By now, parents and students have resigned themselves to the fact that online learning – in some form or another – will be part of the new normal. For some students, this is fantastic news. They thrive in a digital setting away from the distractions and pressures of in-classroom learning.
For others, the transition hasn’t been quite as smooth. Some students and parents have faced technological hurdles, while others have had a tough time adapting to new time management requirements. While it’s true that some students see the home as a welcome change from the traditional classroom, others have had a tougher time focusing in the absence of a dedicated, structured, physical classroom.
Whether you count yourself in column A or B, there’s still room for personal improvement. If you want to make the most of your online learning experience, incorporate a few of these tips into your at-home education.
Choose the School You Attend:
This tip is massively important, though some take it for granted. Now that you aren’t beholden to attending the nearest school in proximity, the doors are wide open for options. Review your online learning options and choose a school based on quality rather than proximity – one that features passionate teachers, a wide variety of courses, flexible scheduling, and 24/7 tutoring.
Refine Your Daily Routine:
Online learning is flexible, but you should still have a daily routine. It doesn’t need to be the conventional eight AM to three PM routine espoused and practiced in brick-and-mortar schools, however. If you find your brain works best in the evenings, by all means, shift your day ahead a few hours. The key is consistency.
Establishing a set routine helps you feel more in control of your studies. It also enables you to practice personal accountability – if you know you should be studying at a set time, you are more likely to do so.
Customize Your Workspace:
Set your workspace up for success. If possible, choose a secluded part of the home away from any rowdy siblings or vacuuming parents. Remove potential distractions like the buzzing of your phone or the beckoning call of a video game console. Keep a clean desk. Have everything you need for a day’s work at arm’s reach. And, most importantly, make the space feel comfortable.
Breathe In, Breathe Out:
In your determination to get the most out of your online learning, you may conflate ‘working hard’ with ‘working all the time.’ This isn’t the case. Perhaps counter-intuitively, your brain needs breaks to work optimally. Schedule frequent breaks (they can be short) and take a moment to focus on your breath. Bring things back down to earth.
If you want to incorporate breathing into your schedule, set aside a block of time each day to practice mindfulness, either through yoga or meditation. These practices have been shown to mitigate stress and help you feel more focused and present.
Throughout all these tips, the theme is this: If you want to make the most of your online school, do it your way. Have a say in the school you attend. Set a routine that works for you. Customize your workspace and take care of yourself. By taking control of your online learning, you ensure that it is a positive, enriching, and educative experience.