Online High School: Hints for planning the upcoming Spring Semester

You’ve made it through the Fall term of your online high school, and are now at the beginning of a new term.  Here are some helpful hints and guidelines to try to help you get through the upcoming Spring Semester.

First, realize that not all weeks are created equally.  Later in the Spring as the weather gets nicer, maintaining concentration and focus on school can be difficult for many people.  Take advantage of the upcoming winter weeks and months – when the weather is cold and you are less inclined to want to go out.  Take advantage of these weeks to get ahead in your schooling.  This way you can have a little more time when you want it.  Online school is ideal for this, because you can always work ahead of the schedule.  With online school, you are in control of the schedule; use that to your advantage.

Also be aware that many people have a hard time working before, during and after a Spring Break, either preparing to go, being away, or getting back into the swing of things.  It’s just human nature.  This is another reason – try to get as much done as you can now.  If you get behind now, it will be even more difficult to catch up over Spring Break, or as the weather becomes more pleasant.

Of course, we do advise people to develop consistency and discipline in their school work.  Develop a weekly schedule and be consistent in sticking to it.  Make sure you allocate time to all your courses every week, approximately 2-3 hours per course.  Math and English should always get the highest priority, followed by Science and History, then Language and electives.  If you do get behind, in general we don’t advise that you concentrate on just one or two subjects, ignoring all the others.  This tends to create a situation where you are constantly behind in something, or everything.  Increase the overall time you spend, allocating more to the higher priority subjects, as needed, but continuing to work in all the subjects.

If you do get behind in your assignments, create a plan to catch up in a reasonable amount of time – over several weeks.  We don’t expect you to exert super-human efforts to catch up.  Here is an example of a plan:

  • In each course, count the total number of overdue assignments, and divide that by 10.  So for example, if you have 30 overdue assignments in English, 30/10 = 3.
  • Each week, count the number of assignments that were due on the calendar that week.  Complete that many assignments from the front of your list, plus the number above.  So this week, if there were 5 assignments due, you would need to complete 5+3 = 8.
  • Doing this consistently, after 10 weeks, you will be caught up in English!  You will have to expend some extra effort to catch up – you might have to spend 5 hours instead of 3.  If you are behind in all your courses, you might have to work 25-30 hours a week to catch up instead of 20, maybe an extra hour or two a day.  The point is, this is reasonable.

Or course, it’s better to not get behind in the first place.  At CEA, we constantly monitor all student’s progress, and contact the student and parent as soon as we see that happening.  Of course, by the time a student gets two weeks behind, and we see that and contact you, the student could be 3 weeks to a month behind.  Here is how to avoid that:

  • If you’re a student and know you struggle with staying on pace, ask a parent to objectively look over and review your progress on a regular basis – typically once a week.  Ask them to log into your account and look over your assignments.
  • If you’re a parent, make it a disciplined habit to log into your student’s account and look over their progress once a week.  See if they are falling behind.  It’s also good of course to ask them how they are doing – but don’t rely on this solely.  Students often don’t realize they are behind, and some will misrepresent their progress.
  • If you’re an Apex student or parent, you will receive a progress report every week.  Read it.

If you need help understanding an Apex report or using the Gradpoint system, contact one of the administrators at CEA – we will be glad to walk you through how to use the tools that are available to you.

By following a disciplined plan, working ahead a bit and regular monitoring of your progress, you should be able to complete all your subjects on time, with no issues.  If you do get behind, there are ways to catch up.  It’s not the end of the world, but you should avoid this situation if you can.