Helping Your Teen Successfully Adjust To Online Learning

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Helping Your Teen Successfully Adjust To Online Learning

Written by International College Counselors, An Enhanced Prep Partner

With many students moving to online learning during the COVID-19 crisis, parents are facing uncharted territory when it comes to supporting their teen’s education at home. Here, International College Counselors’ own extraordinary college advisors Nicole Jobson, a homeschooling expert, and Nancy Rones Zolotorofe, share advice on how you might approach your teen’s new learning environment.  

  • Recognize that teens are likely to understand the scale of COVID-19’s impact, but may simultaneously feel powerless. Address those challenges first. Academic work can provide a distraction to the news of the day, but should never be considered more important than taking time to simply talk to your children about what’s happening in our world.
  • Expect school to look more like a college schedule, then high school. Instead of filling 6 to 7 hours, online school may consume shorter, more intense periods of time each day-similar to taking two to three classes each day as you would in college. Your student may work for two hours, take a break, and then work for another hour or two later. Remember only a portion of the day during traditional schooling is actual instruction time (there’s attendance, announcements, moving between classes, lunch, etc.) 
  • Deal with technology distractions by modeling the behavior you want your kids to follow can make a big difference. Everyone should be mindful about putting down their phones to engage in productive, “real-life” pursuits, whether that means schoolwork or a hands-on family project or board game. At the same time, instead of saying they can’t play video games or go on social media, it’s about looking at their plan for the day and identifying blocks of time between accomplishments when they can play.    
  • The best schedule ultimately depends on your teen, but generally, after a good night’s sleep (8 to 10 hours), exercising outdoors in the morning with the family can help jumpstart mood and alertness. Once schoolwork begins, tackle the most difficult subject(s) in the morning, take a break (maybe more outdoor time), and flip to another subject. Give your teen some ownership over his or her extensive free time, but make sure maintaining relationships (grandma would love to Zoom), learning, and creativity works into this extra time. This is a great time for students to develop non-academic skills or knowledge related to their interests-learning a programming language, trying cooking or gardening, or digging into a research project that relates to this pandemic that may turn out to have a real-world impact one day– and something for their college admissions resume. 

 International College Counselors strives to be a strong resource and partner for your family.  Even in these unprecedented times, we can enable your student to reach their fullest potential in the college admissions journey.  We’re here to help. 

We will keep families updated as best as possible in these trying times. Please subscribe to our new Youtube page, or visit our Facebook and Twitter pages for latest updates. 

For help with any or all parts of the college admissions process, visit or call 1-954 414-9986. 

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