With the start of another school year right around the corner, it's time to stock up on notebooks, fire up the laptop, and--yes--get your kids or teens back on their regular schedule. Here's everything you need to know to help make the transition a whole lot easier.
Online School Schedules: What To Consider
During the summer, kids may abandon the routines that keep them going throughout the rest of the year. They get up late and stay up even later, and they may not have a set schedule for eating, bathing, hanging out with friends, or managing their screen time, either.
In a traditional school setting, kids can easily see why such habits need to change. After all, they need to catch the bus or drive to school on time, and they have a specific time for lunch, homework, and more.
However, online school students may approach their back-to-school schedules a little differently. That's especially true if this is your first year in the online school system. Think about it from a kid or teen's perspective: When there's no need to coordinate an outfit, plan for travel time, or even eat before school (you're always within walking distance of the fridge when you're in online school!), why worry about schedules at all?
The truth, of course, is that online school schedules are just as important as those at traditional schools. Online students have tasks to complete, assignments to turn in, and meetings to attend--and while those requirements may feel different, they are still requirements.
That's why it's important to help your kids shake off their summer adventures and get back into good schedule habits.
Tips for Rebuilding Your Online School Schedule
Whether this is your first experience with online school or you're returning for another great year, the truth is that students may be reluctant to say goodbye to summer freedom. Here's how to help them take slow steps toward a more structured routine.
#1: Start With Mornings
Kids--and especially teens--may not like it, but getting up early is part of the school life. Because their sleeping schedules may be totally different these days, it's smart to help them go to bed and get up a little earlier every day. Give yourself plenty of time to ease into this change before the school year starts--that way, it doesn't feel like a shock.
#2: Plan Meals
During the summer, it's easy to get into the habit of eating whenever you can--or whenever everyone's in the same room. To help kids adapt to an online school schedule, make sure all three meals are at a particular time every day. It's also helpful to have dinner a little earlier; this allows kids a bit of free time before heading to bed.
#3: Talk About Screen Time
Kids of all ages love their screens, especially during the hottest months of the year when it's great to stay inside. However, when online school starts back up, you'll need to talk about your expectations. Teens may need a little less coaching in this area, but you can still help them manage their time wisely and effectively.
Also keep in mind that online school naturally introduces more screen time into your kids' day. Encourage them to take small breaks when possible--not just to rest their eyes, but to refresh their minds and stretch their legs, too.
#4: Think Ahead for Extracurricular Activities
If your kids participate in any extracurricular activities during the online school year, think about how those can work around class and homework time. Don't forget to consider travel and practice into your scheduling plans.
#5: Keep Your Kids Involved
As kids get older, it's increasingly important for them to manage their own schedules. That's not just because they want more control over their lives; it's also good practice for higher education and the rigor of work life. Make sure to involve your kids and teens in planning schedules so they're ready to do it themselves when the time comes.
Another school season is coming up fast. To help your kids get ready, it's smart to start early and ease them back into a regular schedule--and although online school may be different, it still has time requirements and necessary tasks to think about.
Want to learn more about getting ready for the online school year? Contact us today!