Online School Offers Flexibility, But Blocking Out Time Is Still Important For Organization
By Savannah Robles, Stride Student Advisor
Setting the scene...
The tick of the clock, at the late hours of the night. The frantic beat of a heart, against an already worried chest. The words of warning, ringing until they are the only things to be heard… “Don’t forget! The assignment is due tomorrow at midnight! There will be no exceptions to any late work.” The glow of an unforgiving blank screen lights the room. All of it serves as a reminder of the final paper, due in only twenty minutes. The stress of a grade, the regret of that distraction, and the horrifying realization that this is not a battle that can be won. (Dun-Dun-Dun!)
Now, I am sure that many students can relate to the dread of a forgotten assignment. Watching hopelessly, as the minutes pass by, and the chance of a good grade then waves one final farewell to you and walks off. Many students can certainly relate to wishing for just one more day to work on regular assignments or the big project for the semester. The gifts of freedom and flexibility given so freely to online students, especially when compared to the constraints of a brick-and-mortar school, have both their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to creating an outline for a school day. Each student is different and learning how to manage your day by putting in specific time blocks on your calendar/planner (whether that be digital or not) can help to prevent catastrophic moments later.
Class connects and coursework don’t seem like much in the grand scheme of things when you are an online high school student, but with the temptation of life all around you, it can seem like they suddenly pile up! In my first semester of online high school, things were tough. New to online school and just not sure how to keep things organized to avoid late work, school tasks suddenly became a big burden for me to carry. However, with just a few nicely placed reminders, and time blocks set up in my calendar, I can now keep that daily schoolwork from seeming too overwhelming.
One of the most important first steps in this process of time blocking for online students is to recognize any patterns in your week, and then see just how much schoolwork is expected of you overall. This can be done by making a digital list, creating a visual representation in a chart or graph, or by writing items down on a plain paper list with a pen. However you want to achieve a clear concept of your tasks is up to you. We all think and arrange things differently. I am a visual person, so I created a weekly plan sheet of visuals to demonstrate when I had class calls, when certain class work was due, and then added in any extracurricular activities that needed my attention.
Another concept to take into consideration is when you naturally want to start your school day, and also when you are best able to conclude it. Knowing the full parameters of each individual school day will also help you when you are trying to decide where to add in your schedule’s time blocks. As an online student, you will have a lot of flexibility to work with your body’s natural bio-rhythms. Some people are early risers and some are more proverbial night owls. Once you determine your best daily rhythm, and your full time allotted for the school day, you will be set to begin building those time blocks. For example, a call at 9:00-10:00am for English is a suitable time to also look over the content for that class, as most teachers go over that same work in the class. Adding any breaks for lunch, going to the bathroom, or just to stretch can be better placed after challenging classes to give your mind a break, so be sure to work those into your daily calendar in the form of those necessary time blocks.
Since each student is indeed unique, setting up class and curriculum time blocks for when you have the most energy in a day can also ensure maximum productivity! Personally, I usually have a lot more brainpower earlier in the day, and as a result, I prefer to set up classes like science and math then, because I can bring all of my energy to the assignments that I find the toughest. Later in the day, I set up the easier classes, and the ones that I don’t have to press too much energy towards. Tips like these have helped me to avoid procrastination and waiting until the very last minute to get an assignment turned in for school.
To read more about how online schooling helps students grow, be sure to check out Virtual School Motivates Teen To Become More Responsible.
And, you can read another terrific blog post by one of our Stride Student Advisors about discovering the right internship for you, here!
Stride also has an article to help students new to online high school, so make sure you read 5 Tips For New Online High School Students, too!
To learn more about Stride Career Prep's Student Advisory Council, make sure to visit https://www.k12.com/stride-career-prep/about/student-advisory-council.html