Much of our 2020 school year will be online. Rather than having the daily routine of class clockwork, we’re doing our learning at home, and boy, can that get tedious. When the apex of interaction and learning is through a computer screen, it can be hard to stay motivated and engaged. We get it. That’s why we’re going to look at our top four tips on how students can get the most out of at-home learning, and make progress through virtual schooling.
- Set up a routine!
Perhaps the most prominent universal obstacle with school is time management. Even before our learning was contained to the cyberspace during COVID-19, keeping track of class assignments and responsibilities was tricky. Now that we’re not in a classroom, being physically immersed in our education, that time-responsibility organization has become even trickier, and it’s crucial we establish a system to help keep us on track. The last thing you want is to procrastinate on completing that heaping stack of classwork until several hours before it’s due, or to get burned out from a lack of balance in your schedule. So, create a routine! How long will you work on English today? How about math? Will you alternate subjects based on the day? How will you schedule your break time? You want to create the most manageable yet productive schedule for completing different coursework, so listen to what works for you! Maybe you work best for three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon with a lunch break and a quick exercise in between. Maybe you like to take a short break after every hour of class work. As long your routine allows time for assignments to be completed by class deadlines, and flexibility so that you can have your rest time, you’re all set!
- Stay Engaged!
I know what you’re thinking: “If only it were that easy.” Trust me, I know maintaining interest in a computer screen for an extended period of time can be excruciating, but that’s why going the extra mile to stay captivated is so important. This looks like preparing for and contributing to class discussions, maintaining online relationships with classmates, teachers, and friends, and minimizing distractions when doing schoolwork. When you’re an active participant in class discussions, you can discover so much more than a textbook could ever teach you! You learn from other people’s ideas, questions, and answers, just as they learn from yours, and the social academic exchange becomes rich, exciting, and memorable; all traits we want in our educational journey! Additionally, participating in class discussions makes class relationships stronger as well. Not only do you form bonds with your peers, but with your teacher too. This makes getting homework help much less intimidating, and allows your teacher to keep a close eye on your progress. However, in order to have all these lovely social and academic perks, you have to keep distractions at bay. So, when you sit down to partake in your daily schooling, whether it be synchronous class, asynchronous learning, or homework, make sure all pets, cellphones, TVs, toys, and other electronics are out of sight. You can play with them later! When it’s time for school, it’s time for school, and prioritizing your focus on class time will yield the incredible benefits listed above.
- Create your Motivation!
Just like you have to find ways to stay engaged with your coursework, you must also find ways to keep motivated to be so engaged. Of course, there are the perks listed in the tip above, but sometimes we need a little extra incentive to keep going. So, what does this look like for you? A scoop of ice cream at the end of class? Listening to your favorite musician while doing homework? This can come in many shapes and forms, but what is most important is that you create rewards for all of your hard effort. To be clear, taking breaks and creating rewards are different, though sometimes they can overlap. Breaks are for rest, and giving your body what you need get your work done. Rewards are for your pleasure! If taking a break isn’t particularly rewarding to you, designate a different activity or experience to enjoy. Just make sure whatever you choose allows you to complete schoolwork on time.
- Use Outside Resources!
As great as your teachers may be, the lack of face-to-face instruction can take a toll on learning progress. For some students, the new learning model is no problem, but for others, it’s not ideal. However, getting supplemental instruction outside of your school can help satisfy that academic itch! Educational games on websites such as Sheppard Software, Mr. Nussbaum, and Arcademics are great, fun resources. Video instruction websites like Khan Academy or Planting Seeds TV can help with tricky concepts. You can also look to free worksheets for extra practice too. If you’re looking to correct the potential problems of asynchronous learning head-on, tutoring is your best bet! Planting Seeds Tutoring offers a wide array of tutoring services, from virtual classes, to one-on-one tutoring and group tutoring, online or in person. Visit here to learn more about Planting Seeds Tutoring’s options for you!