Homeschooled: 8 Things To Consider Before Taking Online Classes
May 22, 2020
By : Alexa Avila
With school still out due to community quarantine, many of us are looking for ways to stay productive at home. We’ve heard everyone on the internet rave about recipes and workouts but now can be the best time to get back into honing that skill you’ve been trying to make time for. Or to look into that online class you’ve been wanting to take!
As technology develops, it’s no surprise that traditional learning is adapting to digital – or as we face a global pandemic, this might just become our “new normal.” We now have classes, conferences, and even exams done online. However, we’re all different in our learning approach and it might take some trial and error to see which method is most effective, so don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works best for you. Luckily, we’re here to help!
Keep reading for a quick 8-point rundown of how to start your homeschooling journey!
Make sure you have the basics in place
The first step to taking your education online is to have a stable internet connection. You don’t necessarily need to have the fastest wifi or data service, as long as you’re able to load up some study material and readings. If you’re able to read this article, then we’re pretty sure you’re good to go!
The next step in setting up is to create your ideal workspace. Unfortunately, because of community quarantine, a lot of establishments have been put on hold and our suki coffee shop goers can’t go to their favorite spots. But here’s the good news: you can recreate your go-to study spot at home! All you need is a desk, a nearby socket, some good lighting, and last but not least, peace and quiet.
The final step is to take note of your time and duties at home. If you’re living with family and have obligatory breakfasts, lunches, or dinners together, it’s best to take that into account. Make sure to also factor in your chores and other essential home activities before you create your schedule. Remember, because you’re studying at home you should set up healthy boundaries between work and play. Balance is key.
Ask yourself: What do I want to learn?
Now that you have the basics in place, you’re ready to start…but where? It’s important to identify your learning priorities to have a clear vision of which direction you’re headed. We suggest you do a brain dump and jot down everything you’ve been meaning to learn over the past years. This method is extremely effective in clearing your headspace and in getting rid of that crippling anxiety and pressure of learning everything at once. Essentially, once you’ve created your list, you want to dedicate your energy to the subject you identified in the top spot.
Manage your expectations
Once you have an idea of what you want to learn, you’re able to gauge how you’re going to handle your study sessions. And because online learning is still a relatively new space, you might have to try different e-learning activities to optimize your approach. Surely, there will be days wherein you accomplish and grow but on the flip side, it’s realistic to expect some days wherein you have to be your own teacher.
Learning online will involve your fair share of self-teaching. One thing to understand is that online classes are just as hard as face to face classes, if not harder. Because not all e-learning materials are interactive, you may not get the luxury of asking questions in real-time or getting a more detailed explanation from the assigned instructor – which brings us to the next point: commitment.
Get REAL honest about your level of commitment
When studying from the comfort of your own home, you’re faced with countless distractions like your bed, your dogs, your PS4, you name it. The questions you can ask yourself before you enroll in an online class are 1. How committed am I to my goal? 2. Can I resist the urge to do what’s more comfortable?
To make that commitment a little easier, you have to alter your environment and minimize distractions. If you find yourself endlessly scrolling through your Instagram and Twitter feeds, maybe you can think about putting a limit on your screen time settings or simply place your phone in the next room. If you’re struggling with mindlessly opening Facebook and YouTube on your desktop computer, you can make use of a website blocker.
Maximize all free platforms that offer online courses
The internet offers a wide range of educational material easily accessed with one click on Google. Even your everyday websites like YouTube can be platforms for learning. Locally, DepEd and TESDA have a vast amount of free courses. For more resources, you can check our list of online course websites you can explore or head here to scroll through our free and paid certificate courses including programs from Udemy, Kadenze, and edX.
Choose the right program and online school for you
Once you’ve exhausted your free resources and have chosen to take the next step of enrolling in an online university, you should determine which program and school fit you best. Some things you would want to ask yourself are:
1. Is this program aligned with my professional goals?
2. Will this program be beneficial to me in the three to five years?
3. Is this school accredited and reputable?
4. Are employers keen on graduates of this university?
5. Do I have the resources to enroll in this program?
If you’re decided ongoing in full swing, check out more questions to ask before getting your online degree to get started!
Manage your time and energy
Earlier, when we laid down the basics, you created a rough draft of your daily activities and free time. To make managing your time and energy easier, we’ve listed some tips on how to become more efficient and how to achieve flow in your work.
First, to state the obvious, staying organized is crucial. Having an overall system will save you an incredible amount of time and stress. Undoubtedly, if you know where everything should be when you should do a certain task and keep track of where you last left off, studying should feel seamless and less of a chore.
Second, practice single-tasking. Contrary to popular belief, single-tasking can often trump multitasking as it centers on quality over quantity. While doing multiple things at the same time can be seen as efficient, there’s a huge chance of sacrificing effectiveness in the long run. With single-tasking, you can batch similar tasks together, tackle them one by one in a given timeframe. Ultimately, having conscious attention on the work you’re doing entails better focus and thus, better results.
Third, this tip allows you to stay focused without watching the clock because the clock does the watching for you. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method wherein you have 25 minutes of work repeated four times with 5 minute breaks in between. This method is great because it lessens the mental stress you get when you’re pressured with time and it’s incredibly easy! All you need is an interval timer and you’re good to go!
Lastly, get moving and eat healthily. Never underestimate the wonders exercise and proper nutrition can do to your body. Having a consistent fitness routine not only boosts your energy levels but also helps you keep a calm and collected mind.
Join a community!
If you’re a hands-on learner and you find that you learn better with other people, we strongly suggest you find a community that has the same goals as you. It’s best to keep yourself accountable and vice versa. Plus, giving yourself a little dose of friendly competition could push you to become more engaged in learning and more committed to achieving your goals.
Who knows, you also might find a friend who has the exact same study journey with you, and you can learn and grow together. Good luck, and happy studying!
Interested to learn about available online resources for you? Check out Edukasyon.ph and get to know more!
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