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How to Succeed as an Online High School Student

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Teenage boy using laptop and doing homework
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Successful online high school students have two traits in common: they know how to stay focused on their studies and they always plan ahead. Without the face-to-face encouragement offered in traditional schools, some students struggle with distance learning. But, resolving to earn an online high school diploma isn’t too difficult if you know what steps to take. These seven tips can help.
Time Required: 4 years

Here's How:

  1. Make sure that online high school is right for you. Let’s face it: online high school isn’t for everyone. If you feel tortured completing coursework independently or get distracted every two minutes, perhaps you’d do better in a more traditional setting. Carefully evaluate the choice to learn online – don’t get too far into the semester if it isn’t a good fit.
  2. Choose an online high school that works for your learning style. Each online high school has a different way of interacting with students. Some offer summer camps and local extracurricular activities. Some assign students an online mentor to work with each day. Some leave students to work on their own, simply sending grades and feedback through email. Find an online high school that fits your personality and preferences and you’ll be much more likely to succeed.
  3. Create a high school graduation plan with the help of a counselor. When you enroll in an online high school you should be given the opportunity to create a graduation plan outlining the courses you need to take in order to earn a diploma. Talk to an academic counselor at the end of each semester to review this plan.
  4. Put your learning first. Online high school students must rely on their own dedication to get them to graduation. Inevitably, you’ll be tempted to rush through assignments or skim the readings. Don’t be distracted. Commit to graduating and keep your goal in mind whenever you struggle with staying on track.
  5. Create a study spot. A clean, quiet place to complete your assignments can make a huge difference to an online high school student. Find a place in your home with a desk that you can use. Speak with other family members about the importance of keeping the area neat and keeping quiet while you are trying to study in the area.
  6. Use a calendar and always turn assignments in on time. Having your own monthly / weekly calendar can help you schedule your assignments and plan for the future. At the beginning of each semester, write down your assignments on the appropriate days. At the beginning of each week, review what will be due in the coming days.
  7. Ask for help when you need it. Successful online high school students know when to speak up. If you have a question, ask it. If you don’t understand an assignment, let someone know. Some online students struggle learning technical subjects such as math in a virtual environment. If additional tutoring isn’t available through your online high school, talk to your parents about arranging for a local tutor to help you master the material.
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