Creating a Partnership and Proper Schooling Environment
There are some critical steps that have been shown to give students who are not in traditional classrooms the best likelihood of meeting their academic goals. The first step is to make sure the student has the proper structure and discipline in place in order to do their schoolwork in a timely fashion. For this to take place, the student, parent, and mentor teacher must form a partnership and work as a team toward the goal of enabling and encouraging the student to reach his or her academic goals.
The parent plays a critical role by creating and enforcing the proper structure and discipline to help ensure that their student is logged in no less than 5 days a week for 4/5 hours per day. Some students will require less time, some will require more time in order to stay on pace.
The student’s time management skills need to be monitored by the parent just as if they were in a traditional school or a homeschool setting. The parents' understanding and execution of their role and responsibilities is key to their child's success. Parents won't be alone in this task, however. For example, in the beginning the mentor teacher should be spending 50 percent of their time with the parent and 50 percent with the student. Once the student shows they are in a productive routine the time will shift to 75 percent student and 25 percent parent. If the student is struggling with time management, the mentor should be spending 75 percent with parent and 25 percent with the student in order to get the student into a productive routine. The mentor teacher will find the right balance for each family.
The mentor is required by the State of Michigan to document weekly communication with students as well as the manner of communication: phone, e-mail, chat, discussion boards, face-to-face time at school and/or off-site locations, etc. The mentor will let you know what communication avenues he or she will be utilizing. (State law requires at least once weekly two-way communication between mentor teacher and student).