Questions on enrolling?
We're here 9am-9pm ET Mon-Fri

Questions on enrolling?
We're here 9am-9pm ET Mon-Fri

Questions on enrolling? We're here 9am-9pm ET Mon-Fri


7 Ways Online High School Can Help You Focus

Written by Nicole Dalbo on Tuesday, 25 October 2022. Posted in Helpful Tips

Teen girl studying on her laptop.

Although we normally think about traditional school as a place of learning, there are so many obstacles there – from bullying to keeping up with the class - that can take away our focus. If you’re looking for ways to increase your attention to your studies, online school can be a great option to help you meet your goal and graduate with your high school diploma! Find out how online education can benefit your learning in these seven ways—and help your personal development.

How can online school help me learn better?

  1. You can avoid common classroom distractions.

    Although traditional schools are an environment for learning, they certainly do come with their distractions. Whether it’s the sound of classmates whispering, someone coming into class late, or even too-short class periods that are interrupting your lessons, it can be seriously frustrating when you’re really in the zone.

    The best part about learning anywhere with online school is that you control your environment. Take control of where you learn best and limit distractions so that you can learn as efficiently as possible without having your attention grabbed by something else.

  2. You can eliminate bullying from your learning environment.

    Bullying is one of the most widespread issues among traditional schools. Even schools that claim to have a zero tolerance for bullying still can’t control all of it. According to, 19% of high school students nationwide have reported being bullied on school property.

    With independent online learning, learners are free to focus on their education without the pressures from classmate cruelty. Although there are platforms such as The Student Community where other JMHS online students can have meaningful conversations, these boards are moderated by a community manager, leaving no room for bullying to occur.

  3. You’re able to learn when you’re feeling your best.

    Working on your assignments for class when you’re not feeling 100% can definitely have an impact on your work. Forcing yourself to study, do homework, or take quizzes sometimes feels like an uphill challenge—but it doesn’t have to be this way. Online schooling allows you to control when you want to tackle your lessons so that you can maximize your studying abilities.

  4. You can more easily manage burnout by taking a break when you need it.

    Focusing too much on studying for hours and staying up late to meet deadlines can certainly be stressful for anyone. Sometimes even just taking a break from your schoolwork for a few minutes can help you unwind before you get back to it. In traditional schools, more often than not, you don’t have the option to put your lessons on pause while you take some time to collect yourself.

    It may sound a bit absurd that taking a break can help you learn, but the Cleveland Clinic’s clinical psychologist, Dr. Scott Bea, was able to break it down in simpler terms. “Our brains are like sponges. They can only soak up so much information before they’re saturated, then they have to dry out a bit.”

    Furthermore, Dr. Bea says to be on the lookout for these signs of burnout:

    • Your performance in school starts to decline
    • Your time-management in school is dropping
    • You’re losing confidence that you can achieve your goals
    • You avoid school-related tasks
    • You feel exhausted
    • You’ve lost interest in your schoolwork

    Your best bet to avoid this? Take a break when your body and mind are telling you that you need one.

    “When you take breaks, you can solve problems in fresher ways than you could if you just kept your nose to the grindstone,” Dr. Bea says. “Our brains are like any machine: They need a rest.”

  5. You can (FINALLY) get enough sleep!

    Sleep is SO important—and it’s too often that teenagers don’t get enough of it. According to studies, teenagers’ brains are wired to stay up longer and wake up later than other age groups. Most traditional schools don’t take this in account with early class times (and not to mention the time it takes to get ready AND travel to school). In fact, data from the CDC indicates that over 72% of high school students reported sleeping less than what was recommended based on their age.

    The effects? Decreased attention, impaired memory, slowed processing, worsened sequential thinking, and reduced creativity. In other words, lack of sleep impairs many of the skills needed to perform well in school.

    The flexible class times that online schools provide allow learners to get a full rest in before they put their brains to work. Whether that’s during traditional school hours or later on in the day, learners can take increase their brain’s efficiency with a full night’s rest!

  6. You can take exams when you’re ready.

    Feeling unprepared for something you’re graded on is one of the worst feelings. Whether you need some extra time to grasp the material or just have so many things on your plate that you can’t dedicate yourself to studying at the moment, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your grades.

    Your GPA should reflect your TRUE potential! In a self-paced online school, you can take the time you need in order to put your best in every exam. No due dates allow you to put your grades in your control in ways that weren’t possible before.

  7. You’ll be able to achieve a better school/life balance.

    You may have heard people talking about having a good work/life balance, but a good school/life balance is just as important. If you’re someone that enjoys extracurriculars, volunteering, or earning money at a job, making schoolwork a priority while juggling so much on your plate can be difficult.

    JMHS Graduate of the Year finalist, Sean Flanagan, knows how difficult it is to manage both school and his hobbies. Having started to play tennis at a young age, he found it increasingly more difficult to balance his training regimen and study requirements. Attending online school with JMHS allowed Sean to take his classes in a self-paced environment and increase his commitment to his sport.

    “I found the support at JMHS to be exactly what I needed to make my dreams come true. The administrative and teaching support was superb…I could not have achieved my dream without the support I received from JMHS during the most challenging time of my life.”

    You can hear Sean’s full story on our Alumni Spotlight Podcast or listen on Soundcloud.

How can online school help me grow as a person?

  1. Gain independence.

    Whether your next step after high school is college, a career, or the military, independence gained from online school is one of the most important skills you can benefit from. In traditional high school, it can often feel like a teacher is holding your hand through your entire educational journey. It’s too often that you may feel like you’re told exactly what to do or where to be without the benefit of truly owning these skills on your own.

    Self-paced and independent learning can truly help you gain your own independence. Without anyone besides yourself forcing you to study, meet deadlines, or work on your assignments, you’ll develop skills that most people struggle with after high school.

  2. Develop solid study skills.

    When you’re the one that has to set your own study schedule, you’ll find that over time, you’ll become a pro studier. Studying effectively is a skill, and it really takes time to develop it. Because you’re guiding your own learning in online school, you may even start to gain study skills without even realizing it.

  3. Put your education in your control.

    What will you learn today? How much will you learn today? When will you learn today?

    These are all questions that you can answer for yourself when in online school. The advantage of taking control of your own learning is that you will gain much more from education. Instead of being a passive participant in learning, you’ll get to be in the driver’s seat and actively learn. Taking initiative toward your education will often leave you feeling better about it and have a greater grasp on what it is that you’ve learned.

Ready to be in control of your education? James Madison High School is an accredited, online high school that can help you meet your educational goals and earn your high school diploma online. Learn more about how JMHS can help you focus on learning by reaching out to an admissions specialist at 1-800-349-6861 today.

About the Author

Nicole Dalbo

Nicole Dalbo

Nicole Dalbo studied English Literature with a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Scranton and is currently working toward her MS in Marketing. When she isn’t writing, Nicole can be found watching the newest Marvel movie, baking something sweet, or jamming out to live music.