Whether you’re preparing for the first day of high school– online or traditional – making preparations for the first day is essential for getting your school year off on the right track. However, it’s even more important to prepare yourself when your classroom is at the table in your kitchen or the desk in your bedroom.
Although online learning has its advantages, staying focused and organized can be challenging. Here are 7 steps to help you get ready for that first day of online high school or college.
1. Do your research. More than likely, your online school will have plenty of resources for you to review long before the school year starts. Use them to understand what a typical day will look like. Also, ask to talk to a current student beforehand — just as you would at a traditional school. Ask the student for any tips, insights or advice to help you navigate online high school. Also, make sure you study your curriculum and class expectations before class starts.
2. Plan your schedule. After reviewing your course requirements, determine how much time you need to set aside for homework and studies for each class. Plan your day accordingly. Make sure you make adjustments as necessary throughout the school year.
3. Set up a study area. Take the time to clear out an area that’s designated as a study space. Keep it free from clutter and distractions. Talk to family members about the need for quiet time while you’re studying or attending class.
4. Make sure your computer equipment and WiFi connection are adequate. Most schools will give you minimum requirements for your Internet access before school starts. Carefully review your equipment and connection to make sure it meets those standards. You don’t want to risk scrambling to get connected during the school year.
5. Reach out to your instructors. As soon as you receive the contact information for your instructors, send an email to introduce yourself. Don’t hesitate to take that first step. It will help you feel comfortable in reaching out to them throughout the school year.
6. Plan ahead for hiccups. Just as in a traditional high school, students run into challenges. Decide beforehand how you will resolve them. Talk to your parents or guardians about the warning signs that should alert you when it’s time to seek help from instructors or a tutor. Don’t hesitate to seek help quickly.
7. Talk to other students. Think about how often you talk to your family and friends — whether in person or through texting, calling or Skyping. With online high school, you still have the opportunity to connect with other students. Take the initiative to meet other students in your online courses. You’re all in this together — help each other through developing study groups and one-on-one conversations.
Attending online school can be incredibly rewarding, setting you up with the habits that will equip you to be independent in college and work. By planning ahead, you can start on the path to success.