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Is Distance Learning Leading you Astray?

Distance learning means time on the computer - and kids LOVE computers!  But what do you do when they love being online too much?
My daughter is taking distance learning this year so she is online a lot.  I am homeschooling my 16 year old daughter with an online Gifted and Talented organization. We have a net nanny programmed but there are still plenty of sites to keep her busy doing anything but school work. Have you come across other parents who have students doing online courses (or maybe even offline), who find it hard to keep their children focused on what they are supposed to be doing?  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Spring is on the way!

~ A homeschool mom

In our home, we called that behavior "falling into the abyss" <giggles!>  It's SO easy to get distracted when you're online!  So many great things to do and see!  Especially with very bright young people, who may be bored with school.

When you are not using an online program, the solutions are a little more straight forward.  You can eliminate all computer time until after school work is done, and you can set a timer for those times when they are allowed to be online, so their computer time is limited.  It's more difficult to do that when school *is* the computer.

Since you mention that your daughter is gifted, it might be that she is bored.  I know you are using a gifted education online source, which is good.  You also want to make sure that it's not just a gifted class, but that she is in the RIGHT LEVEL for each gifted class.  Try to identify if she is bored.

Spend some time talking to her as an adult.  Describe your struggles with limiting your own computer time, and ask her advice about how she handles her computer time.  Sometimes when a teenager expresses it themselves, they are more likely to do it.  In other words, if you can make her SAY what you want her to do, then it's more likely to be successful than if you say it to her.

You may want to ask her if this curriculum is a good fit for her.  Ask her if she would prefer studying away from the computer.  Although we sometimes *think* we have found the perfect choice, sometimes our kids will recognize it's not a good fit before we do.  Maybe she doesn't like learning that way.

You can try having her do the work on a separate computer, or with paper and pencil, and then getting online only when each assignment is done.  I'm not sure how it would work with your online program, but sometimes you can do the work offline, and then cut and paste (or scan and attach) work that is done when you aren't on the internet.

The online format may be too great a temptation.  Like an chocoholic in a candy store, it may just be too tempting to be efficient.  Nobody can answer that question but you and your daughter.

This may simply be the downside of any online program.  Like many things about parenting, I don't think you will find "THE solution."  At best I can only give suggestions for you to try!

So look ta the overall experience, and see if it's a good fit for your family.  There are many alternative ways to homeschool if it isn't.

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Comments 2

Guest - J W on Tuesday, 17 March 2009 11:49

We also have two Windows accounts per child. Each child has one account for school and whatever creative art and/or writing they want to do in their free time. The children have the passwords for their school accounts. Each child also has an account for games. Only us *parents* have the passwords to those accounts. That works very well too.

We also have two Windows accounts per child. Each child has one account for school and whatever creative art and/or writing they want to do in their free time. The children have the passwords for their school accounts. Each child also has an account for games. Only us *parents* have the passwords to those accounts. That works very well too.
Guest - J W on Tuesday, 17 March 2009 07:08

If you want to get *really* radical, here's what we do. We have an ethershield and are running Safe Eyes. Both are available from http://www.internetsafety.com

I'm pretty sure you can set it up to where *only* the websites you specify are allowed. I know for a fact that you can specify time limits - how long and during what times of the day. That means you have to go in and change those settings (like us moms really need something else to do), but it's worth the extra effort. It's working very well for us.

If you want to get *really* radical, here's what we do. We have an ethershield and are running Safe Eyes. Both are available from http://www.internetsafety.com I'm pretty sure you can set it up to where *only* the websites you specify are allowed. I know for a fact that you can specify time limits - how long and during what times of the day. That means you have to go in and change those settings (like us moms really need something else to do), but it's worth the extra effort. It's working very well for us.
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