Home-based Learning During a Crisis
It can be confusing and unsettling when your regular routine is disrupted. If your school or university has decided to take precautionary measures during the COVID-19 pandemic you will likely find yourself having to learn how to learn from home.
Don't worry. There are a few things you can do to help this temporary transition go smoothly and keep you on track for a successful re-transition back to your normal routine.
When learning from home it is important to remember these key factors: routine, discipline and take breaks.
This article is designed to help learners who must transition to virtual schooling due to school closures in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maintaining your routine, as much as possible, is key to a successful transition in any situation. You will have been given your educational material, assignments and information from your instructors prior to the school closure, so make sure you have everything you need.
It is recommended that you continue to get up and dressed as you normally would on any other school day. Start your 'classes' at the same time you usually would. Take your lunch break at the same time, and stop studying at the time your classes would normally end. Keep your routine as normal as possible.
Additionally, complete your subjects in the same order that you normally would at school. If you have Math first thing in the morning, then do your Math work first. This will keep your mind in the correct mindset of school as much as possible during this change, and make it easier to transition back to your regular routine.
Maintaining your routine naturally leads to a discussion on discipline.
It will be tempting to sleep in and look at this period of home-bound learning as a vacation. Don't fall into that trap! You will be responsible for the material assigned during your exclusion period and if you do not complete it, you will be very behind when the school re-opens. Stay focused.
Set yourself up in an area that will offer you plenty of light and few distractions. Some people find it difficult to focus in complete silence, so consider playing soft music in the background.
Challenge yourself to remain focused and disciplined to get your work done each day just as if you were at school. It can be easy to get distracted with TV or the internet, but save those things for when you need a break and remain focused on the task at hand.
Part of your discipline should be maintaining good communication with your instructors and your school. Just as you are working from home, your instructors will still be working to be a guide and assistant in your learning process. Use them, communicate with them and allow them to do their job of helping you to learn even if it must be in a virtual environment.
Maintaining good discipline will help your transition during this time of school closure be successful and will mean that your return to your regular schedule will be effortless.
You might be wondering about this tip after the focus on routine and discipline.
Think about your regular school day: you go to a class with many other students, you listen in that class for a set time frame and then you get up and walk to the next class while chatting with friends. You do not sit at a desk for 6 hours straight while you are at school, so you certainly shouldn't do so while learning from home.
Also, the fact is that when you are working solo, you will work much more quickly than when you are in a classroom with many other people interrupting your train of thought throughout the day.
Learning from home offers you a much more intensive learning environment, thus the work can get done much more quickly. You will find that if you let yourself get too lost in your work, you may accidentally not move around enough to maintain a healthful environment.
So, get up every 45-50 minutes (or so) to stretch, walk around the house and get some water or snacks. Make sure you give your brain a break and get your body moving to keep you alert and in tip-top learning form.
Learning from home will be a big change for those that are forced to do so due to school closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A few things you can do to make this temporary transition successful are:
- Maintain your normal school routine
- Get up at the same time
- Work through subjects in the same order
- Be disciplined
- Work in a distraction free zone (some music may be helpful, though)
- Keep in contact with instructors
- Don't act as if you have a free vacation from school
- Remember to take breaks
- Your brain and body both need you to get up and move around regularly