Tennessee state law states that public school students must spend a certain number of hours in school every day—at least six and a half for it to count as a full day. This holds true for virtual students as well as traditionally public schooled students. There’s just one problem: actually filling those hours.
In a traditional public school, lunch and recess count as part of the school day. For middle and high school students, transition times in between classes—anywhere between seven and fifteen minutes as many as six times a day—count as part of that time. Bathroom breaks for younger students count as parts of those days. So do field trips, assemblies, and special events days. Sure, these are few and far between (in most public schools—there are middle schools where at least one day a week is typically interrupted by something, and dances and other special events occur at least once a month), but they add up over the course of a year.
What about your virtual schooled student? Are they doomed to spend their days chained to a computer, desperately hoping for a reprieve as they struggle through lesson after lesson? Do they have to complete multiple lessons in the same subject to fill in their hours each day? Overwhelm themselves with the amount of information that they’re taking in each week? But there aren’t even that many lessons in each course…are there?
The good news is, it’s not as bad as you think. Following, a series of coping techniques for the virtual school’s six and a half hour day….