Getting the Most Out of Your Online High School

Posted on August 23 2012

So you have decided to enroll yourself in an online high school. Congratulations! You are about to embark in a challenging but rewarding journey! You may have missed high school for one reason or another. Or, you want to steam full speed ahead and graduate high school earlier than your peers. Another reason may be that you have a very unusual schedule that prevents you from attending classes regularly.

Now that you have made the important decision to get into an online high school program, here are some tips to help you make the most out of it:

  • Understand the commitment you need to have with online schooling. Completing high school credits online require a special kind of dedication and discipline. Because the teacher is not right in front of you to check on how you’re doing, there is a temptation to take it easy. As with regular classes, you will also need to exert effort and diligence in your online classes. Be sure to know how many hours you are committing to the lessons every week. It will also be helpful to map out your commitments when it comes to your studies, work and leisure time.
  • Be reasonable in setting your goals. At the beginning of the program, you may be very excited about your lessons, so much so that you want to finish everything in one go. Stop! Be aware of the ideal time allotment for the courses you are taking. How much work will it take for you to finish a course? The whole high school program? Aside from the hours you spend studying the lesson proper, you will also need to include hours for research, papers and projects, as well as preparing for tests. Also, ask yourself, how much time will you also need for your other obligations? Other obligations include your current job, chores you need to do at home, your volunteer work at the local community center and so on. Knowing the amount of hours you have and the things you need to do, you can now sit down and set reasonable goals as to how long you will need to finish your coursework.
  • Have the right equipment. It doesn’t take much by way of equipment – just an internet connection with decent speed, as well as a computer. The computer must have the requisite amount of memory and speed, while the monitor must be one that will not strain your eyes with extended use. There may also some materials needed when it comes to experiments and projects. Other equipment you need would be a stock of office supplies (paper, pens, pencils, etc.), a printer, a comfortable chair and computer accessories.
  • Set aside your work/study area in your home. This can minimize the distractions that might sidetrack you from the work you need to do. It doesn’t need to be an entire room but it has to be a space where you can study in peace, without the ringing of doorbells or phones and the constant chatter of people and the television. Having a work area gets you into “work mode”. This also organizes your things so that you don’t spend precious minutes searching for your study tools.
  • Develop a regular schedule. The beauty of getting your high school diploma online is that you can work at your own pace. However, it will still be helpful to develop a routine so that you can best stick to your study and work commitments for the week. Having a schedule for the subjects you will be studying, as well as the other obligations you have to meet will help prevent you from procrastinating and cramming when it crunch time comes. Sticking to your schedule also means that other people in your household will know how to work around you – and not interrupt you while you’re studying.
  • Have a break. As the saying goes, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy”. Taking a breather from your lessons (and other obligations) will actually not hamper your studies. Taking a break will help you come back to your lessons refreshed, with your mind and body rested and relaxed. Be sure to get the right amount of sleep and exercise.