March 3rd, 2020 by SD Virtual School
Virtual learning is on the rise. Not only are some states and schools requiring students to take at least one online class before they graduate from high school, but several students are opting to complete their entire education online. Online classes offer countless advantages to students, including flexible scheduling, self-pacing courses, unique and positive learning environments, and the acquisition of several important skills that are important for success later in life. Although they are increasing in popularity and availability, online classes are still an enigma to many students and parents, leaving room for misconceptions and confusion regarding how online classes work.
Here at San Diego Virtual School, we offer free public online courses for both middle school students and high school students. Our school is fully accredited and nationally recognized, meaning you get a real high school diploma upon graduating and are prepared and qualified to attend any college or university in the country. Not all online schools have this accreditation, however. At the same time, not all online schools have complete curriculum programs either. Online classes are only as comprehensive and beneficial as the school behind them, so be sure to enroll in an accredited and nationally recognized school should you choose this educational outlet.
While we can’t speak for other schools, here is an overview of how online classes work at San Diego Virtual School.
Most brick-and-mortar schools follow a traditional style of educating where the teachers lecture and the students listen. Occasionally, there will be opportunities for students to facilitate their own learning or to actively engage in the material they’re learning, but more often than not, teachers teach and students learn. In online classes, there is far more self-directed learning and independence than in traditional schools. While there may be videos for students to watch a lecture or a presentation done by the teachers, a lot of the information comes from reading text and interacting with activities. Because students don’t have a designated class time to work on assignments with a teacher present, they are responsible for completing their assignments on their own, meaning they take on more personal responsibility and independence than their traditionally educated peers.
Because of the focus on self-directed learning, we are able to offer a more individualized approach to learning than most traditional schools. We have students with varying backgrounds and academic needs, and we meet each and every student right where they are. Some students are aspiring athletes or performers with unique schedules, some are academically advanced and want to be challenged, some have learning struggles that make certain classes more difficult, and some are previously homeschooled students or students in a military family. No matter what needs your child has academically or in terms of scheduling, SDVS is a great place to take online classes and get a quality education completely online.
Timelines & Flexibility
Students who take online classes at SDVS are not required to log in to their classes at any specific time. This is very different from traditional school, of course, but we’ve found it more beneficial to our students in many ways. Not only can they complete coursework on their own schedule, but our flexibility gives them more freedom in other parts of their life, such as getting a job or attending athletic practices. Additionally, students have to improve their time management skills, as well as their abilities to self-motivate and discipline themselves to get their work done. We do set deadlines for our students, but they can complete their assignments on their own schedule and at their own pace, helping them grow in independence and self-reliance.
Interaction & Communication
One of the biggest concerns of parents who are considering online classes is the interaction their children will get with their peers and with their teachers. Our students interact in our virtual classrooms quite frequently, and they actually get a significant amount of experience with collaboration and working as part of a group. They are given ample opportunities to improve their written communication skills since that is the primary way they will interact with their peers. At the same time, our students are able to communicate with their teachers directly almost any time they want. Unlike at a traditional school where students have to meet with teachers at designated times, our teachers are available to your child during a large portion of the day so any questions can be asked and answered in a timely and thorough manner.
While our programs are only available to those who reside in the greater San Diego area, students can complete their coursework from anywhere. You may be at home, at the library, or at a local coffee shop, but as long as you have internet access, you can log in to your classes and submit your assignments. If you are a child of a military service member who travels frequently, you can still do your classwork on the road. Additionally, if you are an aspiring athlete or a performer of some sort and you travel often to compete or perform, you can still access your schoolwork and meet the required deadlines.
To learn more about how online classes work or to learn more about our programs, get in touch with San Diego Virtual School today. We can get the enrollment process started and answer any questions you might have regarding your child’s education.
March 3rd, 2020 by SD Virtual School
Spring Break is something that all students look forward to. It’s a sign that students are on the home stretch toward summer, and it’s a nice break from school to enjoy warmer weather and a quick refresh before charging toward the end of the school year. However, just like all other breaks from school, Spring Break tends to bring about a period of forgetfulness in which students return from the break not remembering what they learned just before it. This is especially troubling at this point in the school year because exams, final projects, and semester-end papers are due after Spring Break, meaning students don’t have weeks to catch up and remind themselves of past lessons. As we move toward the spring and the end of the school year, Spring Break is on everyone’s calendars and people are making grand plans for their week off. Be sure to utilize some of these tips so that you don’t forget everything you learned in class during the week of Spring Break.
Get Some Rest
Students are notorious for one of two things during their breaks from school: sleeping incessantly or packing their schedules so full that they don’t sleep at all. We don’t recommend either, but it is a good idea to get some rest during your Spring Break. That may mean going to bed earlier, sleeping in a little later, or simply giving yourself some relaxing days of just hanging out at home. You don’t want to go back to school feeling more exhausted than you were a week prior, so make sure you give yourself a chance to catch up on sleep and have a few lazy days. Getting enough rest will also benefit your memory, as a well-rested mind is better able to recall information learned previously. Being well-rested will also reduce your stress levels, which will also contribute to a better memory.
Not everyone is a writer or an avid journaler, and that’s fine, but it can be a good practice to journal from time to time. It’s more about putting your thoughts on paper than writing a masterpiece, so don’t feel like you have to be incredibly thoughtful and careful in your writing. Simply record what you’re thinking about, how you’re feeling, or what you’ve been doing. It’s good for your mind and soul to write down your thoughts, and it has proven to be beneficial in memory recall and mindfulness as well.
Take Time to Read
Reading is good for everyone and at all times. Sure, it would be best for you to read a textbook or educational material, but any novel, magazine, comic book, or blog will benefit you. Keeping your brain active and working on your reading skills will help you remember more and keep your mind from getting too lazy or lethargic. If you go to the beach or on a vacation somewhere, be sure to bring a book or two. If you’re staying at home or in town, consider going to the library to check out a new fiction book or graphic novel.
Teach Someone Something
Studies have proven that the more you repeat something, the better you know and understand it. The goal of all learning is to turn information into knowledge, and a great way to do that is to teach someone something you’ve learned. It might be something from school, such as how to do a complex math problem or how to diagram a sentence. It might be a physical skill, such as how to change a tire or how to throw a baseball properly. Any sharing of knowledge will help both you and the person you’re teaching, and it will be especially beneficial if it’s something you need to know for school. Explaining something to another person will help you to understand it more completely, and you’re far more likely to remember it once you’ve taught it to someone else.
This is probably the simplest and most straightforward way to not forget what you’ve learned in class over the break. Repetition is key when it comes to memory, as mentioned above, and what better way to remember what you learned at school than simply reviewing your notes. Remind yourself of the high points that your instructors covered and focus on understanding the main ideas behind each concept. Once you think you fully understand something, put your notes away for a bit. Then, a few hours later, try to recall the things you were studying. If you can’t, review again and try to recall the information again several hours later. Remember that the more you review and remember now, the better off you’ll be when it comes time to study for exams, write papers, and complete final projects.
Even if you don’t have your notes with you constantly or have a very busy week planned, try to be mindful and intentionally think about what you were studying and learning at school during the break. Again, the more you recall information and the more it’s repeated, the better you’ll remember it long-term.
Keep Your Brain Working
As you try to rest and relax over Spring Break, also ensure that you’re doing things to keep your brain working. Do a word search or a crossword, complete a Sudoku, or do a puzzle with your family. Don’t just stare at the TV or video games for an entire week and expect to have no lapse in memory when you return to school. Just as you need to be mindful of what you’re thinking about, be conscious of how you’re spending your time and take part in activities that keep your brain working.
December 5th, 2019 by SD Virtual School
The holidays allow time for much-needed rest and relaxation. However, many students struggle to get back into the swing of things once school starts again in January, and that can put a damper on their learning and progress. It’s important to take time to rest over the holidays, but students should also be cognizant of how they’re spending their time, taking care to do some productive and educational things that will benefit them now and in the future. Not only should students be trying to retain what they learned during the past semester over the holidays, but they should also be striving to learn more during their time off from school. Here are a few excellent ways to ensure students don’t forget what they’ve learned during their time off from school.
Take some time to look back on the past semester. What did you do well? What did you do poorly? What can you do differently or better in the upcoming semester? Consider improving study habits, sticking to a schedule, and having more accountability in your studies to keep you focused throughout the remainder of the school year. You should also reflect on the things that you learned, including what was most interesting to you, what you should maybe review and learn more about, and how you can apply what you learned in your life outside of school.
Goals should be actionable and realistic, but they can also cover a variety of topics and areas of life. You may have some academic goals, some personal goals, and some physical goals. Taking time to reflect on the past few months and look forward to the future with intentionality will help you retain what you’ve learned and also strive for more in the upcoming months.
It honestly doesn’t really matter what you’re reading as long as you are reading something. Sure, a textbook or informative non-fiction book would be ideal, but even a comic book, blog posts, or movie reviews are going to help you hone your reading skills during the holiday break. The best thing you can read would be notes from the past semester, especially those that are pertinent in your primary subject areas and that contain information you’ll need to have mastered for the remainder of the year. But again, reading a novel, a magazine, or any written text will be beneficial for memory and increased learning.
Writing can be incredibly relaxing and cathartic, and it has huge educational advantages as well. Again, you can write just about anything—journal entries, poems, blogs, letters, stories, and so on. Any form of writing is going to help you retain information and grow as a writer, provided that you apply the writing rules you’ve learned in school while you write. You may use writing as a way to reflect on the past semester and set goals for the upcoming months.
Tapping into your creative side is a good way to keep your brain active and improve your memory. Any type of creativity is welcome, whether it be drawing, painting, sculpting, coloring, mixed media, and the like. Maybe you like cooking or decorating, or maybe you want to hand-make someone’s gift this holiday season. Any sort of creativity is great, so embrace whatever gets you excited and make something amazing.
Use Math Skills in Real Life
Math skills are some of the first to go when you aren’t using them regularly, so try your best to integrate what you learned in math class into your real life over the holidays. Maybe that involves baking and working on your fractions. Maybe it’s about figuring out the percentage of a tip for a server at a restaurant or budgeting for your family’s upcoming vacation or grocery trip. Math appears in sports of all kinds, weather predictions, road trips, and so on. Find ways to use what you know and build upon your mathematical knowledge even when you’re not in school to help you retain what you learned and to learn more.
Do Science Experiments to Refresh Concepts
Everyone loves a good science experiment! Chances are you can find one or several related to some concepts you learned over the past few months, and you can get the whole family involved and teach them about how and why the experiment works. You can find a variety of fun science experiments online, but you can also look for chemical reactions and other scientific concepts in your daily life, such as when you cook, talk about the weather, and more.
The holidays are the perfect time for some fun family get-togethers, so why not make a few educational? Go to some art, history, or science museums in whatever city you’ll be in this season, and learn about interesting and educational things while getting some quality family time. It can be exciting for students to see things in a museum that they learned about at school, and they’ll enjoy teaching their families what they already know about the subject.
Being active can help you remember some things you learned from biology, health, or physical education, but it’s also just good for the brain and body. If you can get some fresh air while exercising, that’s even better. Staying active will keep you productive and focused on whatever you have going on during the holidays, and it will improve your mood and help you sleep better as well. Getting your heart pumping will bring more oxygen into your brain and muscles, improving overall function and blood flow, which can contribute to a better memory, better information retention, and an overall healthier lifestyle.
July 25th, 2019 by SD Virtual School
Social media has absolutely revolutionized our world. It’s crazy to think that Facebook has been around for less than 20 years and has been accessible to everyone for even less time than that. After the introduction of Facebook, it began a snowball effect of social media platforms. From Instagram to snapchat and from LinkedIn to Alignable, social media sites are everywhere and serve just about every purpose possible when it comes to connecting individuals.
Teens have a not-so-great reputation when it comes to knowing how to use social media responsibly, but it’s incredibly important that adults everywhere teach younger generations how to be wise about their social media usage and general internet behavior. Not only does the world need good online citizens, but irresponsibility in social media use can bring about serious and significant damage to an individual’s reputation and can even ruin their chances of getting into their dream school or landing that perfect job. Whether you’re just entering the world of social media or you’re just looking to brush up on some tips on how to use social media responsibly, here are the best pieces of advice we’ve found to make social media benefit you rather than harm you.
May 7th, 2019 by SD Virtual School
If you’re a middle school or high school student, a college student, a teacher, or involved in education in any way, you’ve likely heard about career technical education. Not only are educators and students seeing the many benefits of CTE programs, but employers see the various advantages of hiring students who have gone through CTE coursework. With technological changes occurring constantly and the job market rapidly growing and evolving, students today are being prepared to take on jobs that don’t even exist yet, which makes real-world skills and practical application of knowledge absolutely vital. Continue reading our comprehensive guide to career technical education to learn all about it, including available programs, the benefits of these programs, and how to make the most of your educational time with hands-on career technical education.
April 24th, 2018 by SD Virtual School
January 17th, 2017 by SD Virtual School
When you’re learning and studying remotely, it can require new techniques to make friends and connect with students and teachers. The tips below can be a great way to meet new people even if you can’t meet them face to face.
April 26th, 2016 by SD Virtual School
Credit Recovery High School Program of San Diego
At San Diego Virtual School, we provide credit recovery classes to students who need to make up high school credits that they may have fallen behind on over the years. As a credit recovery high school, we can help any student in high school that has fallen behind on classes and wants to catch up, provided that they qualify for the credit recovery classes.
January 20th, 2016 by SD Virtual School
San Diego Public School Holidays in 2016
After weeks of academic achievements and challenges, you’ll be ready to play just as hard as you’ve studied. So, pack your overnight bags and mark your calendars for holidays in 2016 because that means days off for public school students, including those enrolled at San Diego Virtual School.
February 12th, Lincoln Day
Considered by many historians to be one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history, Abraham Lincoln paved the way for legislature that abolished slavery and finally put an end to a dark park of history.
February 15th, Washington Day
As general of the American Revolution and first president of the U.S., George Washington was one of the founding fathers during the early days of the country. (more…)
January 11th, 2016 by SD Virtual School
How Online High School Works – San Diego Virtual School
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