From Tuesday’s inbox…
Posted: 16 Jul 2012 11:01 AM PDT
By JACQUELYN SANBORN,
Dean of Instruction at Allied National High School
Parent involvement is proven to be a critical factor in determining the academic success of students. This is not only the case for elementary age students, but for secondary students as well. Yet parents often feel that once their child has reached high school, they are better equipped to manage their own academic experience. This may be the case for some internally motivated young people, but for the majority of high school students, they would most likely perform better with some form of parent involvement.
Regardless of the type of leaner your child is, if they are an online learner, I am positive you would be amazed by their technology skills. I encourage you to not be intimidated by their savvy, but instead to embrace and compliment their abilities, and then ask them to show you how. What better way to help set the stage for an academic progress conversation?
Having a child who learns online also means they can no longer show you the wet, red, ink on their latest paper. In order to access teacher feedback and scores, you now need to be able to navigate the online world they call school. In a matter of 15 minutes, your child can show you how to access their grades, read instructor feedback, view averages, and look ahead at upcoming assessment information. Make an appointment with them to show you how to do these things, and ask them specifically how to perform each step. Show them that you are taking them seriously by asking questions and taking notes along the way. If you get any resistance or notice a lack of patience, remind them that this will save them time later on because you will not have to ask them to show you each time you want to view something.
With the proper knowledge and tools at your fingertips, online learning environments give you an opportunity to stay informed without bombarding your child daily for information. This also means you can avoid the inevitable sigh, followed by the well-known eye roll. We help parents out with this process at ANHS by providing all parents with access to a parent orientation video, and an observer access account, designed specifically for checking academic progress.
Some may argue that online learning environments can empower parents to be better informed and involved than in a traditional classroom environment. You will be surprised to see your child’s reaction when you say, “I saw you got a 9/10 on your last science quiz, that’s awesome!” I also think this is the factor that can help keep students on track. If they know you can view their progress at the click of a mouse, it may be much easier for them to do well on a test by studying, rather than having to argue with you later on over a low score on a test. Checking their progress daily or weekly can also help you to have more productive conversations about areas of improvement in their academic performance, and give you an extra chance to reward them for doing well.