There’s no doubt that the next few months are going to be very challenging for students who are now homeschooling. We can’t offer you a quick fix or a promise that it’s going to be easy, but we’ve taken the time to pull together some useful tips that can help to boost your motivation when studying at home.
1. Make a plan
Creating and sticking to a study schedule will help you achieve your goals. Making weekly or daily schedules will help you break up long hours of study into smaller, more manageable chunks.
A checklist is a good way to keep track of what you’ve covered, it’s a positive reinforcement of what you’ve achieved during that study session. If you find that you’ve not ticked off certain subjects or topics, ask yourself why? Perhaps you need to review your study environment or material.
2. Focus on one task at a time
Doing one thing at a time when studying is a powerful way to become more productive. Multitasking may make you feel as though you are accomplishing more, but overall, the tasks aren’t receiving your full attention. If you find it hard to concentrate on a single task, start small. Allow yourself 15 minutes per topic on the first day, and work your way up to larger chunks of time.
We all naturally prioritise our favourite tasks first. If you’re most active and alert in the morning, however, it makes sense to tackle the subjects that require the most effort and concentration first. Even if don’t like them! It might not sound fun, but you’ll thank yourself at 3pm when you’re running low on energy.
Don’t struggle in silence! When making a study plan, factor in time to speak to your friends or family about what you’re learning. It’s a great way to have critical discussions and fill in gaps in your knowledge on certain topics. You could also ask them to test you on what you’ve learned as a way to check whether you’ve understood the material effectively.
5. Create the right environment
It’s hard, but aim to create a study environment where distractions are a minimum. It might sound obvious, but turn off the TV and your mobile phone and avoid having social media apps open on your laptop (if you’re using one). Ensure you've got a clean desk with only your notes, books and stationary out. If you're studying in a house where everyone is home, politely ask that they do not disturb you whilst you're at your desk.
6. Schedule exercise into your routine
Did you know that just 10 minutes of moderate physical activity at a time can provide physical and mental health benefits? Exercise can improve sleep, reduce stress and increase concentration. There's no excuse! Move the sofa, put some music on and get exercising!
7. Stay positive
It's easy to let negative thoughts creep in when you're having a tough day with your books. Before letting these thoughts take a permanent place in your mind, why don't you transform the way you think? Instead of saying "I can't do this," say to yourself, "I will keep trying and eventually get there." You'll be surprised by the power words can have on your self-esteem. Positive reinforcement gives you the confidence to tackle new challenges. Additionally, instead of focussing on all of the things you didn't understand, write a list of everything that you did!