Meet Jared and Jill. The two leisurely wake up on a Monday morning around 8:30. No, it's not a holiday. They attend high school online.
These homeschooled teenagers have found they’re most successful when recognizing and maintaining:
- Consitent Routine
- Designated Study Area
- Acclimated & Appropriate Environment
- Scheduled Breaks
- Respect for Individual Learning Rhythms
See if you can identify these five keys through their school day.
Jared will prepare breakfast for his mother and sister. He’s been experimenting lately with different cooking methods. Today, he’ll try his second round of eggs benedict while Jill helps their mother with the Hollandaise sauce. The three of them enjoy their breakfast together with coffee, hot cocoa or orange juice and lightly discuss the plans for the day and weekend. When the meal is finished, they will quickly clear the table. Their mother will encourage them to let her finish the dishes so that their school workday can begin promptly.
Jared and Jill find their books in private study areas designated specifically for their individual study time. They look forward to the familiar, clean, clutter-free and organized space. They're particularly fond of the area because they helped to conceptualize and design, or redesign as their needs change. Each space has needed materials like highlighters, perhaps a smart tablet, a calculator, and a whiteboard readily available while being neatly stored away. The area is free from unnecessary distractions like games, comic books, crafts or athletic equipment. Decorative elements still provide colorful, engaging and mentally stimulating design elements.
Routinely, Jill heads off to her study area after breakfast. She prefers to get the bulk of her studying completed early in the day switching often between subjects. Afterwards, she begins her chores and breaks by talking with a friend abroad. She completes any particularly long assignment or difficult subject at 2:00pm in the afternoon but will use that time to read fiction otherwise. Jared learned that he does best when he goes for a morning jog or bike ride after breakfast. After returning home, he cleans up and enjoys a simple snack before starting his work. He carefully works through a single subject at a time and completes each assignment before moving onto the next. He finishes up his studying in time for lunch or takes a late lunch if he needs extra time. This signifies the end of his school day.
Jill likes to study most subjects with classical music playing in the background. She has found she is more productive and often better capable of solving difficult mathematical equations this way. She has learned to take several small breaks, allowing her eyes to admire the artwork on the surrounding walls. Jared ensures his study room has ample sunlight, silence and ergonomically positioned seating with a bare desk. He loves his stress ball break from time to time to help him ease the tension of his fingers and hands after gripping a pencil or lengthy typing on a computer.
Jared and Jill do well in this manner. Looking forward, it's likely they'll graduate ahead of schedule (that is, before turning 18 years of age). Jill will quickly complete her associate's degree and probably earn a bachelors well before her peers. Jared plans on competing professionally in soccer.
Observing regular routines, using a designated study area with an exclusive environment, affording regular breaks while acknowledging individual study rhythms, and acclimating to those learning needs have been the best study habits for online high school students juxtaposed to those stifled by the traditional school system.