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Monday, August 4, 2014

Whew!  All those K12 boxes arriving at your door can be so exciting, but also a little overwhelming!  You have all yours things, but now what?

It's time to get started!  I used my staircase to sort through everything.  Here are some tips for getting started with TNVA:

1. Check to make sure that you have all your needed materials. Use the inventory list. Missing Materials?

2. Organize by subject! I grouped books and manipulatives that went with the same subject together.  If you have multiple students - you may want to keep the different grade levels separated. 

3.  Store the supplies! I purchased 2 cheap bookshelves from Walmart to keep all my books and curriculum on (maybe you already have some).  If you have multiple students - they may each get their own section or bookshelf. You could also use closets or even storage tubs that you slide under a bed if you lack storage.  Be creative! Just make sure your supplies are readily accessible! You will use everything you receive, so you just don't want your materials to be scattered and lost. 

4. Establish your School Space! Where are you and your student going to work?  A desk? The kitchen table?  In a bonus room?  Are you near your needed supplies?  Make sure you have good lighting, storage, and a surface for writing wherever you choose to work! Also, make sure it will be somewhere that your student will be comfortable. You'll Check out this awesome video on creating your work space!  You don't have to go out and purchase a lot to make a successful work area - be innovative and use what you have! 

5. Develop your schedule - and be CONSISTENT! Keep it simple and hold realistic goals. Getting a schedule and routine under control will help everyone be successful in this learning environment.  I highly recommend taking a look at this recording for more tips on developing your schedule! There is also a recording on managing online school with a large family!  Remember our students are required 6.5 hours/day and 32.5 hours/week.  90 minutes of this is PE and 8 hours are allowed to be supplemental.  Other than the set times for Class Connect sessions - the rest of the day is up to you to decide what is best for you and your family.  All hours must be submitted by Sunday evening, so you can use the weekend to makeup needed time. Remember to schedule breaks and fun times and be willing to adjust your schedule if it doesn't work!  
**Tip: Print a weekly view of your child's plan and post it in a place you'll be able to refer to it.  Also, skim over objectives and gather materials for upcoming lessons ahead of time.**

6. Attend a Workshop! K12 offers all kinds of different workshops for parents - everything from using Blackboard to managing virtual schooling with a large family.  Check out the workshops available on the Parent Network!  The TNVA website is another great resource.

7. Understand your role. As the learning coach, you play an integral role in your child's education and are their #1 most important resource! Be able and willing ot sit with them as much as they need. Avoid distractions and remember that school comes first during the day. Remember that you are NOT alone!  We are on the same team with a common goal - the success of your student.  I am here to help you every step of the way. Do not hesitate to connect with me - an open line of communication is key.  This great video will help provide tips!

8. Baby Steps! It can be overwhelming at first - but hang in there, it will get better! It isn't easy - but is one of the best things you'll do for your child and family! Reach out for support as soon as you need it - I am here to help you!
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