5 Habits of Effective Homeschool Students

homeschool study habitsWho doesn’t love the idea of staying at home and doing school in your pajamas? But those of us who have been learning from home for years know it isn’t always as stress-free as it sounds.

Loneliness, isolation, distractions, and fatigue are common problems. There may be the sense that school never ends, because the homeschool lifestyle is basically one continuous learning cycle.

At the same time, homeschoolers are involved in so many activities that it can be a major hit to your personal productivity. Then there is the problem of keeping all of your ongoing projects organized.

Not to worry, there are ways to overcome these challenges. Effective homeschooling involves these five study habits.

1. Set the stage

If you don’t have a designated learning area in your home, establish the same environment wherever you go to study by using props such as a laptop, three-ring binder or notebook. Repeating the set up in each location every day tells your brain that school is “on,” and the visual cue of returning to the same orchestrated workspace over and over will give you a sense of stability.

If you use a desktop computer, have a piece of paper or a notepad that is placed at one side of your keyboard, or stick a Post-it note on the side of your monitor. On it list three, five, or seven of the most critical tasks you want to focus on that day. Paper, which is intellectually uncomplicated and easy to interact with, will direct you forward more easily than tech-based checklists. Having the paper next to you where you can see it at all times will gently and repeatedly remind you to work on your important tasks.

2. Get rid of low-value activities

To be an effective homeschool student, you must dismantle the addictive habits most teens have developed. Low-value activities like social media can become a barrier to getting more meaningful tasks done. If your first instinct is to check your phone every minute of the day, tackling this inclination requires a shift in mindset.

Instead of focusing on menial but profitless activities, you will need to develop a reductive mindset, where it becomes second nature to get rid of unnecessary things. Developing a reductive mindset means you adopt a habit to ruthlessly eliminate or cut out anything unnecessary. You will find that you get your work done faster that way!

3. Add whitespace

Taking breaks during the day is popular advice, but knowing when and for how long can be confusing. For example, the Energy Project tells you to follow the circadian rhythm of your body and take a break every 90 minutes, while the Pomodoro Technique suggests taking a break every 25 minutes.

However, timed breaks don’t always fit well with effective study habits. It’s better for homeschoolers to not stick to a rigid schedule but to take natural breaks – like at the end of a chapter, for example, to let the information sink in and think about what you’ve just learned. This will help you to remember it better.

A more intuitive model suggests paying attention to your individual internal cues. When you body is craving a snack or you need to stretch your legs or rest your eyes, go ahead and take a break. By taking a strategic pause to rejuvenate yourself, you will be able to concentrate better when you get back to work.

4. Keep social media to intervals

Social media is one of the biggest distractions for teens. Your phone can derail your productivity if you let it. Instead of keeping the gateway to your social media open all day long, make a conscious decision of when to indulge and when to abstain from checking your social media accounts.

You can check at the top of every hour, for instance, or check during breaks or at mealtimes. Such a purposeful, periodic schedule blocks social media from interrupting your work flow or your deep thoughts. Turn your phone off when studying.

5. Create a clocking-out ritual

When you’re homeschooling, you may begin to feel like you’re living in a classroom 24/7. Productivity can hinge on compartmentalization, which is another one of the vital habits of successful homeschool students. Anytime you can put something in a box, literally or figuratively, it helps you focus.

Homeschoolers don’t have a bus to catch, but they can end their day visually by opening a literal compartment, such as a drawer or a cabinet, and placing all of their homework-related items inside.

Another technique for cutting ties with school time is to announce it out loud by saying “I’m done with my homework for the day,” which is a sort of verbal promise to yourself and anyone who is listening.

Learning from home can be a challenge, but students who do it successfully maintain a balance of work and play, while appropriately accepting the social limitations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.