My kids have now been taking online classes for two years, and there were one or two minor classes earlier, but every semester for the last two years they have been taking online classes through our local community college. Here are our tips for getting the most out of online classes.
(this post is sponsored by Stepmojo, I’ll have more information on them sprinkled throughout the post, also I have a few affiliate links in here)
Know how the class is set up
Each online class will have its own set-up. My kids have come to learn they like asynchronous classes because they can do the work on their own time.
HOWEVER, this past year Batman had a set meeting time for Spanish, and everyone having the same class time worked so much better because he could interact with other students.
Side point, Stepmojo has synchronous classes, and this can be great for kids who need a strict schedule.
Find out exactly when you need to turn in assignments, AND how you turn in the assignments
My kids took a dual credit class where the assignments were turned in using three different websites. That particular class also had assignments due 5:00 Sunday afternoon.
My daughter took a sociology class that had tests taken on Sunday, every test for the entire semester was on Sunday, and once you started you had two hours to complete it. Then the time changed for the final and it was on Thursday, and if you didn’t complete it on Thursday, you got a zero. The GroupMe for the class Friday morning was filled with students who missed the final.
Verify, and double-check everything.
Look at Stepmojo‘s assignment (yes this is just an example from one class), but most online classes will have a syllabus you can check to see what is done and when.
Get a good headset
If I got a dollar every time my kids complained about the headset of another student when they tried to complete projects together, I’d have… well enough money to go out to dinner at a decent restaurant at least once.
I bought my kids these noise cancellation Bluetooth headsets, they have many different uses:
- they can help focus when trying to do schoolwork in a noisy house
- they have clear sound and a good microphone
- there’s no cord, and if you have a dog who likes to run under tables and accidentally unplug things…
Oh, is that last one just me?
But the no cord also lets your kids walk away to get a drink of water and still hear what’s going on.
Create an office
It doesn’t need to be a literal office, but it does need to be a place they can concentrate better. When it came time to study, my kids split up into different rooms. They might watch the lectures in the same room, but when it came time to focusing, they split up.
I did have to check in from time to time to see how they were doing, but overall I gave them their space.
Give them space to screw up
As homeschool moms we are used to being very involved in our kids’ schoolwork. We’re used to knowing exactly what they are doing, when they are doing it, and why they are doing it.
Back off and give your kids a chance to mess up.
Don’t be completely hands-off and freak out when they’re failing at the end of the semester, but give them time to learn how to get things turned in on their own and work out how they best study.
Give it a few weeks and then check in on them.
You got this homeschool mom
I have to admit there were times I was unsure of how well my kids were doing, and how well they would do in online classes.
Then two of my kids took a composition class together, and they were assigned a group project.
Superman organized the entire group, getting the email chain started and trying to communicate with everyone.
The Artist edited the papers, and by that I mean completely rewrote her fellow student’s part of the paper. His writing was on a level with what I rejected when the kids were in middle school.
Let’s talk about Stepmojo online classes
I got a chance to preview some of their classes, and let me tell you Stepmojo had a great instructor in the preview class I got to check out.
For the Fall 2022 semester they are focusing on STEM classes, and offer both traditional high school and AP classes (AP classes look great on your transcript).
Stepmojo works on soft skills, you know those skills you don’t officially list in a lesson plan but everyone needs to learn. How to work in a group, how to communicate with teachers and other students
Stepmojo is running a sale if you sign up before August 1 for a Fall 2022 class, you get $100 off a class.
BUT WAIT, there’s more! If you use my coupon code (50ticiamessing), you get even more off before September 1, 2022.