The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing local schools to close, sports seasons to be suspended, and colleges are sending students home for the foreseeable future. Suddenly, parents have students home who would otherwise be in school and they may worry about how to keep them from falling behind!

Schools are creating online learning policies on the fly, and the burden of keeping teens motivated and on track to complete their assignments now falls on parents. Remote learning online can be intimidating for parents and students during this already stressful health crisis.

Education experts with College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) are available for Skype or live interviews to share helpful online learning tips with your audience:

Set Up a ‘School Zone’ — To build good study habits, create a dedicated work area where your teen or college student has all they need to work. Avoid lounging on couches or beds. Sitting at a desk or table is best. Keep everything they need for online learning in one place. This is a good opportunity to find your child’s style of learning with CFNC’s Learning Style Inventory.

Eliminate Distractions — The ‘school zone’ should be away from distractions such as televisions and video games.

Create a Daily Schedule — Follow lesson plans created by schools to accomplish specific tasks each day, so students don’t get behind. Don’t forget to include time for lunch and breaks.

Build an Online Community — Online learning during a global health crisis is a first for all of us! Students, or parents with K–12 students, should consider creating an email or text group with others to ask questions and give each other support.

Many sports and clubs have also been canceled, leaving some high schoolers with much more free time. This is a great opportunity to start their college planning online.

Take a Virtual Reality Campus Tour — The GEAR UP VR app provides tours of all 16 North Carolina system universities, as well as many community colleges.

Search Potential Colleges — has lots of information about majors, colleges, financial aid, scholarships, and more.

Learn Financial Basics — The Financial Basics online course teaches students practical money handling skills, including setting up a monthly budget, how credit works, and how borrowing works to pay for college. Plus, they can enter to earn a $500 scholarship when they complete the course.

Research Financial Aid – If your student is headed to college next semester, it’s not too late to complete the FAFSA.

CFNC understands this can be a stressful time for families. Our statewide education experts are available for Skype or in-person interviews to help North Carolina families keep online learning on track.