Back left
Back right

Success with Virtual Learning

Tips for doing well in school while at home

Sep 07, 2020

Are you stuck at home for school this fall?  Learning will be different this year due to COVID-19.  Try to be positive about the changes that are happening, even though it may be hard at times.  It’s amazing how much power a positive attitude has on your whole outlook.  It’s a skill that will help you get through tough situations now and in the future.  Check out our tips to help make the transition to virtual schooling work for you.  You’ve got this!

Treat your online classes like in-person classes. 

  • This means making the commitment to show up, show up on-time, and hold yourself accountable.  Make sure you know due dates and what’s expected of you. 
  • Set specific goals for yourself, and ask yourself once a week if you’re following through.  Great things begin with just an idea--Write your goals on paper and keep them nearby.  
  • If you feel like you need help doing this, ask a friend or family member to be an "accountability buddy" and check in with you from time to time.

Place a good dry-erase board at your study area to stay focused and organized.Place a good dry-erase board at your study area to stay focused and organized. Courtesy of pbteen.com

Manage your time well. 

  • At the beginning of each week, make a schedule to block out your time for studying, attending class, and to remind yourself of things that are due.  You might find that making your schedule similar to your in-person routine works best. 
  • Use a dry-erase calendar or a good planner to keep track of your schedule. 
  • Keep a timer at your work area, if you wish, to help you stick to your designated learning time.  
  • You can also create a checklist of to-do’s, crossing off each item as you go along.  Each time your list is accomplished, you’ll feel awesome. 
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to do assignments—Do some every day to stay on track.

Noise-cancelling headphones can help with distractions at home.Noise-cancelling headphones can help with distractions at home.Courtesy of usatoday.com

Set up a work area. 

  • Find a desk or table in a particular room to work at every day.  Figure out what kind of environment works best for you to be productive, and use this space to do your schoolwork only.  When you establish a routine in a designated area, you’ll be more focused.  
  • At your work area, make sure you have high-speed internet connection and good headphones.  Have enough space for books, pens, paper, and other supplies. Label folders to hold papers and notes for each subject. You can also create electronic folders for each class on your computer and in your email program.  Keep everything organized, and you’ll feel more on top of things.  
  • Eliminate distractions at your work area.  Keep other electronics off (unless you work well while listening to music), including your phone.  A report in 2016 found that students spent about one-fifth of class time on laptops, smartphones and tablets, knowing that doing so could harm their grades. They checked these devices for "non-class purposes” 11.43 times a day on average.  And that was before Covid.  If you’re finding it hard to stay offline during designated school time, enlist that accountability buddy to help.

Find a study area that will work for your learning style.Find a study area that will work for your learning style.Courtesy of weheartit.com

Give yourself brain breaks. 

  • If you have a hard time staying focused on your screen for longer periods, take short breaks in between subjects to clear your mind. 
  • Do some physical activity before you know you’ll be sitting down for a class—It can increase attention and reduce anxiety.  You can try exercising online with friends too. 
  • If you can, you may want to try positioning your screen on a raised surface so that you can stand up during classes. 
  • If you get frustrated, stressed or overwhelmed, give yourself a break then too. 
  • When you’re done with your work for the day, reward yourself by watching a good movie, giving yourself screen time, or doing something you love.

Participate in class, and use all of the school's resources for help.Participate in class, and use all of the school's resources for help.Courtesy of vdc.edu.au

Participate in class. 

  • This will help you feel connected!  Also remember to keep in touch with friends outside of class, either in small groups or by video chat. 
  • Reach out to your teacher if you feel behind or stuck, and don’t waste too much time stressing about work before reaching out.  Hopefully, your teachers will encourage lots of communication and designate time especially for this. 
  • Use all of the resources your school offers.

Most of all, realize that you’ll make mistakes, and that’s okay.  This year will be a learning experience for everyone—No one is perfect.  Struggle makes success more meaningful, so learn from your setbacks.  Take responsibility for your mistakes, cut yourself some slack, and plan to do better next time. 

Share With Kidzworld

Are you going back to school this year? Or are you virtual learning? What are your back to school tips this year?