Learning and Working From Home Basics by Craig Middleton

Learning from home

Introduction

  • People learning and working from home whether by choice or necessity have a challenging proposition. Guidelines, rules, and boundaries should be in place, ideally before instruction or work begins. If you’re already into it, don’t be afraid to take a few minutes to reassess goals and routines for day-to-day instruction and overall accomplishments. While this article focuses on learning from home, working from home offers many of the same challenges.

Long-Term Goals

  • One of the first conversations to have with yourself should be about long-term goals for completing education or work. Whether you have your eye on a selective college or alternatives to college like a gap year or a job, you should understand that high school, in whatever form it may take, is the stepping stone to future success.

Short-Term Goals

  • When there are no bells telling you to hurry up, sometimes it’s hard to get started on the work that needs to be accomplished. At home, there are many distractions like computer games, TV, and even chores. Find a quiet place that will help you focus and leave the distractions elsewhere. Create short-term goals for each unit of study and for each day. Whatever your preference, you can set reasonable expectations for how long you should focus on each discipline and whether you prefer to work on one subject all day or break classes up into hourly chunks. Timers and timetables are both useful.

Study Basics

  • Without the guidance of a regular classroom teacher in the room, you might not intuitively know some of the processes that are used to help you excel. You should gather supplies before you start and have a designated workstation. Of course, learning from home comes with more flexibility than a traditional school, but keeping school supplies in one place and neatening your desk at the end of each day are good habits to acquire no matter where you learn.

Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning

  • While some home learning lacks any real-time interaction with a teacher, some of it does. This is likely to be the case for younger learners. Be sure your schedule indicates when it’s time to join online (Zoom) meetings and be sure to be there. Many schools still take attendance and some even use it as part of your grade. Also, be sure to know what the situation is with grading. Is it pass-fail, or are there certain expectations that will lead to a letter grade? If so be sure to make notes on that and check to see on a regular basis if you are checking all of the boxes. Getting good grades can be easy if you are organized and do everything that is expected.

Snacks and Exercise

  • One thing you have constant access to at home is your refrigerator. While an occasional snack can help keep your focus, too much food can result in unwanted weight gain. Try drinking non-calorie drinks like water. Although diet sodas don’t have any calories they are not generally recommended by many nutritionists. For adults, tea and coffee are good choices.
  • Exercise is also important for keeping you mentally sharp. Be sure to get up and move around frequently and schedule times at least twice a day for tinges like walking, jogging, biking, or lifting weights. Many people also report benefits from things like meditation and yoga. Consider getting a desk that goes up and down so you can spend some work time standing.
  • Learning at home and learning at home effectively are not necessarily the same thing. Help yourself by setting up routines and habits to get the most out of homeschooling.

Craig Middleton

  • Craig is a New York City-based retired business consultant, who is an expert in education and cultural trends. He has a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters in Education from St. Johns and loves sharing his knowledge on the side through his writing. If you have any questions or comments you can direct them to Craig at craigmiddleton18@gmail.com.
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