New Year's Resolution for the Whole Family: Make Your Home More Conducive for Learning

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Leading virtual public school, Connections Academy®, offers five easy tips to help support education in the home.

Connections Academy (, a high-quality, highly accountable virtual public school that students attend from home, is encouraging families to make a New Year's resolution to get their house in order when it comes to education.

Experts in learning at home, Connections Academy educators suggest that organization (and fun) is key and offer the following easy-to-implement steps to help improve learning habits at home -- for all students, whether they learn at home or in a traditional classroom.

1. Reduce clutter and get organized
Stacks of workbooks and papers make studying appear as a daunting task. Help your child organize his or her learning materials and store them in a dedicated place such as a filing cabinet or paper folders -- one for each subject. Consider pasting a chart on the inside front cover of the folders to (1) track the amount of time spent studying for each subject, and (2) note what chapters and assignments have been completed. This will organize your student's educational materials within your home and document his or her learning accomplishments for the school year.

2. Monitor noise levels
Whether your child is working independently or together with you, phones, televisions and outside noises distract children and pull them out of their studies -- even if it is coming from another room. Be aware of when your child is studying and encourage family and visitors to avoid unnecessary interruptions, such as loud video games or conversations. Consider turning off or silencing electronic devices that can interfere with students' concentration during study time.

3. Designate an "education space"
Designate a room, or even a table, as your student's learning space. Setting aside a specific area of your home where studying takes place creates an environment conducive to learning, much like a working classroom atmosphere. You and your child will come to associate that space with productive study habits.

4. Create a routine
Having a set time scheduled each day when learning or homework occurs creates good habits for you and your child. This also is important for other members of your family, so they can avoid creating distractions during study time. Do not allow yourself or your child to occasionally watch a favorite television show or go over to a friend's house during this scheduled time. You must treat it as "study-only" time to reinforce the importance of the learning process.

5. Make learning enjoyable
Showing interest in your child's ideas and progress makes learning a positive process. Ask your child what materials or environment he or she needs to effectively learn and study within the home. Remember, learning at home doesn't always have to be restricted to your residence -- visiting a local science museum or taking in a play may be related to your child's school work. Consider playing engaging and educational trivia games like the Connections Academy Winter Quiz Bowl Challenge.

About Connections Academy
Connections Academy is a leading national provider of high quality, highly accountable virtual public schools in thirteen states operated in partnership with charter schools, school districts, and state departments of education. Connections Academy schools deliver top-quality, personalized education for students that combines certified teachers, a proven curriculum, technology tools, and community experiences to create a supportive and successful environment for children who want an individualized approach to education. In Connections Academy's unique Personalized Performance Learning® approach, students use daily lesson plans and curriculum materials provided by Connections Academy . Teachers develop a learning plan for each student, whose progress is tracked through a proprietary, web-based Learning Management System. In 2007-08 Connections Academy will serve students in grades K-11 in Arizona, California, Idaho, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Maryland, and Pennsylvania; grades 4-11 in Nevada; grades K-9 in Colorado; grades K-8 in Florida and Wisconsin; grades K-5 in Missouri (through the state's MoVIP program). For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit

Allison Bazin, Public Relations Specialist
Connections Academy

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