Online Summer School Tips for a High School Student

Posted on July 02 2020

Student working on computer.

Many students have already enrolled in online summer school — or are thinking about it — but not quite sure what they’re getting themselves into. 

That’s OK! A lot of students want to do well in online summer school but need some tips for success. The American Academy has put together some tips to help you:

Online summer school tip 1: Every morning, every day 

As much as possible, summer should still feel like summer. Whether that means swimming, playing video games, or hanging out with friends, we want you to be able to do all of that.

You can have time for all of those sorts of things, but if you forget to do your schoolwork, it’s going to leave you feeling frustrated, stressed out, and disappointed in yourself. 

So while there is no one model for a successful summer school student, we can tell you with great surety that the students we know who get the most out of both summer school and summer are those who follow an “every morning, every day” routine.

In other words: Make school the first thing you do in the morning, and make sure you do a little bit every day. The result is a very manageable amount of work, very little stress, and plenty of time to do everything else that you want to be doing during the summertime. 

Online summer school tip 2: Review tomorrow’s schedule today  

A lot of people really misuse sleep. They use it to… well… sleep. But did you know that sleep is a very effective time to start organizing your thoughts for tomorrow?

What do we mean by that? Well, psychologists generally agree that you shouldn’t dwell on problems before sleeping — but they also generally agree that sleep is a great time for solving problems. And while that might sound like a bunch of double-talk, the secret of using sleep effectively is to use it to solve problems that aren’t worrisome.

What kinds of problems? How about the kind that you’re going to be asked to solve and write about the following day? 

Try this: Before going to bed, take a look at the work you’ll be doing the next day in school. You don’t have to spend a lot of time with any of it — just take a peek. Overnight, your brain will dedicate some time to trying to solve those problems and answer those questions. And while you might not wake up with all of the answers in the world, you will wake up better prepared to take on those challenges. 

Online summer school tip 3: Don’t go it alone 

Some people love the solitude of taking classes during the summer. Others feel really lonely. Either way, we can’t stress enough that learning shouldn’t be a completely solitary endeavor.

Make an effort to connect with your teachers, whether you’re taking classes online or in person. Ask them when their office hours are and give them a call. Send them emails. Respond to their critiques of your work with additional questions.

When you engage in this way, you will do better — guaranteed. Also, in times when you do slip up (because we all do that sometimes), your teachers will know you as more than a name on their computer screen. That means they’ll be more likely to see you as a person who made a mistake, rather than a student who needs to be taught a tough lesson. 

Online summer school tip 4: Front-load 

OK, so we told you up above that you should keep a steady pace — every morning, every day. We meant that. But we also know that even when students keep a good pace, summer can present a lot of different distractions — and it’s very common for students who intended to do a little bit of work every day to forget for a day.

Or two.

Or a week.

Or two.

And that really all adds up quickly.

That’s why it’s very important to set a pacing schedule that takes advantage of the natural motivation you’ll have when you get started. Do a little bit of work every day...and then do just a little bit more. 

Get as far ahead as you can, early on. That way, when those distractions do come along, they won’t cost you the ability to pass a class. And that means, as summer comes to an end, you won’t have to choose between doing something amazing with your friends or sitting in your room, behind your computer, scrambling to finish up your classes. 

You can succeed in online summer school 

Summer is a great time to catch up or get ahead in school — and it doesn’t have to come at the expense of your summer plans. 

So, in short, do a little each day, review tomorrow’s schedule before you go to bed, make sure you reach out to your teachers for support and get ahead early. Follow these tips and you’re going to do great in summer school this year! 


Further Reading:  

Summer Tips: How to Overcome Summer Learning Loss

High School Credits Online

Why You Should Continue Your Education through Summer