One of the best ways to ensure success for a virtual student is providing support at home through a learning coach. This coach can be a parent, grandparent, guardian or caregiver trusted to engage with the student’s education on a daily basis. Outside of Live Lessons, the learning coach acts as a guide to ensure the student’s education remains on-track.
An effective learning coach can bring “school” into the home, but knowing what tactics are helpful to each student can be challenging. With over 10 years of experience in facilitating virtual learning, there are a few consistent tactics we’ve discovered that can help learning coaches support their student’s virtual learning.
Create a Consistent Learning Environment
Remaining consistent is one of the greatest keys to success, and one of the best things learning coaches can do is establish a consistent, healthy learning routine with their students.
Our teachers recommend that students participate in 4-6 hours of learning each day, even on self-directed days. Maintaining consistent learning time makes it easier to stay engaged on Live Lesson days. While Live Lessons are mandatory for younger iCademy students, we highly encourage older students to attend all Live Lessons, even if they’re optional.
A consistent learning environment goes beyond forming habits and into their physical learning space. Have you ever heard that you shouldn’t work in bed? Designating specific spaces for certain activities—beds for sleeping, kitchens for eating, desks for working—aids the brain in differentiating which activities it should focus on in which locations.
An activity, like completing homework on the couch where they usually play video games, can lead to a lack of focus on their work. Designating a specific “learning space” for class and schoolwork can help encourage a consistent school-focused mindset while in that space, even at home.
Stay Engaged in Their Learning
Many students learn by example. By engaging actively with their learning and showing interest in their schoolwork, students are encouraged to stay engaged as well. And if the student starts veering off-track, learning coaches can catch it early and step in to get them the help they need.
Check in with your students daily to monitor their progress, grades and ongoing assignment completion. Even before they submit assessments or assignments, review the submission with them to ensure it truly reflects their level of understanding and help them work through any questions they may have.
Particularly for our elementary students, learning coaches can use the provided Lesson Guides to check student knowledge against the set curriculum. This is a great way to check in and ensure they’re understanding the necessary information to be successful.
Team Up With Their Teachers
Your student’s teachers aren’t just here to teach them. They’re also here to support you through parent/teacher conferences, phone calls or emails. They’re happy to answer questions, address concerns and discuss issues with attendance, assignments or overall performance.
Particularly for our elementary students, we recommend that learning coaches actively participate in the student/parent bi-weekly conference calls.
Follow School Happenings
We have a robust events calendar for both virtual events and in-person events at our Zeeland location. We keep everyone informed of iCademy happenings through our blogs and newsletters, but we’re also active on social media! You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more frequent updates, school-related tips and fun learning opportunities.
Facilitate Additional Learning At Home
Learning opportunities aren’t limited to “class time” or even just the topics we cover in class! Take time to talk to your child about their digital footprint, online safety, and responsibility when using technology. Visit your local library to help your student find resources on topics they’re interested in. In addition to instilling important personal lessons, pursuing additional education on topics of interest can help foster a student’s overall love of learning.
Learning is an adventure at any age, and we’re grateful to all of our learning coaches for getting in on the fun! For other tips on how to encourage your students as an effective learning coach, reach out to our educated staff, subscribe to our newsletter and keep checking back on our blog.