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September 22, 2020

6 min

Jade Fernandez

10 Tips for Creating a Structured Online Learning Schedule

Online learning sparks new opportunities for growth. It also comes with a whole new lifestyle. As a parent, that adjustment might seem overwhelming. After all, you have a pile of responsibilities to juggle on a daily basis as it is.

Luckily, taking time to create a structured online learning environment can add much-needed stability to your day and can help your student get more out of online learning.

Not sure where to start?

Read on. We’ve laid out 10 tips for creating a structured learning schedule for your child to enhance their online learning experience and lighten your load.

Why Is Structure Important for Effective Online Learning?

If your child is new to online learning, they’ll quickly realize it’s a significant adjustment from traditional schooling. Traditional learning environments usually come with strict, rigid schedules that run in 7-8 hour blocks. In an online learning environment, your child won’t be tied down within that stiff schedule.

Still, with that freedom comes opportunities to create a structured schedule that helps your child hit their goals more efficiently. You also have a chance to create a school day that helps them squeeze the most out of every moment and see better results.

In addition to setting the table for more efficient learning, building a structured online learning schedule will help your student discover how to manage time and plan for success in the future.

How to Set Up Your Student’s Online Learning Schedule

It’s simple. The more efficiently you can help your learner map out an online learning schedule, the better their experience will be. Here are some tips to help you enhance your child’s online learning schedule and carve out a happier day of learning:

1. Embrace Schedule Flexibility

Remember, online learning gives your child a major advantage with flexible scheduling. Take advantage of it. Here are a few ways to craft a flexible schedule that boosts productivity:

  • Account for breaks: Be sure to set aside breaks for your child. This should also include time away from screens.
  • Consider extracurricular interests: Because you can carve out time for practice, training, and events, online learning is a big advantage for student athletes and performing artists. Whether your student is a part of organized extracurriculars or not, it’s important to set aside time for them to explore their passions. That might mean taking part in online learning tiles, joining a club, or blocking off time for them to grow outside the classroom.
  • Map out meals: Online learning gives you more control over your child’s eating regiments and health. Take advantage of that opportunity. Build in designated times for your student to sit down, eat, and refuel.
  • Schedule for rest and sleep: Another advantage to online learning is your child doesn’t have to sacrifice sleep, rush in the morning to get ready, and prepare for a long commute to school. To get the most out of these resting advantages, it’s a good idea to block off time for naps, a wind-down routine, and designated bedtimes.

2. Work with Your Child to Create a Schedule

If you want to get the most out of creating a structured online learning schedule, make it a team effort. That means working with your child to create a schedule that fits their preferences.

Of course, they may not have the time management skills to establish priorities fully on their own, but getting their input will help them take ownership of their day. Plus, they’ll learn critical organization skills, and you’ll learn more about their values along the way.

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3. Work in Quality Time

Most families struggle to find time to connect. In fact, one study found the average American family spends less than 40 minutes a day together during weekdays.

Online learning makes it easier to boost family time and connect with your child on a deeper level. When you’re mapping out your child’s schedule, consider matching up meal times, planning short family activities, or setting aside time to talk about school.

4. Make Time for Physical Activity

Physical activity isn’t just important for your child’s physical well-being. Studies suggest physical activity is closely related to a young person’s cognitive ability, self-control, and memory.

Your child can reap the benefits of physical activity by blocking out time for short, easy exercise sessions. That may be something as simple as taking walks outdoors, having a living room dance party, or playing an active game.

5. Consider Your Own Needs

As you’re creating a schedule for your student, don’t neglect your own needs. If you work at home or you’ve been thrown into an unexpected homeschooling situation, be sure you’ve set up your own work schedule before creating your child’s. Let your child know what times you’ll be available and when you’ll be focusing on work.

Once you dig into your own schedule, you may find you need additional help for your child. In that case, you may want to consider a tutor or look for extra online homeschooling support programs to lend a helping hand.

6. Create a Daily Plan for Goals, Roles, and Expectations

Working with your child to map out a daily online learning schedule presents an excellent opportunity to schedule short goal-setting sessions.

It helps to set aside time at the beginning of the day or week to discuss goals, determine who will be doing what, and lay out expectations. These short sessions will help your student stay on track and know what to expect.

To get even more out of the learning day, you can also schedule reflective sessions in the evening to check in on progress, identify academic barriers, and discover how to improve.

7. Set Aside Time for Reading and Homework

Several studies link reading to better academic performance. By blocking off time to read and do homework each day, you’ll help your student solidify this powerful habit.

When scheduling your child’s homework and reading times, it’s a good idea to line up sessions with times when you might be available. That way, you can help your student and answer questions they have as they’re diving into independent study.

8. Schedule Family Meetings

You have plenty of responsibilities to wrestle with on a daily basis. Why not tackle them as a team?

You can build relationships and spread out responsibilities by scheduling regular family meetings. These meetings can be a great opportunity to discuss expectations, divvy up chores, or simply enjoy time together.

9. Give Your Child Control

In addition to letting your child have a say in schedule-setting, be sure they have daily responsibilities and the tools to follow through.

For instance, if you’ve set aside play time, make sure they have access to helmets, safety equipment, and recreational items. If you’ve set aside times that you’re off-limits, make sure they have access to healthy snacks, reading material, or other resources that give them the power to be proactive.

10. Set Aside Time to Destress

Stress doesn’t just weigh on your child and distract from their online learning process; it has been linked to broader problems. For instance, the CDC has reported that among children ages 3-17 years old who suffer from anxiety, more than one in three also experience behavior problems.

You can help your child destress and get more out of online learning by designating stress-relieving activities. That might include anything from exploring the outdoors or coloring to playing a sport or conducting breathing exercises. Regardless of the activity you choose, it’s important to give your child a chance to step outside their normal responsibilities to decompress.

Make Your Child’s Online Learning Experience a Success

By developing a structured online learning schedule, you’ll be paving a path toward better learning outcomes. Still, it’s important that your child is getting the online learning support they need on a daily basis. At Method Schools, our online learning experts are here to help your child reach their goals, and we give students the tools to learn at their own pace.

Want to learn more about how Method Schools can help your student succeed? Contact one of our online learning experts today!

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