Times have changed, and we never thought we would all be learning from home this time last year. And yes, change is scary, and it can feel very overwhelming to adapt but we did it back in March and we will do it again – this time taking forward all the resilience and hard lessons we have learnt. That is not to say this change is going to be easy and learning from home will test you so here are 8 tips to be a pro at home learning…
Set up your space
Pick a space in your house and ask yourself “what am I going to need to get myself through the day?” If you come prepared with all the essentials, then you will not have a sudden scare in the middle of your English class when you do not have a pen. The two most important essentials of all for home learning are a charger and a glass of water. The stress that comes from the ‘warning 10% notification’ when there is not a charger in sight really is something else. And if you do not have a glass of water then you are going to feel it – say goodbye to concentration and hello to a headache.
A schedule will give you a clear overview of the day and you will know exactly what you are supposed to be doing. Get yourself a planner, a piece of paper or the notes app on your phone and write down everything you need to get done – title it your ‘to do list’. Then add any live online sessions you need to attend.
Time everything in but be realistic – you will not get 6 essays, 5 online lessons, 3 pieces of homework, an exercise class, 3 meals, a facetime call with the bestie and whatever else done in one day. Keeping it realistic will give you a sense of achievement at the end of the day instead of defeat. You are going to need some breaks too, either to get away from the screen or just to give yourself some time off so make sure you factor those in too.
Set a daily goal
You have got your routine all done and neatly arranged – excellent! Now you are going to set yourself a personal goal. Ignore the schoolwork, ignore the lesson. What is one thing (big or small) you want to get done for YOU today. Perhaps it is to go for a jog, Facetime with a friend, drink more water – it can literally be anything. With goals we feel achievement, and with achievement we get perseverance.
What is going to happen when you have ticked everything off your routine?
Set yourself a time that you are going to stop each day but do not make it too late. After that time, schoolwork is banned and so are your emails. Then come the things you enjoy. Do something that is enjoyable and is going to be relaxing – have some you time.
Watch out for the group chat danger!
For students, class group chats are great for sharing advice, asking questions, and keeping on track. But you have to watch out for competition. Just because Greg has completed every single piece of work and you have not does not mean that you are behind because everyone works at their own pace. Just because Jemma has written six pages for that piece of work and you have only written three does not mean that yours is bad. Try not to turn group chats into a competition – work at your own pace, meet the deadlines and put the effort in.
Need more advice on this subject? Read this.
Create your support network
Who is going to be there when you need help? This is not just academic support but also mental health support too. They do not have to be experts in anything, all they have to do is be a good listener. Your support network should also be a two-way street. You should feel comfortable and trusting to go to them with your worries or problems at any time, but they should also be able to do the same and come to you.
Check in with yourself
Take 5 minutes out of every day (more if you want) and ask yourself the following questions…
- How am I doing, really?
- What am I proud of myself for achieving today?
- Did my routine work or was I over/under-ambitious?
- Do I need to talk to someone?
Self-reflection is a great way of making sure you take the time to make sure your mindset is healthy, and you are getting the most out of each day. If your answer to any of these questions is not something that you’re happy with then think about how you can change that without adding pressure to yourself.
Ask for help
The final and most important part of this list is to ask for help if you need it. You have set up your support network, you have got your school and mental health support charities readily available and willing to help. If you need help or need to talk about anything (big or small) then all you have to do is ask. There will always be people who are willing to help you and support you.
For more support and advice on managing your life during the pandemic, check out our coronavirus hub here.