When you choose to attend high school online, you’re taking advantage of an amazing opportunity. Unlike many of your peers, you’re able to take more control over your education, choosing the hours when you work and even the time you want to spend on many of your classes. Online high school offers you the ability to tailor your education to your needs instead of transforming yourself to fit the needs of a standardized classroom. If you want to succeed at this unique educational style, however, there are a few things that you’ll need to commit to up front.
Ask for help as soon as you need it, not when you’re already behind and confused.Teachers in most brick and mortar schools have a number of tricks up their sleeves when it comes to determining whether or not you understand what they’re teaching. Teachers in an American online high school setting don’t have many of those advantages. Don’t leave them guessing! If you need help, ask for it; and if you’re just as confused after a teacher finishes explaining something, admit it. They can’t make changes if they don’t know that you’re struggling.
Keep an eye on your own progress. Look at the amount of progress that you need to make over the course of the school year and divide it according to the amount of time you have remaining. If you allow yourself to fall behind, your coursework can quickly become overwhelming! Keep an eye on your progress, checking in at least once a week to make sure that you’re completing everything you should in a timely manner.
Retrain your mind to accept that this is school. This is one of the biggest challenges that many students experience when they first transition to an online high school setting. Home is the place where you kick back, relax, and enjoy yourself at the end of the day. If you’re accustomed to getting most of your work done at school and rarely bring home homework, this can be even harder. You need to make a conscious effort to remind yourself that this isn’t playtime. It’s learning time, and you can’t ignore it.
Don’t forget socialization. If you’re used to attending a brick and mortar high school, you’re also used to being surrounded by people all day, every day. Those interactions might not have been all positive, but you probably had friends around you, or at least people that you enjoyed talking to. The transition to learning online means that you’ll have less social interaction than before. Make the effort to get involved with clubs, sports, or other organizations. Not only will it help keep your social skills from getting rusty, it will look good on college applications!
The transition to an online high school isn’t always easy, but you already have the tools that you need in order to be successful. With time, rolling out of bed and reaching for your computer will become as normal as attending school every day. In fact, you may realize that online high school has a number of other benefits–like being able to go to school in your pajamas every day without judgment.