Like many of you who are reading this, I’m a student. I think in terms of semesters, and I spend a large portion of my life surfing Pinterest and stressing about all the studying I should be doing. I’m currently a high school senior taking three classes online at a local college and one class at home. Over my long and illustrious school career (ha), I’ve discovered a few things that make studying easier–especially studying at home for online classes. Keep reading to find them out!
Homeschoolers, we’ve all been there: we get up, eat breakfast, and then go right back to bed with a big stack of textbooks. The next thing we know, it’s after lunch and we haven’t showered or gotten dressed. Although I understand the temptation–especially in the winter–of cozy pajamas and fuzzy socks, I’ve tried to stop letting myself fall prey to it every. single. day. I get my workout in during the morning so that I can go ahead and shower and get ready. Something about putting on jeans and fixing my hair just helps my overall mindset and puts me into gear to get some work done.
2. Homework schedule: specific + realistic.
On Sunday afternoons, I grab my planner and write out all my assignments for the week. Everything is typically due the following Sunday at midnight, so my personal goal is to have everything done by Friday evening. That way, I have a buffer of a couple of days that I can use to wrap up loose ends that I didn’t get done, or else review everything I learned that week. Last semester, I would write down way too many items every day and then end up with only half of them checked off, which is not a great feeling at the end of the day. So this semester, I’m trying to look more closely at each assignment before I begin and make a realistic estimate of how long I think it will take. It also helps me to write down something specific–if I just write “marine biology,” I tend to interpret that as “skim a few pages and you’re good” when I actually sit down to do the work. So instead, I’ll say something like “read and take notes on pages 330-345; study vocabulary on Quizlet for 15 minutes.” Which brings me to my next point.
3. Quizlet app.
I used Quizlet briefly during sophomore chemistry, and I wasn’t really impressed; it didn’t help me learn what I needed to learn. But maybe that’s just because chemistry was not my thing, because I recently re-discovered Quizlet and I’ve been loving it! Apparently, Quizlet has an app for Apple (I think for Android as well). I deleted Instagram and Pinterest off my phone yesterday in the hopes that when I pick up my phone, I’ll do something productive (Quizlet or Duolingo) instead of wasting time on social media (but let’s be real–I’ll probably end up re-downloading Pinterest in a week or two).
4. Match your music to your material.
I’m one of those people that can’t study without music, and I spend way too long creating a playlist before I ever crack open my textbook. I’d long been in the habit of listening to Aventura while I studied Spanish–so many memories–but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I thought about applying this concept to other subjects. In world history, we just finished a couple of weeks on France–the War of the Three Henrys, Louis XIV, Versailles, etc. As I was reading, answering questions, and writing papers, I looked up French music from the 1600’s and listened to that. This week in world religions, we’re studying Judaism–which I’ve always been fascinated by–and I’ve been listening to Jewish folk music while I study. Something about that distinctive violin/flute/Middle Eastern percussion sound and the Yiddish words just helps the history of the Jewish religion sink into my mind better.
What did I leave out? How do you study? Leave your own tips in the comments!