Now, more than ever, families are exploring alternative education options for their children. One of those options is online learning, and in the state of Florida, there is Florida Virtual School (FLVS), an accredited statewide online public school district that students and families can take advantage of, with free tuition for Florida residents.

What’s even better is that anyone can participate. Whether your child goes to a traditional brick-and-mortar school and wants to supplement their learning with courses online or your child wants to learn fully online, FLVS has options for every family and their needs.

Since online learning may be new to many families, long-time FLVS parents share the following tips to be successful:

1.   Be Flexible

Parents know their kids best. If they are having a bad day or a hard time focusing, close the computer, let them go for a walk, jump in the pool or get exercise. Come back two hours later (if early in the day), or just remember: tomorrow is another day.

2.   Stay Organized

Organizing everything from schedule to color-coded subjects and supplies makes virtual learning easier to manage for both parents and students. Create folders and sub-folders for different students and different subjects.

3.   Incorporate Breaks

Add breaks between subjects or large blocks of material. Use the Pomodoro Technique by getting a timer and committing to just a short amount of work or study time. Sectioning learning into manageable time periods with frequent breaks helps retention.

4.   Print Weekly Pace Charts to Prioritize

Pace charts are great motivators, as students love to see how much they have accomplished. Focus on the assignments and assessments to be graded, and use the extra resources as needed.

5.   Use a Visual Space to Show Assignments

Write assignments and goals on a calendar, planner or whiteboard where students can check off completed tasks. This is another way for students to feel a sense of accomplishment.

6.   Try a Block Schedule

Some FLVS families use a block schedule where they tackle one or two subjects on a set day. For example: Mondays – Math/Elective, Tuesdays – Language Arts, Wednesdays – Science/Elective, Thursdays – History.

7.   Plan Ahead

Of course, some things come up at the last minute, but try to have a plan for schedules, assignments and interactive learning experiences. Preview the first module in each class to get a sense of how long each lesson and assignment will take.

8.   Reach Out for Help

As one FLVS Full Time parent said, “I am not the teacher. I’m more like a mix of intern, emotional support and grumpy IT guy. The FLVS teachers can tell when the kids are stalled and call them before I ever figure that out.”

Hope shared that she enjoyed working on the Personal Financial Literacy course the most, explaining that “We added a lot of fun, whimsical elements that connected the material to the concepts.” FLVS continues to break through the stereotypes of online learning with each new course by improving students’ learning experiences and ensuring content mastery through interactive and engaging online courses.

For more information about Florida Virtual School and the different options available, visit