Tips to Help Freshmen Start Online High School Strong

All’s well that ends well! However, in the case of online courses, all’s well that starts well! You need to be prepared well before starting with your online course. This is mainly because your online high school learning environment is pretty different from that of a traditional learning environment. Thus, if you are making a switch from a traditional school to an online high school, you need to train yourself well before you take a leap!

Get youreslf a nice work space
You need to get a proper work space. This will keep you focused and determined, right from the beginning. In fact, getting one is not enough; you need to maintain the work space. There is no point in decluttering your work space.

Try to get rid of any trash or old scape paper that you no longer require.  In case, you do not have a designated workspace, go for space you can make your own. You should be able to keep your laptop or computer charged. You should have good light. It should be airy as well. Also, it should have minimum distractions. In short, it should be a quiet and safe place. And, it need not be fancy! You must get this place organized well as well.

Get your supplies
At the time of setting up your workspace, you must replenish your supplies. Many extra supplies might be needed. These mainly include pens, pencils, a highlighter, scratch paper etc. You must keep these supplies carefully. Keep the place organized. This will lessen the chances of losing your crucial items!

Build a schedule
In order to start your new class on the right note, you must come up with a good learning schedule.You must create a schedule with all of your class times. You can actually take help from your online teachers.After all, your teacher is a professional who will know how to build a smart learning schedule that will be result-centric and success-driven!

You must include a lunch break and other short breaks as well. Make it feasible for yourself. Too much load will take the fun out of online learning. Keep and maintain the balance! Try to lessen the screen time. Set your personal deadlines and maintain reminders for the same. Keep the learning schedule flexible, in case you might have to change it at a later stage.

Connect with your online teachers right from the start
Your online teachers are always there to help you. So, you must avail this incredible human resource provided to you by top online schools, such as Forest Trail Academy online high school. You must reach out to your teachers unhesitantly. Focus on communicating with them right from the start. This will help you to create a healthy rapport with your online teachers. Unless you put your voice forward, your teacher will not be able to get an idea of your common academic concerns, if you have any. After all, there is no face-to-face interaction here. So, your teachers will not get any cur here!

You must ask for advice on what you could do differently to better your performance. They will tell you about the exact strategies to help you succeed.

Write down your goals
It is imperative to set semester goals. These goals might be short-term or long-term. Most importantly, you must pen these down. There is no point in keeping these in mind! In order to keep yourself driven to reach your goals, you should be clear as to what the goals are. In order to gain clarity, just write these down! This is a crucial step. It will help you strategize well and do your tasks right on time. Procrastination is an enemy for any online student. Thus, right goal-setting can help you to do away with this common habit.

Get into the habit of working independently
You need to be an independent learner in order to be a successful online learner. However, most of you might get worried since you are usually not programmed to learn independently. The truth is that even if you are not born as an independent learner, practice makes you be one. And, in fact, you can reach greater heights when you are an independent learner. This is because while doing so, you will be aware of your weak points and strong points as well. And when you are well aware of yourself, you can just make the right decisions, when it comes to your career or learning!

Independent form of learning will teach you how to manage your time effectively. It will help you to stay ahead of your task. You will be bound to take the ownership of your career. Thus, you will be get transformed into a responsible individual!

Get into the habit of socializing virtually
Many claims that online learning is making students socially awkward. The truth is that online high schools provide ample ways to socialize. The only thing is that the approach is different from those provided by traditional high schools.

In an online environment, you can interact via various virtual platforms, such as discussion forums, collaborative online projects, communicating online via some communicator etc. Thus, you need to get into the habit of socializing online. And the good thing is that you can meet up with your newly found online friends as well! The good thing here is that you can actually choose your friends.

You need to learn how to communicate effectively in an online environment. You will never feel isolated when you connect with your online learning community.

Gather basic technological skills
In order for you to avail the benefits of online resources and tools, you need to know how the technology works! And you do not need to know the intricate details. But, you certainly need to know the basics well. This is important, today, not only for an online learner but any individual who wants to flourish!

5 Ways to Sustain Motivation in Your Online Class

It is pretty evident that in an online school, learners need to be the self-initiators. They need to take charge of their performance. They need to be self-disciplined and self-motivated.

Here are the top 5 ways to sustain motivation in your online class:

Make sure to get into a routine
Without routine, you are only as good as a headless chicken! Thus, framing a routine is one of the most vital parts of successfully managing online learning. While creating a self-routing, keep your lifestyle, learning style, learning pattern and grasping power in mind. In short, get a personalized online learning routine. You can certainly consult with your parents, teachers and even the Academic counselor of your online school. Keep in mind that your parents might even know you better than you!

However, just creating a routine is not enough. You need to stick to it by all means. If you allow yourself to deviate from your set routine, you might have to struggle to get back on the track.

The online learning schedule must be feasible and humanly attainable. It should not be loaded. It should be flexible enough for you to make changes if needed later on.

In order to plan well, get a planner. Make sure you give yourself clear goals, targets, and deadlines for the day. This way you will be able to manage your work effectively. This way you can make sure you get everything done.

Get a walk outside
While maintaining a fixed study space, you must go out of your house once every day. This will replenish your mind and soul! Else, you might just go crazy! You can go ahead and pick up some groceries, go for a walk, meet a friend, do an exercise class etc. Actually, getting out the house is a great idea.

Once every week, you can go study from your favorite coffee shop or library. You certainly can find a quiet spot in such areas. Keep in mind that a slight change of scenery will freshen your mind and keep you sharp.

Talk to your teachers and parents
In an online environment, there is no live interaction. So, students need to make sure that they express well in front of their teachers and parents! In other words, the students need to be self-initiators. They need to build a good rapport with their online teachers and peers. Also, they are required to be open enough with their parents. They can email their tutor, reach out to a friend or confide in their parents or relatives. Thus, they should ask for help if required. This will not only get their academic issues resolved but will also provide them with mental support. This will keep them confident and motivated throughout the course.

Avail socializing opportunities
When it comes to online school learning, it can seem a bit difficult to switch off from work. However, this is not true. Any genuine and accredited online school provides ample opportunities for students to socialize. The best part is that students can take their own time to find your like-minded peers. There is no forced socialization here! Only effective socialization takes place!

You might consider creating or joining a community of like-minded people. This will help you overcome your isolation to a great extent! You can even join a forum or blog to share your thoughts in the simplest possible way! Keep in mind that most eLearning platforms provide this. You can even create your own group on Skype or some other similar platform to invite everyone to join. Thus, you can actually help each other grow in the simplest way possible.

Keep in mind that your social networks can be put to maximum use here. You can consider giving yourself simple accolades when you accomplish something. This will keep you encouraged. You can share your progress with your friends and family. The best part is that you are sure to get their support. You might even end up inspiring some of them to do better.

List your purpose
There can be several times during your online course when you feel too lazy to do your work or too frustrated with your progress to carry forward! During these challenging times, you should self-remind as to why you signed up for the course in the first place. Your goal might have been to acquire a new skill that could help you in your current job. You might have wanted a certification to qualify you for another course. Or, simply you just might have wished for personal development. Thus, there can be several reasons. So, you should remind yourself of them to motivate you to go on. This would prevent you from wasting any time. You might just start using all of your time in a productive manner!

You must make the online tools work for you. At the time when you are studying at home, the lack of supervision can make following the path really hard. It would be less likely for you to procrastinate and waste hours on social networks. You can even use site blocking plugins like StayFocusd to cut down the time spent on such non-productive sites.

There are some people who have a hard time organizing the work. If you belong to this category, you can actually use certain apps to help you concentrate on one task at a time.

Balance well. You must learn to balance your work, school, and life. Though not that easy, the art of balancing improves with practice! You must avoid letting any area overwhelm you. Keep in mind that the self-pacing aspect of online courses makes them ideal for busy working adults. You must take short breaks to help you return to your studies refreshed and ready to focus.

Remember that feeling overwhelmed or getting behind can cause stress. This can be demotivating. Being positive will help you going when you want to procrastinate on an assignment or don’t feel like logging in.

Why Parents Shouldn't Be Afraid of Virtual Online High School for Their Kids?

There might be a handful of reasons why you might be skeptical of a virtual school for your child.However, on the contrary it has been seen that a virtual high school is a pretty good idea after all.

Here are some very common myths related to a virtual high school and which need to be debunked:

·         Online schools are easier than traditional schooling
Most of the instructors come up with highly-engaging ways to present the study material. Thus, it gets easier for students to hone their learning skills, gaining considerable self-discipline in course of time.This certainly does not imply that an online course is easier! It is just that online students get the chance and drive to channelize their focus entirely on their studies. Thus, online schooling is no easy on its own. It gets easy when you are diligent and serious enough!

·         Online courses are not accredited
Many parents have a misconception that online courses are anything but accredited! This is simply untrue. Just like traditional schools, there are some online schools too that are not accredited. Online high school courses need to meet the same high standards as on-ground courses in order to be certified. Almost all of the topmost online high schools are nationally and regionally accredited. You just need to be cautious at the time of making the selection for your online school.

·         A high school diploma is seldom recognized by colleges and employers
Many think that a high school diploma is never accepted by the top universities and employers. This is false. When an online diploma is accredited, it is always well-regarded. There might be some employers who need to be educated about online schools. However, there are many who instantly recognize that the skills students gain through virtual learning, such as time-management, are top-level in the workplace. In fact, in today’s times, an online degree can give you an edge. Almost all the colleges accept diplomas from accredited online high schools.

·         Online schools make children socially awkward
Well, this is nothing but a myth! Students get to talk to their online teachers via email, Skype, or chat. Most of the virtual high school courses include group projects.  It works wonders for all the shy introverts. These are the ones who feel shy about speaking up in a traditional classroom setting. They may have an easier time participating in online discussions.

Most of the accredited online schools make sure to provide a strong sense of community through active online community. They incorporate extracurricular activities that are fun yet educative.

In a genuine online school, students regularly socialize and interact with peers. The patterns of socialization for virtual learners are not so different from those students in a traditional school. Virtual students even are given the chance to go on field trips, and also socialize with adults in their schools, at home, and in the community.

The flexibility allowed by the virtual schools allows students to socialize outside. They actually get a good deal of free time to do so. After all, most of the online students get to finish their online work fast when compared to the traditional schools.

·         Online students spend all of their time in front of a computer
In case of any online school, the computer is a tool for teachers and parents. It is required to manage and track assignments, communicate, and deliver interactive curricular materials. However, it is a fact that students complete many assignments offline. They often spend time reading textbooks, using workbooks, reading library books, and doing hands-on science experiments in their down time period. This is just like they would in a traditional school.

·         Cheating is likely to occur at a Virtual High School
It is a fact that cheating can happen anywhere. However, certified teachers know how to keep two steps ahead of students who try to violate the honor system. This includes software programs that help recognize plagiarism.

·         Online learning is not led by teachers
The accredited online high school courses are usually led by certified teachers.In fact, parental involvement is not even required in most of the cases. Thus, online teachers are heavily involved in online courses. 

However, many report that they know their students better online than in a traditional classroom setting. Accredited online schools make sure to employ highly-qualified teachers. They are provided with special training as to how to deal with handling of a virtual classroom. They are trained to pay special heed to tailoring instruction to match students’ needs and learning styles.

In case of home-based virtual learning, students are mostly under the guidance of a certified teacher. A parent or other trusted adult has the opportunity to serve as a Learning Coach as well. They might decide to assist the child with day-to-day learning activities as needed.

Many online schools strive to provide a peaceful and nurturing environment where the teacher works directly with both the student and Learning Coach to develop an individual learning plan for the child.

·         An online student needs to be technically efficient
Well, it is true that an online student needs to be aware of the various online tools and resources in order to gain knowledge and work smoothly on their courses. But, just knowing the basics is all it needs. And the child need not be a pro right from the day one. Online schooling gives a good deal of time to every student to cope up and then take up speed.

Most importantly, most of the reputable virtual schools also take the curriculum and instruction very seriously for students, apart from the technology!

At the time of choosing a virtual school, look for a virtual school with a track record of delivering student academic achievement and high levels of parent and student satisfaction. Of course look for the accreditation from AdvancED, the faculty background, state-of-the-art technology resources and community activities, extracurricular activities, curriculum designs, customizability etc.