look at the progress at the end of the day. 

I cannot stress accountability as a critical factor in your student’s success enough. In our current situation, most parents are juggling working out of their home, taking care of their family, trying to get groceries and maybe taking care of an elderly person.  It is hard but worth it as the accountability checkins at the end of the day improves academic success makes them feel accomplished every day. 

Michelle Raz, M.Ed. BCC, CSS, is an academic life and career coach, author, blogger and podcaster. She specializes in working with people that have executive function challenges navigate life successfully. 


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