Author Archives: iSucceed
Everyone has dreams. But it is the few who take the leap of faith and work hard to make those dreams reality.
For iSucceed student Naomi Shartzer, that dream is to become an obstetrician.
“I have always been intrigued by the developmental processes of the fetus in the womb,” said Naomi. “Ever since I was in grade six I knew that this is what I wanted and I would not let anybody tell me I couldn’t.”
Becoming a doctor means a long road of education and training. Knowing this, Naomi wanted to graduate early and get a jumpstart toward her career as a doctor. Read more about this inspiring student below.
Naomi Shartzer, 16, early graduate
“I think what makes me unique is that nobody would have taken me, the girl with the colored hair and attitude, to be able to accomplish so much in such little time,” said Naomi.
Naomi’s plan is to start college as soon as possible. That’s why she decided to switch to iSucceed.
“My motivation was my end goals. I knew I did not want to be 30 by the time I graduated [medical school]. I wanted to graduate [high school] at 16 with a 4.0 GPA, I felt like iSucceed was my best option for that.”
So far, Naomi has stayed true to her goals. She is set to graduate at just 16 years old with an outstanding GPA.
When it comes to advice for her fellow students, Naomi has a few words: stick to your goals.
“Keep a schedule and don’t fall behind. If you do the minimum of ten assignments a day or more, you will be fine. Also, if you have any issues, make sure to contact your teacher.” – Naomi Shartzer, iSucceed student
Every student is a unique individual with a story to tell. In this Student Spotlight, we shine the light on one of our new iSucceed students, Bethany Cook.
The Story of Bethany Cook, iSucceed student
“Public school was something I always struggled with, my grades were always fine but I always had trouble going to school,” said Bethany. “I just really wanted to do my best and try not to worry about other things other than trying my hardest.”
Eventually, Bethany heard about iSucceed and felt it was her best option.
“I heard about online school and was looking into a few but none of them stuck out to me,” said Bethany. “One of my friends talked to me about iSucceed and I loved what I was hearing. So I sat down with my dad and we came to the conclusion that iSucceed was the best way to go.”
Switching to a new school always comes with its challenges, as Bethany found out. But she was able to work through them and improve her grades.
“One challenge I did run into was getting used to everything and learning my way around. This struggle did set me back a little but before long I was back on my feet,” said Bethany. “To other students, my advice is to take your time, it may be confusing and stressful now but soon it will be a piece of cake.”
Bethany stated her favorite benefit of iSucceed is the freedom it provides her.
“I love how flexible iSucceed is it really helps with my busy life and living situations,” said Bethany.
After graduating with iSucceed, Bethany hopes to attend a community college and then transfer to Boise Statue University.
I do want to thank all of my teachers that I’ve had so far. All of you have made this journey so much more fun and so much easier and less stressful. So thank you. 🙂 – Bethany Cook, freshman at iSucceed
This May, iSucceed is taking multiple field trips to tour colleges throughout Idaho and you’re invited! Come meet classmates and walk through the beautiful campuses.
Academic advisors and other faculty and staff will be available for each college campus tour. Students are welcome to bring friends and family to each event! Here are the details:
College Campus TOUR DETAILS
- May 1 at 11 a.m.: North Idaho College,1000 W Garden Ave, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
- May 2 at 1 p.m.: College of Western Idaho, 5500 E Opportunity Dr, Nampa, ID 83687
- May 3 at 10:30 a.m.: Northwest Nazarene University, 623 S University Blvd, Nampa, ID 83686
- May 4 at 1 p.m.: Boise State University, 1910 W University Dr, Boise, ID 83725
- May 9 at 10 a.m.: Idaho State University, 921 S 8th Ave, Pocatello, ID 83209
- May 10 at 10:30 a.m.: Carrington College, 1122 N Liberty St, Boise, ID 83704
- May 11 at 1 p.m.: Idaho State University – Meridian, 1311 E Central Dr, Meridian, ID 83642
These events are all free. Attendees will meet at the front main entrance of each campus. The deadline to RSVP is April 28.
If you are interested, but not sure you can attend, RSVP anyway! RSVP forms were sent to students in the monthly newsletter, so be sure to check your inboxes in order to RSVP for this event.
For questions, email Tara Downs at TDowns@iSucceedVHS.net.
We will see you there!
If you’re an online high school student, you’ve likely had to deal with the question: so if you do online school, what do you do all day?
To which you patiently answer, “Well, schoolwork.”
Then comes the follow-up question, “But isn’t online high school easy? It must be nice having so much less work to do.”
Less work? No.
Too often, we hear the question, “Is online high school easy?” and the answer is, “It’s school.”
We understand the confusion, as in the past there were other online schools who were not providing students with the quality curriculum they should have. But iSucceed Virtual High School has been around since 2008, and we offer a real, accredited quality education.
School is never easy. But there are certainly benefits to online school versus traditional school.
Is Online High School Easy?
iSucceed is coursework is accredited, which means what you learn at iSucceed is the same as what you learn at your traditional school. We can’t just make up lessons and hand you a free diploma. Like other schools, you do have to learn the material, take exams and earn your diploma.
While the coursework is rigorous, there are benefits to an online school.
Students are expected to spend about 30 hours a week and complete weekly assignments and projects on time. But the difference is students are not tied to a physical building from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. every day. At iSucceed, you can choose when and where you want to do your schoolwork.
In this sense, online school isn’t “easier,” but it can be less stressful because you can make school fit your lifestyle. You are not worried figuring out how to work in class time, sports, work and doctor appointments in one day. You can set your own schedule, and that relieves a lot of concerns for students who need flexibility due to life circumstances, jobs or extracurricular activities.
Keep in mind that more flexibility requires more discipline. iSucceed instructors are readily available to help, but it is your responsibility to complete assignments on time. For tips to focus on schoolwork, head to this blog.
iSucceed’s courses are unique to other online schools. They are not simply a bunch of words on the page. In addition to reading, there are interactive multimedia elements integrated throughout each lesson. These elements include award-winning videos, graphic-novel stories, educational games and more to help you enjoy what you’re learning.
If you’d like to learn more about our curriculum, head to this blog post.
If you had one hour to help 30 people, who would you go to first? Likely the ones who grab your attention first and ask for help. That’s the barrier a traditional classroom creates. With such large class sizes, students must be vocal in order to receive any sort of help. Those who aren’t oftentimes fall through the cracks.
At iSucceed, teachers take care of each student individually. There are real-time online lectures similar to that of the traditional classroom, but that’s merely one point of contact–not the main form of interaction. For more information on personalized support through iSucceed, head to this blog post.
Like any other high school, online school is not easy. But it certainly can have its benefits. Head to chooseisucceed.com to get started.
That’s about one in four high school students who will not graduate. Earning your high school diploma is extremely important. You can learn more in this article.
If you’re thinking of dropping out, don’t. If you’ve already dropped out, it’s not too late.
A large portion of iSucceed Virtual High School students come already behind on credits. And each year, many former “at-risk” students go on to receive their high school diploma.
That means we can help you!
You Don’t Need a Credit Recovery Program to Graduate on Time
iSucceed is not a credit recovery program. A credit recovery program tends to consist of you sitting on a computer, reading documents, taking quizzes and passing the course.
If you failed your course the first time, why would you do better with hardly any support or guidance? That’s not what iSucceed’s about.
We are an accredited, public high school which means our courses aren’t easy. But we do have a few programs and personalized support that will make you more capable of catching up and graduating here at iSucceed than at another school. Learn more below.
How to Catch Up on Credits to Graduate
iSucceed’s academic structure helps students graduate on time or even early. You can learn more about graduating early here. Our curriculum is separated into three courses every nine weeks. By the end of the traditional semester, a student at iSucceed will finish the same 6-7 courses a traditional student has; they just split it up differently.
Here’s how you can catch up:
After you successfully complete a nine-week block with iSucceed with passing grades, you are eligible to add on more courses. That means you can take three courses every six weeks for an additional three credits. That may not sound like much, but that’s six additional semester courses in the standard school year.
As a refresher, here’s how to catch up on credits with iSucceed:
- Enroll with iSucced. Learn how to here.
- Successfully complete one block with iSucceed with good grades.
- Get counselor approval to take additional courses.
Sometimes life circumstances can make it difficult to add on courses. If you are behind and unable to take on extra work, you can still earn your high school diploma. You can stay with iSucceed until you are 21. However long it takes you to finish high school is not important, so long as you do earn that accredited diploma!
Don’t just take our word for it. Here are a few other testimonials of online students who caught up on credits and graduated.
“I’ve had a rough high school career that put me in a bunch of different schools and left me behind in credits. Online school has helped me change that and was a great way to catch up and learn plenty of things on the way!
The way I finished was just realizing, I HAVE to do this. Don’t just drop out and give up after working for a couple years on it. Just be motivated and understand that having a diploma helps out a great bit in the real world…Good luck to all of you and understand that it’s all worth it in the end!”
-Joey Hergatt, Graduate
“My experience with online high school was great. I encountered credit problems at the beginning of my sophomore year, so my school recommended taking online courses.
At first I thought it was hard and that it needed a lot of focusing and dedication. Thanks to the help of all my teachers and student advisors, I was able to do so! I even became confident in asking for all the help I always needed, that’s how helpful and nice the teachers and advisors were with me.
Even though I came upon many conflicts and would fall behind on homework, the teachers always had a backup plan to help me move along and succeed. It offered a lot of flexibility!”
–Marianna Montes, Graduate
- Do you have a question about recovering credits with iSucceed? Share with us in the comments below!
You’re sitting at your desk, staring at your computer. You have a pile of math homework to start. But you just can’t; you’re dreading it.
You launch your courses and see a word problem. Your least favorite. You want to quit.
You’re not alone. In fact, 4 out of 10 Americans hate math.
If you’re among the four, we have some tips to help you get better at math and start enjoying your work. Our advice comes from a number of online high school administrators, faculty and staff, who are all highly qualified and experienced.
5 Ways to Get Better at Math
1. Implement math in your daily routine
The old saying, “practice makes perfect” rings true for math. There are a few easy ways you can practice math while doing daily tasks. These tips come from faculty from blended learning centers:
- When you go to the grocery store, try adding up all the items in your cart and see if the total you got is what shows up at the cash register.
- Then when you get good at that, try dividing it four ways: How much would the bill be if we split it up between mom, dad, brother and sister?
- Or try baking a new recipe, and calculate what it would take to double the recipe.
Math is found around you wherever you go; don’t stop exercising your brain!”
2. Play games that require math
Again, it’s all about incorporating math into everything you do. Even the fun things! There are several board games that include math in some form. Here are a few games you can play with family and friends:
You can also play a few video games featured in iSucceed curriculum. There are fun exciting graphic games you can play here.
3. Learn key phrases to make word problems simpler
Word problems can be daunting. But there are several common phrases you’ll find in every word problem. And if you can translate those, you’ll get through word problems in a cinch! Here are a few common phrases:
Phrases meaning addition:
- Sum of
- More than
- Total of
Phrases meaning subtraction
- Difference between
- Less than
- Fewer than
Phrases meaning division
- Out of
Phrases meaning multiplication
Phrases meaning equals
- Is (are/were/was)
- Sold for
Don’t forget to take a deep breath before you start. It might be daunting, but you can break it down. Find the key phrases and write the math symbols out. You will eventually be able to put together a math problem and solve it.
4. Memorize formulas through simple repetition
Practice using the formulas again and again. After a lot of repetition, it gets easier to remember the formulas and the methods and then solving the problems becomes second nature! The second thing is try to take careful notes and keep them– even after passing that math class. When you get into college and have to take additional math courses, you can always go back and refer to old notes if you forgot how something is done!
5. Remember, improving in math means patience and perseverance
“We have pretty strong data demonstrating that students who persist through Lesson 10 will pass typically our courses. With that in mind, I often refer back to the wise words of Einstein, ‘It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.’
Students are not expected to learn math in a vacuum. They are welcome and encouraged to seek help – whether that is directly from teachers, from peers, or from the vast array of online math websites that are quick search away. Resourcefulness is a life skill that will yield succeed in math and beyond!” – Ginny Carroll, math instructor
If you are struggling in math, the best thing you can do is reach out to your teacher for help. Your instructors are available via phone calls, emails, instant messages and online sessions to make sure you excel in your online courses. To learn more about communicating with your teachers, head to this blog post.
Take it from one online high school student, Meghan Lyall, who used to struggle with math. Meghan reached out to her math instructor, Mr. Joshi, who helped her every step of the way. Now, Meghan is an excelling student at the University of Utah.
“I had a hard time learning some of the material in my pre-calculus class in my senior year,” said Meghan. “Mr. Joshi was willing to open up live lesson portals once a week to help me with whatever homework problems I did not understand and walk me through each step. This was a tremendous help and I never felt like he was rushing me or becoming impatient with me no matter how many homework questions I needed to be walked through. I felt like he cared that I really learned the material and wanted to prepare me as best as he could for the quizzes and tests.”
We will leave you with a few inspiring thoughts from online math instructor Mr. Joshi:
- You are not the only one who struggles, so do not panic.
- Stay organized, keep good daily notes especially keep the formulas handy-with clear meaning of each term in the formula. It is also useful to have a good reference such as BASIC MATH REVIEW ( here is one such resource)
- Do the workbook, checkpoint, exam questions step-by-step in your notebook–and not quickly jump to one of the answer choices–so that you can identify the error.
- Workbook practice is important in mastering a topic – so if needed, attend the live online sessions and get some help from your instructor.
- Keep pace by doing your daily lesson.
- Review your notes and especially the topics you struggled with, before taking the final exam.
- Do you have a tip you’d like to add? Share with us in the comments below!
If you’re an online student, you are all too familiar with the question, “So, what do you do all day?”
The answer? Well, schoolwork.
Don’t worry, students. We know you work hard. Whether you take the traditional or online route, earning that high school diploma is hard work.
But we will admit that without the barrier of a physical classroom comes some benefits.
Donald Mitchell, an assistant principal for an online high school, put together a “Sample Schedule” of a successful online student. Check it out!
- 8 a.m.: Gather learning tools (pencil, paper, headphones, etc.)
- 8:05 a.m.: Log in to the PSP
- 8:10 a.m.: Launch course and starting working the day’s lesson
- 9:40 a.m.: BREAK TIME
- 9:50 a.m.: Return to computer and continue with lesson
- 11 a.m.: Wrap of the day’s lesson
- noon: Lunch time
- Repeat for the second lesson.
Let’s take a closer look into a day in the life of an online student.
What Does an Online Student Do All Day?
Let’s start with the morning.
Online students are not required to wake up at a certain time. They are required to complete assignments on time, but when and where they choose to do so is up to them.
In other words, yes. You can sleep in.
That will mean you finish courses later in the day. But if that’s what you prefer, you go for it!
What will my courses look like?
Once you wake up and get ready, you log in to your Parent Student Portal (PSP) account where you will see school announcements and access your courses. Once you launch a course, what does it look like? Keep on reading!
iSucceed online courses are unique to other online schools. They are not simply a bunch of words on the page. In addition to reading, there are interactive multimedia elements integrated throughout each lesson. These elements include award-winning videos, graphic-novel stories, educational games and more to help you enjoy what you’re learning.
If you’d like to learn more about our curriculum, head to this blog post.
Now let’s move to lunch
Since you set your schedule, lunch is whatever you want, whenever you want. Hungry by 10:30 a.m.? Great! Take a break and eat.
Late snacker? That’s fine, too. Plus, if you go somewhere with Wi-Fi, you can work on courses while you eat. Most of our students are more than happy to say goodbye to that cafeteria food.
What if I have a Question?
Teachers hold the same qualifications in both traditional and online school. Should you have a question, you can easily ask your teachers via email, instant messaging, a phone call or live online tutoring.
Head to this blog post to learn more about communicating with online instructors.
You finished school for the day, what’s next?
If you’re one to get up early and finish your coursework early, you might be wondering what to do with the rest of your day. We have a couple suggestions: Hit up the PSP chat or join us at an event!
iSucceed has a staff-monitored community where you can connect with other students and “friend” them. There are also several in-person school events held throughout the year so you can come meet classmates and make friends.
I need a flexible schedule. Can you work with me?
Of course! Many of our students are aspiring athletes or artists, have a job, illness or other family responsibilities that make the traditional school schedule complicated.
The above sample schedule is just that: a sample. You are not tied to 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. As long as you complete your lessons and assignments on time, you can choose when you complete your class work.
To see more differences between traditional school and the online environment, head to this blog post.
Thinking online high school might be right for you? Head to Chooseisucceed.com/Enroll, or give us a call at 480.405.2703.
- Students, what does your typical day look like? Share with us in the comments below!
This past school year, iSucceed received a new principal!
Clayton Trehal has been a teacher for 16 years, a vice principal for four years and is now with iSucceed as the Principal for the past year. Learn more about Principal Trehal below!
About Principal Trehal
Principal Trehal is a true Idahoan–he loves the great outdoors. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, fishing, snowboarding, mountain biking and walking. Although there is one outdoor activity he doesn’t enjoy:
“I wish I liked running even a quarter as much as I like walking,” said Principal Trehal.
While he loves the great outdoors, Principal Trehal also enjoys watching a great movie.
Above all, Principal Trehal’s passion is helping and meeting diverse students.
“Working with our students gives me faith in humanity. You always hear the, ‘Oh, the younger generation is just the worst’ talk, but I doubt that few teachers or folks that actually work with the younger generation believe that,” said Principal Trehal. I’ve been in education for 16 years now, and every year I meet outstanding students of great character and integrity, who work hard to succeed and do what’s right. You realize that lots of young people are great quality people.”
For more tips on excelling in online school, head to this blog post.
Before coming to iSucceed, Principal Trehal was in a traditional, brick-and-mortar high school. Transitioning into the online realm comes with both its advantages and challenges, as Principal Trehal said.
“The advantages of being a principal of an online school are that we don’t really spend a lot of time dealing with discipline issues and I’m not constantly at a sporting event. So we get to spend more time on students.”
The challenge Principal Trehal faces is helping students stay on track in schoolwork. To help, there is something he always tells iSucceed students:
“I always ask students to tell me what would happen in brick and mortar school if they only went to school two days a week, and the predictable answer is that they would fail,” said Principal Trehal. “I tell them that the same thing is true with our school, but that it’s easier to miss school because we are not sitting on the students’ couches telling them to log in.”
Principal Trehal said being an administrator for an online school means he has to personally reach out to many students since he does not physically see them every day. Doing so has helped him get to personally know many iSucceed students.
“It’s been awesome working with online students because there are so many various reasons they are here and it’s amazing to see them juggle school, work, unique circumstances and to do well at all of these,” said Principal Trehal.
For the past 16 years, Principal Trehal has impacted many students’ lives by helping them achieve their goals. But if you ask him, it’s the students who are impacting his life. The most rewarding thing to Principal Trehal is seeing a student succeed.
“There is nothing cooler than reading a well-written essay that you know a student put a lot of work into, or seeing a marginal student turn themselves around, or, best of all to me, writing letters of recommendation for students’ college applications, and then hearing back from them a year or two later,” said Principal Trehal. “To play any role in helping a person move forward toward their goals and to know that you are at least a small part in helping them become the person they are meant to be is really the great reward of choosing teaching as a profession.”
When it comes to sharing advice, Principal Trehal wants to take a unique route using a picture:
“This is not a picture of a mini-Pac Man game. It’s a cardboard box for Valentine’s Day cards that my daughter and I put A LOT of work into, and we were proud of the finished result. And isn’t that true about everything in life? You get out what you put in, and giving something your all is always a victory.”
- Students, do you have an iSucceed faculty member you’d like to give a shoutout to? Share with us in the comments below!
iSucceed is back on the road and ready to help you get you enrolled for fourth quarter (Q4) classes starting April 3! We will be at various locations throughout Idaho for you to come meet our staff, enroll onsite and enjoy some treats at our Info Session Road Show.
There will be six info sessions taking place throughout the state March 24 – 30. Each event will have teachers and/or staff members available to answer your questions and help you get enrolled onsite.
Current iSucceed students are welcome to join as well! Come meet your teachers, receive or drop off your laptops and learn more about your school.
If you’ve recently enrolled, then be sure to drop by! These sessions are designed for you! In these sessions, we will help you learn how to log on your new laptop (if you have it), access your school email and your online classroom.
Did we mention there will be free refreshments available at many of the events? Check out the list below to see which event works best for you.
ROADSHOW DATES AND LOCATIONS
March 24–25: NORTH IDAHO
- Friday, March 24 from noon – 2:30 p.m. at Starbucks. 477100 US-95, Ponderay, ID 83852. Enjoy a free beverage!
- Saturday, March 25 from 10 a.m. – noon at Springhill Suites Hotel. 2250 W. Seltice Way Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814.
March 27–28: EAST IDAHO
- Monday, March 27 from 2 – 5 p.m. at Residence Inn. 635 W. Broadway, Idaho Falls, 83402.
- Tuesday, March 28 from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at Moxie Java. 430 Blue Lakes Blvd., N Twin Falls, ID 83301. Enjoy a free beverage!
Wednesday, March 29: BOISE
- 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the iSucceed Office. 6148 N. Discovery Way, Ste 120, Boise, ID 83713. This will also be an open house with presentations to attend.
Thursday, March 30: CANYON COUNTY
- 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Moxie Java. 2201 N. Cassia St., Nampa, ID 83651. Enjoy a free beverage!
What to Bring
If you plan to enroll onsite, you will need to bring a couple important items with you. Check them out in the image below.
To see the full list of items, download our Enrollment Packet. Students who express a financial need can receive a Google Chromebook to use free of charge while they are enrolled.
Q4 classes start April 3. Start your online application today at isucceedvhs.net/enroll.
We will see you along the road!
- Do you have questions about the Info Session Road Show? Share with us in the comments below; we’re happy to help!
It happens every day. There’s the ever-piling list of things to do.
You can continue to sleep in, but it won’t disappear. And while we know you don’t want to hear it, every decision you’re making now impacts your future. Better grades mean more opportunities after high school.
We know completing homework can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a few easy changes you can implement now to start seeing improvements today. Check out the tips below.
Tips to Focus on Homework
Tip 1: Exercise First
Studies show that cardio-based exercises boost your memory and thinking skills. Cardio based means doing something that accelerates your heart rate. This can include jogging, riding a bike, playing a sport or anything you like to do that’s fast-paced.
If you exercise right before starting schoolwork, it will get your blood flowing. This will help your brain become more active and ready to focus on homework.
Tip 2: Set a Routine
With the benefit of flexibility in online schooling comes the need for discipline. As Donald Mitchell, assistant principal in an online high school, stated:
“To be successful in your courses…create a daily schedule for yourself. Remember, you are required to spend at least three hours on each course that you are assigned on a daily basis.”
In other words, it can be easy to fall behind. But it’s also easy to stay on track if you stick to a schedule.
How to Make a Schedule:
- Get a planner, or use a free online application.
A planner is still the best way to stay organized.
- Think about your week; include every plan.
Write everything you want and need to do that week. Do you want to fit in some time to skateboard? Great! Schedule it in. Just remember: Try to be active right before starting coursework!
- Be realistic:
“If you are a night person, then be a night person. If you know you only like to work online for 30 minutes at a time, then plan breaks between your 30 minutes.” – Mrs. Lauree Russell, online math instructor.
- Stick to your schedule.
Things happen, and you might have to adjust your schedule. But stick to it, even when it’s time to do something you’re not looking forward to. If you decided to start that project Tuesday at 2 p.m., that’s when you need to do it.
- Keep writing out your weekly schedule
It takes work and a lot of upkeep, but stay motivated. Don’t fall behind on that planner.
When planning, try to do schoolwork about the same time every day, in a familiar location. It will do wonders for your brain! It won’t take long before your brain automatically recognizes that it’s homework time. Then you won’t have to take as long to get started.
Tip 3: Be Prepared
If you have to stop what you’re doing to go grab a snack or a notebook, you’re going to get distracted. Ms. Sarah Gamble, executive director of academics for an online high school, suggests you do the following:
“Have all the materials you need to work ready to go before you start each day,” said Ms. Gamble. “Keep a list of your teacher’s and guidance counselor’s phone numbers, note taking materials, your daily schedule, a glass of water and you are ready to go. This will keep you from getting distracted when you have to leave your work to go find something.”
Tip 4: Establish a WorkSpace
We’re not saying you have to go to the store right now and drop hundreds on a desk, chair and supplies. Your workspace doesn’t have to be traditional. But it does need to be a set place in order to better focus on homework.
Maybe that place is an office in your home. Or perhaps you have a fuzzy bean bag in your room that you love. Whatever you choose, make it a habit, and make sure you’re comfortable to work. After all, that bean bag might be comfy to relax in, but might not be best once you have a laptop and notebook to juggle.
“Make sure your chair is comfy, your computer screen is at eye level and your favorite items are next to your computer,” said Mrs. Russell. This can be items like photos, music, lotion, candles or a favorite soda.
Online high school instructor Amber Day also suggests that you separate your workspace and your sleep space.
“If you do homework in your bed where you sleep, it’s likely going to make you want to take a nap rather than do math homework,” said Ms. Day. “Go somewhere you know you won’t get distracted (or leave) until you finish homework. Make that your routine and doing homework there will become as natural as taking a nap in your bed is.”
For more tips on organizing your workspace, head to this blog post.
Tip 5: Remove All Distractions
A distraction is anything that deters you from working on courses. This can range from music to your loud little brother.
Let’s take a moment to talk about those smartphones. They’re more detrimental to your homework than you might think.
A study showed that having your phone on silent isn’t enough. Small disturbances like a screen notification could increase errors in your work. It also could prolong the time it takes to complete assignments. Here’s why:
As a researcher from the study stated, “Although these notifications are generally short in duration, they can prompt… mind-wandering, which has been shown to damage task performance” (PsychCentral).
Even just being aware of a missed call, an unread text or another notification causes your brain to lose focus on homework. It knows there is something else to do, and it wants to get it finished now.
We recommend setting all smart devices (phone, tablet, etc) in another room. If you are able to forget about it, you will likely finish your homework quicker and make fewer mistakes.
“Turn off your phone, video games, and yes, even your annoying little brother,” said Mrs. Russell. “You might need to consider moving your laptop in a private space or a closet if necessary (smile).”
It’s also best to ask your friends and family not to disturb you during homework.
“Talk to your friends and family about how they can support you,” said Mrs. Benjamin-Baker. “If you work on schoolwork from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. each day, tell your friends not to text or call during this time.”
Tip 6: Take Notes
Studies show that physically writing on a notebook improves your memory. So if you want to do better on homework and exams, try writing down notes.
“Although we use computers for everything, you are more apt to remember something if you write it down. Write words, draw pictures, use color! Anything you do that will allow you to touch what you are learning will help!”
– Sarah Gamble, executive director of academics.
Tip 7: Take Breaks
The beauty of online school is that you can take breaks whenever you need. Do you have a hard time staying focused for long periods of time? Then break it up. Try studying for 30 minutes at a time. Remove all distractions and set a timer.
Once the 30 minutes is up, take a 15-minute break, but do something active! Get up and move around, go for a run. Just do something that isn’t sitting.
After 15 minutes, you can return ready to focus on homework. See if you can increase to 45 minutes before taking your next 15-minute break.
Tips to Stop Procrastinating
So, now you know what to do in order to clear your mind and stay focused on your homework. But actually starting is the hardest part, right? If you’re needing motivation, try these tips.
Tip 1: Create Rewards to Stay Motivated
If you know you have six assignments to complete in a day, then set aside a small reward for each.
“Know your weaknesses and turn them into rewards,” said Mrs. Benjamin-Baker. “If you like to surf YouTube videos or SnapChat with friends, then reward yourself with these activities AFTER you complete your schoolwork, but not until then.”
Tip 2: When you get bored, get up and move
As Mrs. Russell said:
“Take a short break and turn on your favorite YouTube music video and have a dance fest. Getting your blood circulating will help your brain and spirit. Nothin’ like rockin’ out to your fave music!
Now this is the way to do homework, right??!!!”
By breaking up coursework with small, fun tasks, your brain will have more positive associations. This might help you dread starting less.
Tip 3: Reach out to your guidance counselor
Your guidance counselor’s job is to help you with your academic struggles. If you are having trouble starting coursework, reach out to your counselor for help. They are state-certified and dedicated to you.
To learn more about iSucceed’s guidance counselor, head to this blog post.
Coursework is never easy, we know. But by following the tips above, it can become less stressful, and you will (hopefully) be able to focus.
We’ll leave you with one last quote:
“I am here to tell you that you have the power to be as successful as you want to be. Never let others dictate who you are destined to become!” – Donald Mitchel, assistant principal
- Students, do you have tips to focus on homework? Share with us in the comments below!