Online High School: Ten Ways You Can Prepare Yourself

Posted on May 13 2013

To be a successful student of an online high school takes some preparation. The misconception that students of virtual high schools have it easier as compared to those who study in a brick and mortar high school can never be more wrong.

Earning your high school diploma (whether online or through a traditional class) has its own challenges. With an online high school program, the challenge is to be able to organize and manage your time and resources. You can minimize these challenges by making the necessary preparations before you enroll in a virtual high school.

Here are some steps to prepare to get your high school diploma online:

  • Identify your priorities and organize based on these. There are reasons why you have opted to get an online high school education instead of a traditional education from a brick and mortar high school. This may be because you are already working, pursuing a career in sports, ballet or music, or busy raising a family. You may also be a student who wants more challenge offered by advanced courses available in an online school. These are excellent priorities and with some effort, you can balance your priorities along with your high school education. Setting your priorities will help you know how much time to set aside for coursework.
  • Learn to manage your time. With your priorities straightened out, you can now start scheduling your days so that you can provide ample time for the things that are important to you – school, work, family or a social life. It may also mean that you will need to say “no” to some things or perhaps ask help from family and friends to give an extra hand to help out on some chores. Get a student planner to help you jot down assignments and due dates.
  • Set up your study space. Before you start to sit down and start taking your online high school classes, prepare the things you will need. Foremost would be a computer and a good internet connection. You will also need some school supplies. You will also need copies of the syllabus to help you find out what other materials you need. Keep this in a quiet space in the house. Prepare organizing materials such as shelving and boxes to put everything where you can easily find them. Make sure that your learning space has ample lighting and quiet enough to ensure that you can concentrate on your lessons.
  • Develop your writing and communications skills. Being able to articulate your opinions with others is a very useful skill when you are studying at an online high school. You will be communicating with your teacher and online classmates through e-mail and chat. You don’t have to have perfect English (although that will be helpful), but you need to be able to put your ideas across in a way that you can be understood by the one reading your messages. The good thing is programs such as Microsoft Word can give you a lot of help correcting your grammar and spelling. You can type in your message through Word, correct any mistakes and then copy and paste it into your e-mail or chat windows.
  • Brush up on your computer and internet skills. Since your lessons will be delivered primarily through the internet, it’s best to review or learn the necessary skills that will help you get through with your lessons. This includes skills like: getting connected and communicating using the web cam, writing e-mails and adding attachments, typing up files and reports using programs such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Publisher and creating videos. It also means brushing up on key computer and internet terms. Learning how to troubleshoot computer and internet connection issues can also help you. In addition, protect yourself from computer crashes or the possibility of losing your laptop. Keep backups of important files through an external hard drive, online file-keeping services or burning them on a disk. The American Academy’s help desk is also available if you run into any technical problems.
  • Introduce yourself to your online instructors and classmates. The American Academy has qualified and licensed instructors online to answer any questions or facilitate discussions among the online class. Take time to get connected with them, they can be a great asset in your aim to succeed in getting your high school diploma online.