Maintaining focus when learning at home is one of the hardest challenges you will face whether you have recently become a temporary homeschool parent or you plan to use your unexpected free time to gain a new skill. With over 30 years of experience in the education space including transforming a face-to-face tutoring program to an online platform, we have rounded up our four best tips to get the most out of learning at home.
- Take an honest assessment of focus levels
One of the best things you can do for yourself or for those you’re teaching is to honestly assess focus levels throughout the day. Check in throughout the day by asking two questions about each assignment or block of productive time. First, ask “Was this activity easy, challenging, or unbearable?” Then explore why it felt that way by asking, “Why did it feel that way?” Sometimes work is challenging and difficult regardless of our mood, but other factors like hunger, exhaustion, excitement, and overwhelm factor in, too. We all have periods of the day in which we perform at our best, so plan to tackle the most challenging work during those times.
- Recognize schedules provide structure
It’s easy to feel intimidated by a wide-open calendar and a laundry list of things to accomplish. Consider setting a schedule for learning and stick to it. Whether you prefer a standard 8-3 schoolday or you focus better using the Pomodoro technique, find a schedule that works for your goals. This will help you stay on track and make progress through the learning material.
- Plan for free time
Spending every moment working through new material is a fast-track to getting burnt out. Go ahead and plan for free time in your schedule. Free time gives you something to look forward to and helps align your focus while you’re working because you know you have a clear stopping point during your day.
- Connect with others
Although we may be under stay-at-home orders, connecting with others is still a vital component of learning. When we connect with others over a shared interest or class, we can explore the material through a lens different from our own. Plus, we can hold each other accountable to complete the work. And with Skype and Zoom freely accessible through the Internet, it is easier than ever to connect with others while we’re safe at home.