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How to Enrich Your Online Learning Experience as a Teenager

a young student attending online school

As the COVID-19 vaccine gradually becomes available across the board, the pandemic is finally in its last stages. However, the lifestyle changes triggered by the pandemic are expected to linger for years, or perhaps even decades.

Today, many people are choosing to work from home despite having the option of returning to the office. In addition, students are increasingly making the switch from traditional learning to online learning.

In 2020, most students attended online classes because they didn’t have any other option. Today, they’re eagerly choosing to enrol in distance learning high school online to complete their education.

Online school allows students to receive a quality education and reap the benefits of enhanced flexibility. Students can create a healthier study-life balance, prioritise their safety, receive one-on-one attention from their teachers, ensure stellar academic performance, safely interact with their peers, and secure top grades.

If you’ve already made the switch to online learning, make sure you focus on enriching your online learning experience as a teenager. Use this guide to get started.

1. Create a Schedule

a student taking notes in her weekly planner

Whether you’re preparing for your IGCSEs or A Levels, opting for online school is a great way to get your dream grades. However, you shoulder a lot of responsibility. If you’re not careful, you could potentially fall victim to complacency or procrastination.

Create a schedule to stay on track and ensure steady academic growth. A balanced and productive routine will also help you enjoy a healthy social life without sidelining your academics.

As you complete online school for the day, allot a specific number of hours to homework, revision, and leisure. You can spend your free time as you deem fit. However, make sure you stick to your schedule, and spend a sufficient amount of time on homework and revision.

If you’re struggling to follow your routine, ask a friend to help you out. They can send you reminders, or ask how closely you followed your schedule by the end of the day. This is a great form of accountability. In fact, you can also return the favour by sending them reminders. As you frequently check in with each other, you’ll manage to stay on track.

For additional support, create an “accountability group” with your peers. As everyone shares updates and gives an overview of their progress by the end of the day, there will be a greater sense of accountability. In addition, you’ll feel motivated to do your best as you watch your peers hitting their daily targets.

If you’d rather track your academic journey by yourself, use an online planner or a reminder app for students. These little measures will go a long way in helping you double down on academic performance, and secure stellar grades.

2. Establish Healthy Friendships with Your Peers

When making the switch to online school, students often worry about their social life. As they acclimatise to online learning, their fears are quickly dispelled.

At Cambridge Home School, we keep the classroom size small (8 to 10 students per group) to ensure heightened interactivity. In addition to interacting with their teachers, students also get a chance to actively engage with their peers. This enables students to get to know each other, and establish healthy friendships outside of class.

We recommend making the most of this added benefit!

Recommended Read: Larger Class Sizes Lead to Educational Shortcomings in UK Secondary Schools

a student virtually interacting with her peers

Reach out to your peers on social media platforms, and virtually hang out with them on Zoom or Skype. You can also meet them in person; make sure you follow social distancing guidelines.

As you get to know your peers in a casual setting, you’ll establish strong connections, and maintain an active social life. We’re strong proponents of striking the perfect balance between your academics and social life. This balance will boost your mental health, and enrich your online learning experience.

3. Frequently Reach Out to Your Teachers

Compared to conventional school, online school facilitates one-on-one interaction between students and teachers. As stated earlier, we offer a small classroom size to ensure each student receives individualised attention from their teachers. This approach plays a big role in enabling teachers to get to know each student in an individual setting.

Whether you’re struggling with a specific concept or having trouble keeping up, feel free to reach out to your teachers. This is a great way to keep your academic growth on track, and address any problem areas in a timely and strategic manner.

a young student reaching out to her teachers for additional help with online school

You can also reach out to your teachers if you have any questions about the curriculum, or require extra help. If you’re an English-speaking British expat in Europe (including Western Russia), Africa, or the Middle East, you may take some time to acclimatise to a British online school.

Our MA/Ph.D. qualified subject specialist teachers are equipped to provide the assistance you need. As you actively interact with your teachers, you’ll manage to optimise your online learning experience.

Recommended Read: A Day in the Life of a British Expat Online Student Studying A Levels From Overseas

4. Think Outside the Box

At Cambridge Home School, we offer an independent curriculum. Our students are not restricted to studying 9 or 10 IGCSEs. Instead, they can choose fewer subjects, and split them into 2 years instead of attempting them all in the final year.

For instance, you can study all subjects in CHS Level 3 (Year 10), but sit the exams for half of them in CHS Level 4 (Year 11). For the remaining subjects, you can sit the exams in the following year (Year 12). While you may have to add a year to your education, you can control the pace, and maximise your chances of securing top grades.

This approach is strongly recommended to students who are studying for their IGCSEs and A Levels. By thinking outside the box, and studying more comprehensively and rigorously, you’ll make the most of your academic journey.

In addition to acing their exams, our students also retain knowledge better, which improves their academic experience in university.

If you want to secure stellar grades and get accepted to a prestigious university, make sure you stay open to new approaches. Thinking outside the box and adopting new methods of learning will go a long way in transforming your academic journey.

5. Utilise Your Institution’s Comprehensive Video Archive

concept illustration online video archive

Students who attend online school have an edge over their peers who attend traditional school. They have access to top-tier educational resources that can help them surmount complex academic hurdles with ease and adroitness.

At Cambridge Home School, we have a razor-sharp focus on ensuring our students can make the most of exceptional academic resources.

Students who attend traditional school have to rely on scrappy notes taken in noisy classrooms. By switching to online school, you can benefit from a comprehensive video archive of previous lessons and downloadable slide presentations.

Each resource can be searched by topic for enhanced accessibility. The resources cover a wide range of topics and subtopics and can be viewed as many times as the student requires. Each concept is assiduously explained in detail using advanced approaches. In order to enrich your online learning experience, we strongly recommend utilising these resources.

Despite their availability, online resources are often left unexplored by students. This puts them at a big disadvantage and affects their grades. Make sure you benefit from them, especially if you’re struggling with specific concepts.

We suggest incorporating online resources into your daily revision routine. This is a great way to get a quick refresher post-class. As you touch upon the concepts covered in class each day, you’ll manage to identify any problem areas. These can be brought up the next day for timely clarification.

As you identify and jump over obstacles on time, you’ll avoid feeling overwhelmed in the days leading up to your exams. In essence, online resources are available for you to use. Make the most of them!

Recommended Read: What Is Flexi-Schooling?

6. Focus on Your Mental Health

Studying for your IGCSEs or A Levels can be extremely stressful at times. While online learning makes the process easier and less rushed, you can still fall victim to poor mental health if you’re not careful.

Remember, mental health is just as important as physical health. If you’re struggling to cope with the pressure of your academics, don’t hesitate to ask for help. You can reach out to your teachers, peers, or family members.

At Cambridge Home School, we encourage students to split their subjects to study more intently and steadily. This is a great way to protect your mental health and secure top grades without succumbing to the pressure of fast-paced academics. As you slow things down, you’ll be able to study more comprehensively without feeling overwhelmed.

a student smiling at the camera

In addition to battling academic pressures, we also recommend introspecting and identifying other triggers and stressors in your life. If an individual or situation is holding you back and affecting the quality of your life, try to eliminate them from your life.

You may have to break ties with a toxic friend, let go of an unhealthy relationship, or work towards getting rid of a habit that’s actively deteriorating your mental health. As you take these measures, you’ll be able to put yourself first, and maintain a healthy state of mind.

We also recommend using a mental health app for teenage students. Headspace, Calm, and Aura are great options.

7. Explore Your Interests

As a teenager, exploring your interests and developing new skills are essential. This ties in with creating a healthy and productive schedule. As you leave ample room for yourself, you’ll manage to explore new possibilities.

Whether you’re an avid Scrabble player, an amateur guitarist, a gaming enthusiast, or an ardent painter, make sure you feed your passions and talents. In addition, take up new hobbies to discover what brings you joy.

Attending an online school is a great way to free up extra time that would be spent on long commutes. As you utilise this time to dip your toes in unique activities and adventures, you’ll feel more content and fulfilled.

Feel free to explore your interests with your classmates. You can choose from a plethora of engaging virtual activities like escape rooms and online trivia. The possibilities are endless!

Recommended Read: 6 Benefits of Independent Online Secondary School

8. Switch Online Schools

a young student attending her first online class at Cambridge Home School

If you’re dissatisfied with your current online school, make sure you take active measures to undo the damage. While online learning is increasingly gaining traction across the globe, not every online school can be trusted.

Recommended Read: Homeschooling Abroad for Ages 8 to 18: 5 Key Benefits of an Online British Education

If your experience hasn’t been pleasant, consider enrolling in Cambridge Home School. As the most established online distance learning UK school based in Cambridge, UK, we have over 19 years of experience in providing a quality British education to pupils across the globe. We offer a full and balanced British curriculum across four schools: Primary Prep School (ages 8 to 10), Lower School (ages 11 to 13), Upper School/IGCSEs (ages 14 to 16), and Sixth Form/A Levels (ages 17 to 19).

As one of the best schools in Cambridge UK, Cambridge Home School, we’re committed to helping our students get accepted to some of the most prestigious universities across the globe, including the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, King’s College London, Stanford University, Harvard University, and Yale University, among others. By developing an independent curriculum, we help our students excel in their respective subjects, and secure top grades.

Whether you’re a motivated English-speaking student in the UK, Europe (including Western Russia), Africa, the Middle East, or Central Asia, you are welcome to fill out our application form for a much-cherished spot in our esteemed institution. Before you get started, please review our admissions process.