8 Top Tips for Student Success in Online School
During middle and high school, online and blended learning students transition to being more independent and relying less on the adults in their lives. Becoming responsible for their own educations is an important step for kids. It’s equally important for parents to encourage them in their efforts and provide guidance. Here are some tips to share with your virtual school or blended learning student to help ensure his or her success.
1. Be positive.
A positive attitude about learning is the best gift you can give yourself. 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 program. If your virtual school provides an online planner, use it to schedule your personal appointments and create your “to do” list, with items ranked in order of urgency.
3. Establish a routine.
While online school and blended learning school 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.
To make great things happen in your life, it helps to set goals for yourself. 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 achieve a certain score on the SAT exams. Admission to 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 student or blended learning student, you have many helpful resources available. Naturally, your texts, 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 principals are great sources of information. A good rule of thumb is if you’ve been looking for an answer for more than five minutes, reach out for help!
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. Limit your time online.
That sounds funny coming from someone who works at an online school, doesn’t it? But we all get sucked into the trap of taking a “short break” from our important task to go see what’s happening on Facebook or Twitter. 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.
Everyone has them! 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. Making a plan for achieving greater success in the future will help you build confidence, too!
Following these tips will help teens and tweens get the most out of their educations. With these guidelines, 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!
What helpful hints can you suggest for new or returning online students? Share your ideas for success in the comments.