We're a week into the third national lockdown, meaning the first week of remote learning is complete. With *optimistically* only 5 more weeks of this I wanted to share some things I have been doing to try and stay productive and manage my time while learning at home, with other students and hopefully help someone who is struggling to get through their work at home.
For some background about me: I am a Year 12 student and I study 3 A-Levels (Maths, English Language and English Literature) and 1 BTEC (Music). This is the first time I have actually done remote learning as I was in Year 11 during the first lockdown (meaning I didn't have any work to do as exams were cancelled), schools were open during the second lockdown, and I haven't had to isolate since returning in September. So this week has definitely been a learning curve, especially because I started Monday morning thinking I would be going back to college in two weeks, and then by Monday night the whole country would be going into lockdown and schools would be considered to be opened again after the February half term.
However, despite only experiencing remote learning for the first time this week I think I have found ways to make the most of it and try to keep on top of my work.
1. PLAN YOUR DAY
One thing I took away from the first lockdown was that I felt like I was wasting my days - especially in the first month or so - because I didn't have any school work, we were all stuck at home and we were adjusting to the new restrictions, and honestly it made me feel quite down. When I started roughly planning my days, making a to do list, or even just writing down goals for the week (e.g. learn a new song, learn a new trick with the dog), it boosted my mood and let me keep a sense of normality to my days by having something to do.
As this lockdown I do have school work to do I knew that my plans would have to be more 'strict', so every evening I get my notebook out and start planning my day and include timings too. Usually I'm more of a "To - Do List Person" over a "Timetable Person" when it comes to revision etc, however as there is a lot of tasks to complete and work has to be submitted day by day usually, I started adding timings to my plans. By doing this, I also found that I have more time than I thought to do the things that I want to such as reading, home workouts, and just having time to chill; I have found that keeping a routine is so important to me, especially when I have school work to complete through the day.
An example of how my plan for the morning would look:
6:30 - 8: Get ready
Print out any resources for lessons
Tidy room and workspace
Check school emails for any work sent, zoom links etc.
2. STICK TO YOUR REGULAR SCHOOL TIMETABLE
This coincides greatly with the last tip, as it will impact how you plan your day. But sticking to you normal timetable is a great way to structure your day - especially if you have to submit the work you've completed by the end of the day. So, for example if you normally have a Biology lesson on Monday 8:30-9:30, then do your biology work then.
Plus, by planning your day and sticking to your structure, it becomes a lot easier to contact your teacher as they will reply pretty quickly if you email them during the day rather than at 9pm.
3. TRY NOT TO WORK IN YOUR BEDROOM
This can be difficult with everyone at home, and if you have your computer in your bedroom, but when you can try to work away from your room. This is because it will allow your room to stay a place without stress, and will allow you to switch off, rather than walking in and being surrounded by work etc; there are also less distractions when doing work at your dining table rather than at your desk/bed.
Now, my computer is in my room so having live lessons (which are a godsend! so much better than just being set the work and relying on email) and needing applications such as Word or online resources contradicts me trying to work away from my room, so it really is a 50/50 split for working in my room or at the table downstairs.
4. BE ACTIVE
Staying inside all the time isn't good for you, and not moving will really impact your physical and mental health. Try and find something you enjoy that will get you moving - going for a walk, yoga, home workouts, or even just putting on some music and dancing about for a while. Anything is better than nothing and it will help you have a mental break from school, and give you something else to fill your time with.
5. MAKE TIME FOR THINGS YOU ENJOY
If we weren't in this situation, you would probably still be prioritising time to do your hobbies and spend time doing things you enjoy, and now more than ever it is still so important to keep doing this so that your days don't just become consumed by work.
Don't neglect your hobbies because they are a good way to switch off - just like being active is - and if you can't do them because of COVID, then try and start a new hobby or just spend more time on other hobbies you can do at home!
I hope these tips managed to help anyone! Let me know anything that you do and find to be useful while working at home.
Have a great day,