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How Would My Student Benefit from Learning at Their Own Pace?

Written by Nicole Krempasky on Wednesday, 16 December 2020. Posted in Helpful Tips, Traditional Students

Girl sitting on couch reading a book

In traditional public schools there are few options to allow students to study subjects their own way. There are set daily schedules, with certain coursework and assignments needing completion by a specific date, with little to no flexibility. This can cause stress for students who struggle to meet assigned deadlines, making them lose confidence in their abilities. With online school, students set their own pace, choosing how and when studying works best for them.

Why would a student prefer working at their own pace?

There are a number of reasons why a student might find studying at their own pace to be more useful than studying on a traditional high school schedule. Whether it’s learning style or lifestyle, self-paced studies like JMHS’s High School Diploma programs offer more options to students which, in turn, can help them excel in their studies where they may have previously struggled. Some reasons a student might prefer working at their own pace include:

  • Finances. In today’s difficult economy, many students need to contribute to the family financially. Better paying jobs may require working hours that interfere with the standard school day. After school jobs don’t provide as many hours to work and sometimes cut into valuable study and homework time. But with a self-paced schedule, students can adapt their studies to their work schedules.
  • Illness. Students who face chronic illness often miss time from school due to medical appointments, hospitalizations, and feeling unwell. This means that in addition to focusing on their health, they have to play catch-up with classes and coursework. Being able to make their own schedule means they can relieve some stress by not worrying about falling behind.
  • Learning styles. Learning and studying for six or seven subjects at once can be difficult for some students. It may be that they don’t learn as quickly as others or the amount of time allotted for each subject just isn’t enough. Some students may have the opposite problem, becoming bored and losing interest if they’ve learned the material more quickly. Self-paced schedules like those at JMHS let students focus on one or two subjects at a time, allowing students the opportunity to fully absorb the material before moving on to a new lesson or subject. Plus, those students who learn more quickly can look forward to a possible early graduation by finishing subjects and tests as soon as they’re ready.
  • Personal preference. People are unique and some of us function more efficiently at different times of day. Some students do better in the morning, losing steam towards the afternoon, and others hate mornings, struggling to focus until later in the day. Building their own schedule lets students complete classes at the time of day they learn best.

Are there deadlines for some courses?

Self-paced means just that: you set the pace to learn and complete your courses. Because every student is working through their own individual schedules and to their own strengths, deadlines don’t exist for classes or assignments. It’s all up to the student. This means there’s no need to feel the pressure to keep up with peers. When a student feels confident that they understand the lessons, they then can progress to tests and assignments; not a minute before they are ready. However, with this flexibility comes the need for a lot of self-discipline and a good support person. If they can stay determined and on track, self-paced online learning can make a difference not only in their grades, but also in their self-confidence.

Give your student the time to succeed with JMHS

No matter what schedule or style of learning works for your student, James Madison can help them learn at a pace that suits them most. Learn more by calling an Admissions Advisor at or enroll online today.

About the Author

Nicole Krempasky

Nicole Krempasky

Nicole Krempasky earned a BA in Communications with a minor in Art History from Arcadia University. Just finishing her MA in International Journalism from Edinburgh Napier University, she is putting her writing and research skills to use as Penn Foster’s Marketing Coordinator. Nicole enjoys baking, traveling, and British TV.