Online School Success for MS & HS Students

Middle and High school is time to transition to more independent working.

Here are some tips that can help teenagers gain useful skills and become independent learners:

1.Be positive.
Everything you learn, whether it’s your most favorite or least favorite subject, will help you grow as a person.

2. Get and stay organized.
Creating an orderly learning space to do schoolwork will put you ahead of the game. Create folders on your computer and email for each class.Use an online planner to put down your classes and tasks and rank them in order of importance and urgency.

3. Establish a routine.
While online school gives 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. 

4. Set personal goals.
Think about what you’d like to accomplish, both short-term and long-term. Is there a class you want to ace this semester? Maybe you want to get a certain grade point average or get admitted in a specific college. Put your goals in writing and post the list where you’ll see it often.

5. Make the most of your resources.
Naturally, as an online student you have a variety of online resources - the library, online instructional tools and websites. But there are also many human resources you can use: parents, teachers, school counselors, and principals are great sources of information. 

6. 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. Limit your time online.
We all get sucked into the trap of taking a “short break” from our important task to go see what’s happening on social media. The next thing you know, that five-minute break has turned into an hour! Breaks are a good thing, but it’s important to limit your “digital distractions” and keep yourself on task by setting a time limit and sticking to it. Set a timer to keep yourself honest!

8. Learn to deal with setbacks.
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. To move forward, you must take responsibility for what you’ve done (or not done) and decide to change your behavior in the future. Making a plan will boost your confidence.

Good luck!