Discovering that you can go to school online and still get a great education can be an incredible relief for some families, especially those that travel or live a unique lifestyle. There are pros and cons to online school, just as there are for traditional schooling.
If you’re considering online schooling, check out our quick little survival guide on how to get started with going to an online school.
Getting Basic Equipment and Skills
Unsurprisingly, you need to have the right equipment to be able to participate in and take full advantage of an online school. This means you will need:
A computer or laptop that you can connect to the internet with. If you don’t have access to the internet at home or in your normal environment, you can typically find access to the internet at a local library or cafe.
You’ll want to have some basic knowledge and experience with navigating the internet so that you can access your online courses, take tests, complete assignments, and communicate with your peers. You’ll also need word processing software or access to a website that can provide these kinds of services to you.
Building Self-Discipline and Self-Motivation
While granting an incredible amount of freedom, online schooling also demands a much higher level of self-discipline and motivation from within. You’ll want great time management skills and the ability to keep yourself accountable (or find someone who will consistently be able to keep you accountable).
Create or Find a Private Space to Call Your Own
Everyone has an ideal learning environment. Some people can get by in an environment like a library or cafe, but not everyone works best that way. Some students prefer having a completely quiet environment, a place where they can shut the door and be by themselves.
If you have the ability to, dedicate a room or a portion of a room to your education. If it’s within your power, make sure that you have time set aside for your learning and that nobody distracts you while you’re busy.
Read, Understand, and Print Your Course Syllabus
You will essentially be in full control of your education while you’re in an online school. This means that you are responsible for not only finding, but also in thoroughly understanding what is expected in your course syllabus. Make sure that you know what’s expected from the instructor, how you’ll be graded, specific course policies, and all of the important due dates for the course.
It can be helpful to print the syllabus and any relevant information so that it’s always handy, whether you’re on the computer or not.
Establish an Online Routine & Check In Frequently
Having a routine will help incredibly for all of your online schooling, especially if you’re someone who has not yet baked in your self-discipline habits yet. You’ll want to log in at least once a day to check on any notifications and emails that may be important. This gives you a chance to double check any deadlines coming up soon that you may have forgotten about.
Although you might not physically see your classmates and teachers like you would in a traditional school, it’s important for you to stay involved and engaged by participating in discussions, communicating with your instructor and peers, completing assignments in a timely fashion.
Reach Out for Help When You Need It
Don’t feel like you have to do everything alone. Online schooling can be isolating, depending on your lifestyle and schedule. Anytime you’re feeling down or getting overwhelmed, reach out to someone for help. It could be your parents, a guardian, another peer in the online school, and especially your teacher.
Contact us today to learn more about online schooling and what you can do to help prepare yourself for a great year of online education.