How to Study Effectively From Home This Lockdown

Coronavirus has caused a lot of change already in 2021.

GCSEs and A-Level exams have been cancelled. Schools and colleges have temporarily closed. Even Britain's Got Talent has been postponed.

We know that for many of you, the disruption to this academic year has been huge. 

To help you adapt to the changes to your learning this term, we're sharing 5 golden tips to optimise your learning whilst you study from home...

#1  Establish a daily routine

Having a predictable day-to-day routine helps you organise your time around tasks, and has been proven to alleviate symptoms of stress. It allows you to visualise your day ahead of time, giving you a sense of ease and time to prepare for the different activities you might be faced with.

Most schools and colleges are following timetables as normal. You'll most likely be taught by a mixture of live virtual learning delivered by teachers in real-time, blended with pre-recorded teaching videos and tasks set by your teacher to complete at your own pace.

It's important you stick to your timetable.

You might not have to wear a uniform, but it's important to get out of your pyjamas and get dressed each day. Once the school day is over, you can switch back out. This is a good way to trick your mind into study-mode.

#2 Get set up to study 

Fresh new stationary, access to a computer equipped with webcam and audio technology, and a decluttered, quiet working environment are ideal conditions for learning. 

But we know that's not always possible. 

Not everyone has access to the resources for optimal learning. If you are missing equipment or something is stopping you from learning (whether it's no laptop or a lack of Wi Fi access), speak up. Contact your school and they should provide any materials that you require

Once you have the resources you need, find a workstation that is quiet, where you can concentrate. You'll need enough space for a laptop/computer, a notepad, and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated. 

#3 Minimise distractions

It's a lot easier to concentrate when you're sat in a classroom, in front of a teacher, than it is when you're hidden behind a laptop screen in your bedroom.

Below are three important ways to avoid distractions and stay focused on your work...

  • Keep a light snack and water at your desk (no spontaneous trips to the fridge) 
  • Turn off notifications on your laptop, opening only the browsers you need to work
  • Put your phone on silent and keep it in a separate room to where you are working 

Jessica, a year 13 student from Leeds shared a great tip on her social media to minimise distractions when studying from home, a 'don't disturb... I'm in class' sign.

We love the idea. Just write your message on paper and blu-tac it to your door. That way, when you're in full study-mode, your family will know not to disturb you. Perfect for stopping your mum from bursting in whilst you're knee-deep in algebraic equations.

#4 Use a 'target tracker'

A 'target tracker' is a good way to plan your short-term and long-term goals, making sure you set an appropriate time to complete assignments and tasks. And it's super simple to follow.

All you need is somewhere to write... a notebook, Word doc, a bedroom wall!

To create your tracker, split your page into two columns (short-term goals and long-term goals). 

At the start of every week, list your short-term goals: things that need to be completed that week. This might be things like making a mind map on the carbon cycle, or completing a fractions worksheet. Also jot down any longer-term goals, such as applying for an apprenticeship.

Highlight or tick tasks off as you complete them. This gives you a sense of achievement and helps you visualise your successes. Setting long-term goals acts as a reminder of everything you're working towards, and these can be broken down into manageable chunks to chip away at.

#5 Keep motivated 

It can be tough to stay motivated when you're working in a room you're used to chilling in. But there are a a few ways to keep up the momentum and stay on track whilst studying:

  • Switch things up by changing your environment. Perhaps set up your desk at the kitchen table, or out in the garden on a hot day, for a change of scenery.
  • Give yourself a reward for completing your daily tasks effectively. It doesn't have to be extravagant. Guilt-free Netflix marathons are always a good shout.
  • Rather than working on one specific topic for hours on end, try to work on multiple tasks each day. That way, your brain is constantly being challenged by new ideas.

We know these tips can't solve everything. 

That's why communication with your teachers is incredibly important. Studying from home is new for millions of students across the country. So it's okay if you're struggling to adapt. 

Hopefully, with support from your school and online resources like this, you'll be flying in no time!