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High school to home school

First slide

“How are we going to do this?”

That is what many students must have thought when schools closed. Through experience, however, home-schoolers have always known how to distance learn.

Students who have a home-schooling background are prepared for the ups and downs of virtual education. They have developed self-discipline and can transition more easily to digital learning than those used to a school-imposed structure each day. Home-schoolers know that whatever arises, they can adapt and follow a plan, whether it be in their own home or a classroom.

“I must confess that this is not how I expected my junior year to end,” said Nosca Dietrich, a student at St. Michael the Archangel High School in Fredericksburg. “But for me, distance learning is no different from being home-schooled. Home schooling prepared me for this situation. It taught me skills that I would never have learned without home-schooling experience. It also taught me to embrace changes and what is expected of me through these changes.”

Students who have not been home-schooled should consider a few helpful tips from someone who is more comfortable with this situation. First, focus and eliminate distractions. Find a quiet place where there are no interruptions or temptations from electronic devices. Perhaps you are a student who tends to procrastinate and not get things done. It takes discipline to overcome this. You may tell yourself you will do it later, and then end up leaving it for a longer period of time than you planned. If there are times when you do have to leave your work, come back to it as soon as you can and finish it. Your work will just keep piling up, so be diligent.  

Do you have trouble managing all the work and assignments? If you have a large workload and it gets overwhelming, use a journal or a notebook and write down your assignments and deadlines. You then have it all laid out on one paper, rather than crowding around your head or in different places. Work on the assignment with the nearest due date or the one that you know you'll get done fastest. If you know that you're going out for a long period of time, double check your work. If you are done early, go ahead and send and cross it off your list.     

Don’t underestimate organization and neatness. If the space you're working on is messy, you're not ready to work. Label and stack textbooks in an orderly pile or on a shelf dedicated to schooling. Writing utensils should be easily accessible in a pouch or box, and binders also labeled and stacked on their own shelf. Put everything within arm's reach where it is ready for use.

After the pandemic passes, nearly all students will have gained experience with home schooling. Of course, parents are always the first teachers and instruct their children their whole lives in the ways of the faith. Ultimately, if distance learning does nothing else, it will help students understand more about themselves, their parents, and the importance of being flexible and continuing to work hard no matter what life throws at you.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020