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WendyAndMilo

Learning Curve going from self-taught to online classes?

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Is there a learning curve with online classes that I should be aware of?  DS has spent this entire year teaching himself all subjects (choosing when and how to get everything done during the day).  Next year, he will be taking four online classes (CLRC) and 2-3 still at home.  I'm wondering if I should sign him up for a summer class to get him used to it?

(I'm not too worried about him figuring out the tech part of it).

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For us, the time commitment is different between home-taught and online classes. DD can absorb a lot of information very quickly, and I usually only have her do enough work to show mastery. Online classes have different expectations for the work produced, and can often require 2-3 times more output than I do at home (or simply written output as opposed to discussion, which is my kid's favored way to learn). Scheduling and time management then become issues.

Managing workload for a class that can meet once per week, have one due date per week, but require putting aside time 3-5 days per week to get the work done is a skill to develop.

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I think there is a learning curve. When my oldest switched back to online school from homeschooling, I sat with him until he got the schedule and different teacher requirements down. He's a self-starter and box-checker, so it was a matter of helping him figure out how to set himself up for success and then following up often to make sure he wasn't overwhelmed or falling behind. 

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Well, mine haven't had a problem with the switch, but there is always a learning curve with any new teacher or tech. You said you don't think the tech will be an issue, so I will just note that my kids had to learn to scan homework (or save as a PDF or certain format) and submit. Canvas, which CLRC uses, is pretty easy to figure out.

My oldest took a few classes from CLRC and finds that each teacher labels the homework due dates a bit differently. Two of her classes were foreign language so perhaps your kid won't have the inconsistencies.

I think the biggest lingering difference between our at home classes and online ones is that with home classes, they don't have "homework." They work on something for a certain amount of time each day and move at their own pace through the material and checklists. With an online class, you have class, then you have to do the homework. More time needed to get things done. Allow time for tech glitches (internet down, canvas down, laptop battery drained, etc) before sonething is due.

I would not sign him up for a summer class. I might suggest he start some of his at home classes over the summer because those can get shunted aside if the online classes are more work than you expect, especially when you are just getting used to everything.

Edited by RootAnn
Added opinion on summer class question
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13 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

Well, mine haven't had a problem with the switch, but there is always a learning curve with any new teacher or tech. You said you don't think the tech will be an issue, so I will just note that my kids had to learn to scan homework (or save as a PDF or certain format) and submit. Canvas, which CLRC uses, is pretty easy to figure out.

My oldest took a few classes from CLRC and finds that each teacher labels the homework due dates a bit differently. Two of her classes were foreign language so perhaps your kid won't have the inconsistencies.

I think the biggest lingering difference between our at home classes and online ones is that with home classes, they don't have "homework." They work on something for a certain amount of time each day and move at their own pace through the material and checklists. With an online class, you have class, then you have to do the homework. More time needed to get things done. Allow time for tech glitches (internet down, canvas down, laptop battery drained, etc) before sonething is due.

I would not sign him up for a summer class. I might suggest he start some of his at home classes over the summer because those can get shunted aside if the online classes are more work than you expect, especially when you are just getting used to everything.

This! Some of the efficiency of homeschooling is lost. 

We do start several things early to have a good start before any of dd's outsourced classes (local or online) begin. 

Edited by ScoutTN
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For my older two there was a learning curve.  Some of it was very good to learn, such as meeting deadlines and outside accountability.  They felt like many (not all) classes went to slow and could have been done in half the time and that was annoying for them.  This happens in local classes too and the problem is that they quit paying attentiion and then by the time the teacher gets to something new they are zoned out.  I don't know what the solution is.  My son ended up with a B his second semester of Alg 2 and he's a math person, because the teacher spent half the class going over problems the students didnt' get and by the time they got to new stuff my son was already checked out.  Derek Owens is a much better fit for this reason.  He can just go at his own pace instead of wait around for others to get done.

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No experience with CLRC

The learning curve for DS13 who attended an online public charter from K-2nd (grade skipped 3rd) then online outsourced classes was mainly in executive function skills:

- syllabus and deadlines (little to no flexibility)

- checking for assignments so that none are missed, checking class forums for class updates 

- printing and filing

- revising for quizzes/tests and exams 

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DD will be 11 and I just signed her up for her first online class next year - Intermediate Latin I through CLRC. I'm also wondering how that transition will go, so I appreciate reading these perspectives.  She prefers self-teaching, but I couldn't keep up with her in Latin, and I couldn't find good resources for self teaching after GSWL. I'm thinking that in the first few weeks, I may need to sit down with her after each online-class to go over the homework assigned and help her figure out how to divide up and "schedule" it during the week. Once she learns how to do that, I figure she'll be good to go. (?? Hopefully??) Up until now, I've given her a weekly schedule. It has a checklist for daily tasks, and a list of readings for each week. This year, I asked her to divide the readings up on her own,  choosing which to do on which days, and that's been good practice for her in learning time management.

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DS already has homework of sorts.  He "presents" all the day's schoolwork to me when I get home from work/school so if he didn't complete something, we go over it, make sure he understands and then he completes it after dinner.  

That's a good idea about starting fall at-home classes in the summer!  I didn't think about that.  

I wonder if it would help to have several plans in place for keeping track of assignments and whatnot, so that if Plan A isn't working, we can immediately jump to Plan B....

Also good idea about getting DS ready by giving him a weekly checklist instead of a daily one so he can start scheduling himself!

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47 minutes ago, WendyAndMilo said:

Also good idea about getting DS ready by giving him a weekly checklist instead of a daily one so he can start scheduling himself!

My dd has found using a simple student planner to be helpful. Helps to see farther out than a week.

Once a few weeks of the school year have gone by, she knows roughly how much time to allow for typical assignments in each class and can plan with reasonable accuracy. I made her time her work at the beginning of the school year until she had a good idea of the average time required.

Edited by ScoutTN
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I will also say it pays off down the road-the more “flipped” format of online classes prepared DD well for college classes-she was used to reading and doing problem sets and the like in advance of classes much more so than many of her classmates who came from more traditional school settings. 

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My kids haven’t really struggled much with the transition. I would advise you to stay very plugged in initially to make sure your student really understands and follows through on everything and help him manage his time with the goal being that he finds his groove and can be  more independent soon. Being too hands off in the beginning can get him off on the wrong foot. I don’t think it is a huge transition but it is a change and some hand holding through the transition should pay off long term.

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2 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

I think the “class time” can really increase the total hours. 

 

Yes, it definitely adds to the time. My kids could never stand to watch video lessons for that reason, it was so much quicker to work from the book. 

OP, I would definitely try out an online class over the summer if possible. Lots of students loathe online classes and, as a group, performance tends to be poorer than in live classes. I would never commit to four of any type of class that my kids had not done before: online, DE, any publisher/provider we have never used before, whatever. Your year is kind of toast if they don't work out, or at least your semester. 

Is there a reason he's jumping in with 4? 

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20 hours ago, katilac said:

 

Yes, it definitely adds to the time. My kids could never stand to watch video lessons for that reason, it was so much quicker to work from the book. 

OP, I would definitely try out an online class over the summer if possible. Lots of students loathe online classes and, as a group, performance tends to be poorer than in live classes. I would never commit to four of any type of class that my kids had not done before: online, DE, any publisher/provider we have never used before, whatever. Your year is kind of toast if they don't work out, or at least your semester. 

Is there a reason he's jumping in with 4? 

He watches video lessons for some of his subjects now.  

He is taking 4 because I'm not comfortable with him teaching himself at the levels he will be at and two of the subjects he should be learning but can't without someone else teaching.  So 4 it is.  

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You might want to sign your son up for a study skills class. WTMA and Schole are both offering classes. I'm sure there are other ones available as well. Those are the two I looked at. Juggling things are even more challenging if you are using multiple providers all with different platforms. I help my son to organize a planner (love, love, love Order Out of Chaos planners) because it shows when he has online classes, outside activities, etc. and when he has time to fit in his studying for his online classes and non-online classes. He can see which days are busier and which days are more ideal for more time-consuming work. We have conversations like if he wants to work on Latin for 30 minutes at a time, then how does he spread that over his week so that he is able to complete what he needs to finish for the week.  

 

Edited by calbear
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Print out a weekly planner with class times listed. Set alarms 15mins before class time on your phone and/or his phone to remind him to go restroom and to log in to class. Both my kids need reminders from time to time as they get absorbed with their homework and forgot it is time for their online class. DS14 was 3mins late to an online class yesterday.

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45 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

Print out a weekly planner with class times listed. Set alarms 15mins before class time on your phone and/or his phone to remind him to go restroom and to log in to class. Both my kids need reminders from time to time as they get absorbed with their homework and forgot it is time for their online class. DS14 was 3mins late to an online class yesterday.

My son set up reminders in his computer since he didn't have a phone, so a notification would pop up and an alarm would sound before his class. Backups are handy, too. He would have to be on the computer to see the notifications. And the reminder alarm won't be heard if they still have their headphones in. 

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