With the new restrictions at the Tennessee Virtual Academy this year, it is now virtually impossible for a child to complete all of his or her grade-level work and proceed to the next grade level. The goal, of course, is to have them concentrating on grade-level work so that they will ultimately score higher on state tests at the end of the year; but for many parents, this new restriction may come as quite a shock. What, you may be wondering, is my child supposed to be doing all day?
Well…the first thing your child is supposed to be doing is focusing on their OLS curriculum. As an advanced learner, this curriculum may seem too easy for him; but focusing on each lesson as it comes will help your child to better absorb the material (and regurgitate it appropriately for the test). Also, take the opportunity to increase your child’s comprehension of the subject. Look for supplemental activities that they can be doing, or ask your teacher for help! There are plenty of things that can be done to increase the amount of work your child is doing in a standard day, if that’s a problem.
Also, keep in mind that your child may be one of the few who can really take advantage of all of the lesson material available for virtual students. He can dive right on in and work on all aspects of the lesson, doing all of the extra activities that interest him. Most of these are designed to go further into the material or to present a new concept.
Next, use Study Island as an incentive. Does he grasp a concept completely? Then he’s free to use his study island time to play the games within the program. If he’s having a little more trouble, you might ask him to simply take the test with the questions until he is sure that he’s comfortable with it.
Finally, if he does get ahead, realize that there are plenty of opportunities for you to add in supplemental material. Find a program on Netflix or Amazon Prime that deals with a science or history topic. Take a field trip together. Go to the library and look up more information. Whatever you do, keep it interesting to keep your child engaged—and realize that in your gifted child, you have been given a blessing that many TNVA parents would be delighted to have!