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How to Adjust to Learning Online

Written by James Madison High School on Thursday, 11 June 2020. Posted in Helpful Tips

Mug and laptop on table.

Online learning is a convenient and flexible way to earn your high school diploma. But if you’ve never taken online classes, you may not be sure how to adjust your study methods. How does online school work? Do you take notes the same way you would in a classroom? Here’s what you need to know to help you adjust and succeed in your online classes.

How do online classes work?

At James Madison High School, all of your classes are online and available to you 24/7. In a traditional school, you’ll find yourself studying multiple subjects at once, but JMHS’s format allows you to concentrate on one class at a time. You’ll learn through study guides in your Student Portal, textbooks, and supplemental materials and have access to help through email and phone.

While the subjects you’ll cover follow the standard high school curriculum, you’re able to tackle your studies at the pace that works best for you. Whether that means taking longer to complete an English course, or speeding through math because you find it comes easy, you complete your high school education your way.

The flexibility of online classes, with no due dates or scheduled start times, gives you the opportunity to build your experience around everything else you have going on, from your job to spending time on your hobbies.

Tips for succeeding in online high school

If this is your first time taking online classes, figuring out how to study smart can seem intimidating. It doesn’t have to be! It can take time to get used to a new way of learning, so remember, don’t be hard on yourself when you start studying. Use these tips to build an effective online studying strategy!

  1. Manage your expectations. There are several different stereotypes about online high school, including that it’s “easier” than regular school. However, if you go into your studies thinking it’ll be a breeze, you can set yourself up for disappointment. Managing your expectations is important to make sure you start off on the right foot.
  2. Develop a routine. One of the big benefits of online school is that it’s flexible and you can choose when to study, take exams, and work on projects. But though you’re able to set your pace, it’s still important to develop a regular routine for your classes to help you stay on track. By creating a routine, whether it’s weekly or daily, you’ll get into the rhythm of regularly working on your education and building strong study habits.
  3. Know what resources are available to you. Even though online high school is independent, that doesn’t mean there’s no help available to you if you get stuck. Before diving into your first class, make sure you find out what resources you can rely on throughout your studies. You have teachers, academic advocates, and student services available by phone and email to guide you through questions that may pop up.
  4. Create a positive, school-focused workplace. The environment you study in can impact your focus. In traditional school settings, you’d have a classroom dedicated to learning, but at home, it’s a little different. While you can take your studying to a different environment every now and then, having one space that is for school only can help you get into the routine of studying there and can be a quiet space when you need to concentrate.
  5. Find out what your learning style is. Are you a visual learner? Someone who learns better when they hear a lecture or listen to an audio book? Understanding what learning style works best for you can help you tailor how you study in order to set yourself up for success. If you’re a visual learner, taking notes by hand and color coding those notes can make a big difference. If you’re someone who does better through listening, recording your notes on your phone to playback later can be your best bet. Not sure what your learning style is? Take this quiz!
  6. Set goals. Whether you’re a traditional high school student or an adult learner, setting goals can help you visualize how you’re going to complete your studies and give you a path to follow. Set weekly, monthly, or even daily goals to reach⁠—besides having that roadmap to push you forward, every completed goal can help you boost your confidence.

Graduate on your schedule with JMHS

Online learning can be an adjustment if you’re used to having a teacher guide you. But the benefit of JMHS’s online high school diploma program is that you can take your time and find the study pace that works best for you. As you adjust to a new learning environment, you can go through your lessons and exams at a slower speed until online classes become second nature. Get more information about how online school can work for you or enroll today by calling our Admissions team at .

About the Author

James Madison High School

James Madison High School

Our blog comes to you live from our high school students and community. Dive in to hear more from current students, alumni, and experts as we celebrate our student's accomplishments, persistence, and passions.