Online students face the unique challenge of learning in a shared, distraction-filled space, usually at home. Make these three changes for better focus to empower your student and you will help your student thrive in class now and for semesters to come.
Don’t worry, they’re easy changes to make.
Change #1 – Print a Schedule
Life gets busy and it’s easy to lose track of details. Even important details, like when an assignment is due or when that one class meets.
And the worst feeling in the world is the gut-drop when you realize you forgot an important assignment or class.
That’s why we recommend printing out a class and/or assignment schedule and hanging it by your student’s workspace.
A physical reminder of all the important dates and times coming up is an invaluable resource for you and your student. When you forget, it’s there to remind you so you never miss the important stuff.
Change #2 – Set a Timer
We’ve all felt this before.
You sit down at your desk and open your textbook. Before you start reading, you skip ahead and count the number of pages in the chapter.
You count, and count, and count.
It feels endless.
And, wouldn’t you know it, your motivation to focus on your work vanished without a trace. The task is too big, too daunting, too boring to do in one sitting. So, you don’t do it at all.
The solution is simple: don’t do it in one sitting.
Set a short timer and focus only during that time. When the time’s up, take a short break.
Get up from your desk and stretch, play a game, go outside. Once your break ends, come back and reset that timer for one more short stretch of focus.
This is called the Pomodoro method, and it works for all kinds of productive tasks. It works especially well with learning assignments. When the promise of a break is right around the corner, it is much easier to focus.
After all, reading a page or two isn’t that bad, especially when you get to jump on the trampoline right after.
Change #3 – Remove All Barriers
Have you ever sat down at your desk to study, or work, then realized you left your laptop in the kitchen?
You grab it, sit down again, then you remember you left your backpack upstairs, and you need the worksheets inside to start. So, you get up, run upstairs, and sit back down again.
Oh, and you need a pen, and those are in the den. While there, you notice the book on the coffee table you started reading the other night and decide you should read the next chapter really quick.
This is exactly why the best way to achieve better focus is to prepare your workspace before you start working. This applies to your student, too!
Take an afternoon to work through a list of what your student uses each day. Place the books, tools, and tech they need on the daily somewhere close to where they do their schoolwork.
This way they don’t have to keep getting up to go find them (getting up for a Pomodoro break, however, is encouraged!).
Online learning provides great flexibility, parental involvement, and personalized learning experiences for each student. But it does come with unique challenges, especially when it comes to the learning environment.
The tips we covered above will help you facilitate your student’s focus as they continue their online educational journey.
Now go forth and wield these three changes for better focus to empower your student!
About SC Prep
South Carolina Preparatory Academy (SC Prep) is a tuition-free, online public charter school serving students in grades 6-12 across South Carolina. Combining traditional education with innovation, we offer a rigorous curriculum and experienced teachers. We empower our students to collaborate, problem-solve and think critically; skills necessary for success in college and the 21st century. Our tight-knit community fosters meaningful relationships and supports flexibility in learning, ensuring that every student’s needs are met on their journey toward academic achievement and personal growth. Join us for tradition, innovation, and excellence!