Monitor Your Child’s Class Activity
You have been sent an e-mail that contains your Parent Username and Password. This is the login information for you to access and monitor your child’s work. You will also find links to contact school administration and your child’s guidance Counselor.
Please save it. Please use it. But, please do not share it.
You know your child best, but in our experience, every child needs to be monitored. Set a tone early on being an active part of your child’s daily educational routine. If your child expects you to log in every day to look at what they’ve done, it can prevent many conflicts down the road. Simply taking your child’s word for it sets up a tempting dynamic for the student. Believe it or not, even motivated students often prefer to play games and chat with friends while they are on the computer, over completing school work. It is very tempting for even the most honest of teenagers to exaggerate the amount of work they’ve done. If they know you will be logging in daily, this will help them avoid temptation.
Set Expectations, Make a Schedule, Make Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
In a traditional ‘brick and mortar’ school, your child must put in the time, sitting in class for a set number of hours every day. The student who puts their head down on the desk and sleeps through class has not learned anything, but they are marked present and have met the compulsory attendance requirement. At Whitmore School, there is no requirement for the amount of time that a student must ‘sit in class’, only requirements for how much a student must learn before they are finished with a class. That being said, learning does require time and work. The amount will be different for every child. We don’t want to dictate to your family what your learning schedule should be. However, we recommend that students do have a daily routine for logging in to do school work. A daily routine helps keep students on track toward completing their classes and earning their diploma. It also helps guard against procrastination, which can be a common pitfall for students new to online learning.
But unlike at a ‘brick and mortar’ school, a daily routine at Whitmore School won’t be very useful if you only set expectations for how much time your student should sit in front of the computer. Instead, you should sit down with your child, preview the course(s) he or she is enrolled in, and come up with a concrete schedule for the completion of work. It’s a good idea to set short-term goals (for example, complete up to Lesson 4 by Friday) and long-term goals (for example, graduate by June of next year). It’s also important to regularly review whether the schedule is working to keep your child on track toward their long-term goals.
As a broad guideline, we recommend that a diploma program student plan to work on their courses 4-5 days a week. Students are scheduled with 3 courses at a time. They should plan to make one or two submissions in each of the 3 courses every day they work. The amount of time that this amount of daily work will take will likely vary from day to day. Some lessons might be a comparatively simple matter of revising a few answers, while other lessons might involve researching and writing an essay which would take quite a bit more time. After your child does a few lessons, you will begin to get a clearer picture of the time it will take your child.
Below is a guideline of what a student is expected to submit depending on if your student’s schedule involves working 2 days a week up to 5 days a week. Working less than 2 days a week is not recommended.
Students working 2 – 3 days a week in 3 courses
The student would be considered a Part-Time student
Students working 4 days a week in 3 courses
The student would be considered a Full-Time student
1 post a day in 3 courses x 4 days = 12 posts a week
2 posts a day in 3 courses x 4 days = 24 posts a week
Students working 5 days a week in 3 courses
The student would be considered a Full-Time student
1 post a day in 3 courses x 5 days = 15 posts a week
2 posts a day in 3 courses x 5 days = 30 posts a week
NOTE: One more important consideration about school attendance. Every state has a compulsory attendance law, no matter where the student attends school. It is your responsibility to comply with the compulsory attendance law in your state.
How You Can Help Your Child Engage His or Her Teacher
The back and forth learning process begins when your child asks a question of the teacher. Until the student initiates this contact, the teacher has no idea that the student is having any difficulty. The teacher cannot see the puzzled look on your child’s face. Initiating this contact with the teacher takes some practice for students new to online learning. You can help.
Most student difficulties start out with broad, vague questions: “Huh? What…? I don’t get it.” The longer a student stays there, sitting with their “Huh?” the bigger their frustration will grow. Before long, it could grow to the size of…”None of this makes any sense! I can’t do this!” Help your student get in the habit of shrinking down the question instead of growing it bigger. Ask your student questions like:
- Which parts of the lesson do you think you already understand well?
- Which part of this assignment is tripping you up?
- What do you think you need to know to understand that better?
- What can your teacher give you that might help you understand that?
Once your child has shrunk the problem down to a few specific questions, help and encourage them to ask their teacher those questions. Remind them to be polite (say “please”) and to polish up their grammar before hitting ‘submit’.
Then congratulate your child for asking such a smart and apt question! Confidence in learning begins with the confidence to ask questions. Besides, teachers really like to see students become actively engaged in their courses and ask good questions. (And this will pay off when the time comes for writing college recommendations!)
Our courses are meant to challenge your child and expand their capabilities. However, if your child continues to have difficulties that seem unreasonable to you, please give the office a call. Together we can brainstorm solutions.
CompuHigh-Whitmore School takes its mission very seriously:
|“Whitmore School seeks to provide a supportive, challenging, and alternate learning environment. Students are encouraged to be in charge of their education, giving them the opportunity to develop creativity, independence, responsibility, time management and critical thinking skills. We emphasize mastery of all academic courses, allowing students to view themselves as capable of achieving their educational goals.“
Our goal is not only to educate your child on reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic’, so to say, but help them develop into confident, independent, lifelong learners. This includes the many, many students who come to us with learning challenges. As our mission says, we expect the student to take charge of their education. This means initiating communication with teachers and self-advocating throughout the process. This is a very important life skill. We want to empower each student to identify their needs, articulate them, then adjust as needed. As our Core Values Statement says, “Students have the freedom to continuously define themselves through their choices, work and communication.”
Keep in mind that this rarely happens quickly or easily. It takes repeated encouragement from both teachers and parents. But after time, Whitmore students do find their voice and do begin to view themselves as capable.