Organizational and Study Tips
1. Work in a quiet area that has very few distractions.
A desk in your room, a kitchen table, or a family office can be spaces that are set up to work in. Some students combine study at home with studying at a local library. Wherever you choose to study, make sure it is an environment that helps you to get down to work. Make sure your work station has the necessities - paper, pencils, your school agenda, textbooks, and other necessary books or paper. You should have everything at hand so that you don’t waste work time looking for items you need.
2. Establish a routine.
Although DL students have flexible schedules, you will need to study 25-30 hours a week on a full time secondary program and 20-25 hours a week on a full time primary or intermediate program. Sticking to a schedule will help you to keep up with your work. Plan for 4-6 hours a day that you will be working. It doesn’t have to be the usual 9-3 schedule, (although many students prefer it because it leaves their evenings free), but it should be a similar schedule each day.
3. Make School Work a Priority.
Many DL students are busy with athletics, volunteer work, and jobs, but school must remain a priority. Make time every week for the appropriate amount of school work no matter what other activities you are involved in.
4. Stay organized.
Keep an agenda book that plans and records the work that needs to be done daily, weekly, and monthly. At the beginning of a course or unit, add the course timelines, due dates, and test dates to your agenda. At the beginning of each week, plan the work you must complete that week. At the end of the week congratulate yourself for getting the work done!
5. Know what you need to accomplish.
Know the due dates for assignments and the dates of upcoming tests. Read assignments through before starting them so that you can ask questions ahead of time.
6. Stay in regular contact with your teachers.
Attend SPDLS once a week to have your teacher look over the work you have done and to clarify the work that needs to be done. Attend virtual classroom sessions to discuss your learning with your teacher and others in the class. Email or telephone the teacher if you have questions or need help with something.
7. Ask for help when you need it.
Your parents and teachers are there to help you, but they need to know when there is a problem! Whether it is some guidance for using your agenda, or a hard math question, you will need to ask teachers and parents for help when you need it.
8. If you get behind, make a plan.
Sometimes students who fall behind even a little avoid the course because they are behind and then they fall further behind. It is a vicious cycle. If you fall behind, make a plan for catching up and then meet with your teacher to go over the plan. You may have to plan to spend extra time on the course to catch up!
9. Take care of yourself.
It is important that you get enough sleep and you eat properly so that your brain can function during study time. If you are sleepy or hungry, you won’t be able to study effectively. It is also important to exercise regulary - make it part of your routine.
10. Stay Positive!
Take time out to have fun and celebrate your successes. Spend time with positive people who are supportive and fun to be with!