Many of us have already spent several months working and completing school from home. The thought of spending summer doing the same thing might seem challenging. Trixi DeRosa-Davis is an Instructional Coach with VirtualSC who works from home, with her three children. Her middle daughter Elsa has taken several VirtualSC courses and will be again this summer. Below are the tips and tricks Trixi and Elsa would like to share for completing summer courses successfully:
Tips for Students from Elsa (10th):
Print off your pacing guide(s)! Tape them to your wall or put them in a notebook. You will need these throughout the course and it will be good to have them handy.
Set a specific time to work on your course. I’ve found it helpful to set some time aside when my parents aren’t working so they can help me if I have questions.
Read instructions carefully. Follow any checklists and rubrics. Most of your errors come from not following directions.
Communicate with your teacher. I don’t always like reaching out to teachers, but I’ve learned it is better to communicate than be confused.
Don’t fall behind!! I’ve done it and it doesn’t end well. Tears didn’t help my grade.
Take a break, get a snack and go for a walk when you feel frustrated.
Proofread your assignments before you submit them. Double check to make sure you met everything on the rubric.
Read your teacher’s feedback. It helps you to know what you got wrong and why and how to improve moving forward.
Did I mention don’t fall behind?!?! It only results in more work.
Read! Read! Read! Teacher’s send helpful information in messages and texts, make sure you read those if you have questions.
Tips for Parents From Trixi (Old):
Keep a copy of the pacing guide. Tape it to the fridge so that you know when due dates are. If you share a family calendar, consider adding those due dates.
Make sure that your child has provided the correct email and phone number for your contact information. Ask them to show it to you. Teachers will use this information to get in touch with you and it is important that it is correct. Consider making a parent account.
Encourage your child to work on pace and ahead. It is really hard for them to recover when they get behind.
Ask to see their grades IN the course, and their progress reports. Don’t just take their word for it, kids are sneaky!
Encourage them to communicate with their teacher. As young adults, it is important that they pick up the phone and use their interpersonal skills to prepare for the future.
Set aside a specific time to check in with them once a week. It is easy for them to get behind and feel overwhelmed. Knowing they have a check in with you can help to keep them on track.
Contact their teachers if you have questions.
While we are both working from home, it has been helpful for us to all work from the dining room table. This way everyone can stay focused and on task together.
Celebrate when they get good feedback and do well. Focus on the positive.
Take a break when/if you become frustrated with them. Take a walk, get a snack, and remember that we all deserve a little grace.
We hope that these suggestions will help you to survive summer classes in quarantine.
Written by: Trixi DeRosa-Davis, and VSC Student Elsa