Let’s not beat around the bush–online learning is tough, and many students and parents are unsure of how to structure their school days. Adopting good habits as early on as possible will set your child up for success. Then, with the right routines established, older students should be working more and more independently as time goes on. Here are 8 online learning tips to help families make the most out of online learning.
1. Be positive and patient. Thriving through a change is tough, but doable with a positive attitude. Everything you learn, whether it’s your most favorite or least favorite subject, will help you grow as a person.
2. Get organized—and stay organized. Creating an orderly learning space to do schoolwork will put you ahead of the game. Be sure you have room for your books, computer, pens, paper, and other supplies. Label folders to hold papers and notes for each subject. Go ahead and create electronic folders for each class on your computer and in your email.
3. Establish a flexible routine. While online and blended learning do give you a more flexible schedule, having a routine will help keep you on track with your schoolwork. It’s a good idea to find out when your teachers have their office hours so you can arrange your schedule to overlap with when they are available. Naturally, you can vary your schedule when needed.
4. Set personal goals. Think about what you’d like to accomplish in both the short and the long term. Is there a class you want to ace this semester? Maybe you want to get a certain grade point average or achieve a certain score on the SAT exams. Preparing for college and getting admission into a specific college might also be on your list. Be sure to put your goals in writing and post the list where you’ll see it often.
5. Make the most of your resources. As an online or blended learning student, you have many helpful resources available. Your textbooks, the library, online instructional tools, and trusted websites come to mind. But don’t forget the many human resources you can use: parents, teachers, school counselors, and more are great sources of information.
6. Start on track and stay on track. It’s always better to be ahead than to be struggling at the last minute. Break down big projects into small, manageable parts, and give each one a deadline. Don’t drag your feet—make yourself do things on time and you’ll be better off in the long run.
7. Exercise with friends online. Middle and high school students will spend a lot of time online—completing lessons, chatting with peers, and touching base with their online teachers. So scheduling physical fitness into the day is also important. Physical exercise can boost mood, energy, and brainpower. Your student won’t even have to leave the living room with the many online exercise videos available on social channels like Instagram and YouTube.
8. Learn to deal with setbacks. Every person who succeeds has had to struggle to get there. When you get a bad grade, have an argument with a friend, or experience other frustrations, realize that this is a learning experience. Talk to someone to get another point of view—you could be worried about something that’s pretty small in the long run. To move forward, you must take responsibility for what you’ve done (or not done) and decide to change your behavior in the future.
Following these online learning tips will help teens and tweens get the most out of their education. With these suggestions, virtual school or blended learning school students can become independent learners and gain valuable time-management skills that will serve them well—in high school, in college, and in the workforce.
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