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Hi there everyone! My name is Elle, and I would like to thank the lovely Victoria for having a collab with me. Isn’t her website so pretty? Oops… I’m rambling. Let us begin.
Around four years ago, I was in middle school. It was a particularly awful time for me, and it reflected in my behaviour. The environment was toxic.
My mom and I decided to withdraw me from public school and start me online. Switching from public school to online school proved to be a different challenge, though not impossible. Before getting to the K12 school that I’m enrolled in, I was in another program. One that didn’t fit my needs. It failed that semester I was in that school; however, I passed the year because I passed the first semester in regular school with straight A’s
Now after four years, a new school system, and a game plan, I am finally confident enough to share my secrets to mastering online schooling. Or virtual education, whichever you prefer.
Making a schedule
Now, if you are online schooling that has always been an online school, then this should be relatively simple.
First things first, you should see what kind of setup your school has. The two most common arrangements I have seen are the “free fall” and the “structured horse” (I named those just now).
When we have the freefall, the school provides all of the assignments that need to be done all at once. They start the day you begin school, and the only due date is the last day of school. Personally, this is my least favourite of the two.
When we have the structured horse, the school has assignments, quizzes, and due dates little by little, much like regular school. This setup is the better one, IMO.
For both of these options, I suggest you do the same thing. Gather up all of your assignments and put them into tracking software. You can get an app such as My Study Life or use a simple program like Google Calendar.
I use both of these. Because I also have live classes, I use Google Calendar to remind me of upcoming courses. I use My Study Life to track all assignments, quizzes and projects that are due every month.
Now I have never had a “zoom school” in its entirety. However, I do have my coding class over zoom, so I’m familiar enough with it.
I suggest using the same methods as above. Though if you don’t have automatic access to all of your assignments, then I suggest emailing your teachers for a syllabus.
I suggest studying for 20-30 minutes straight, then taking 5-minute breaks in-between. This way, you get a lot done and avoid burnout or overload. Carve out about 1-2 solid hours a day for revision of your notes for every class.
Regardless of what you are scheduling, I believe it’s best to have a physical copy of your schedule (I mean, you have other priorities other than school). One that I have fallen in love with is the Procrastinators Planner.
Ngl, I am finishing this blog post a day before it’s due. I have a slight problem with time management. This keeps me on track with the bulk of tasks I need to accomplish during the day.
I like to organize my assignments by two factors, due dates and classes.
First, I categorize my classes by when they are due and put them into my tracker. Then I divide them by what courses they belong to. This way, I keep on track, not only when I must complete the assignments, but I also know what subject I’m focusing on.
My school provides my teachers contact in our course directions and our school emails. However, if that’s not readily available, I suggest asking your teacher for their number and email in your class session with them upfront. That way, you don’t have to scramble around if you need them or anything.
- Make sure you save their contacts in when you call them and save them by a name you’ll recognize
- Sign up for any reminder app or website they recommend.
- File their email in your notes so you won’t have to find them in your history.
This is pretty much going to mirror what I said about the schedules. I recommend setting up reminders for all of your classes in Google Calendar.
Not only is it very user friendly, but it also works on any device. Also, you can personalize it and schedule events, reminders, and To-dos.
Here is a little peek at what my calendar looks like on a regular day.
Without my teachers supporting me as much as they do with reminders, extra credit opportunities, etc., I wouldn’t be doing as well. So that’s why you should have a good relationship with your teachers. Don’t just be another name on their roster.
I recommend sending out an initial email explaining who you are, how excited you are to start the semester and your expectations and any questions you may have.
You may take my template if you’d like!
Dear Mrs. Sample,
I’m Elle Wynter from your 11th-grade Business Writing class. I just wanted to introduce myself and tell you how much I’m looking forward to this school year!
My goal is to get an A in this class or at least at B minimum.
I can assure you I won’t be a problem student, so I wanted to reach out just if I never get the chance in class.
I wanted to know also do you have any information on a syllabus for the class?
Thank you in advance, and I look forward to working with you this school year!
That’s a pretty close representation of the debate that went through my head when I tried to choose which notes I wanted.
Studies have shown that the retention rate is much higher when you use handwritten notes than keyboard notes. So why go for digital notes then? When you use digital notes, it’s more convenient, legible, and comfortable to share.
The best way to take notes, in my opinion, is to handwrite them during lectures, and when you are studying, go back and make them digital. That way, you get both of the benefits.
This is a key I pretty much stick to or both online and handwritten notes when I can
I’m autistic, and both of my parents have ADHD. So you can see how I can get distracted at pretty much everything. I could hear a bird chirping outside, and for the next hour, I’m researching extinct birds from last year. Like I said, a small problem.
Here are some small ways I like to keep myself from sidetracked.
- Listening to music instead of Television
- Having headphones on during the school day
- Setting little reminders to tell me to keep focused
- Telling myself if I get a task done, I can take a break
- Putting my iPad away so I won’t feel the urge to doodle.
Man, I love doodling.
I have three workspaces.
One on my couch, where I have a table in front of it with snacks/drinks, school/art supplies/ and my blanket. I have a lamp and my window to give me light when needed.
Then there is my lazy day setup, on my bed. I have a portable lap desk setup. And my nightstand with my beverage (usually apple juice or coffee) and some pens and pencils.
Then my car setup, when I must do schooling on the go. My lap is my desk, and my supplies are in my bag. Usually, I have my tablet, planner, water, a snack, nausea medicine, chargers, headphones, and some pens.
I recommend having three constants for any workspace you do have
- School supplies close by
- A bag with easily accessible things
(Can you tell I love talking about this subject)
I love doing things. I LOVE doing things. I have an infinite amount of hobbies and interests. Soooooooooooo I have looked up many programs to do and things you can even do at home so you can do some things extra. So here is a little list.
- Take an online course.
- Start a small business.
- Prepare for an academic competition.
- Apply for a part-time job or internship
- Tutor or teach a class on Zoom or Skype
- Start a youtube channel.
- Peer edit essays
- Create and share study materials
- Learn a programming code
- Learn a new language
- Write a story, paper, or article and submit it for publication.
- Sell products on Etsy.
- Assist a local clinic virtually (e.g. with paperwork, scheduling, document translation, etc.).
Of course, you can always reach out to your school head and ask if they have any clubs.
My Favorite School Websites
Really brainly is suitable for all subjects.
Ahhhhhhh, we got through that, and I’m finishing this post the night before I need to give it to Victoria. Don’t be me. You should go on with your bad self and master the art of online schooling.
I wish I knew what I knew now about online schooling. Yes, it’s hard. But all education is challenging. Though with practice and focus, you too can make it out of homeschooling top of your class like some people.
Granted, I’m not some people, but I’m working on it.
I want to thank Victoria again for this collaboration and letting me brain dump on her beautiful site.
Hey guys!! Victoria here! I just wanted to say thank you for reading Elle’s post I hope you enjoyed it!! Make sure to go to her blog right here and check out my post on her blog!!
Also don’t forget to give Elle a follow down below, love you all!! ❤