7 Habits of Successful Online Students

4 min to read
A student is participating in online learning

As the saying goes, it takes 21 days to form a good habit. Or maybe it’s 30 days. Or just 18. Or possibly, it could take six months or more.

The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all figure when it comes to making (or breaking) habits. That can seem discouraging, but the good news is that building habits is possible. 

As a caregiver, you’ve probably given some thought to how to instill good habits in your children, from brushing their teeth to completing their chores. Below, we’ve outlined seven good learning habits as well as how to incorporate new habits into your child’s routine. 

Habits of successful students often include: 

1. Planning Ahead

Sometimes, out of sight really does mean out of mind. When trying to establish good habits for students, we highly recommend using a planner to map out your days and establish a routine. Knowing what to expect each day, as well as having set tasks to complete, can help your student feel prepared for what’s ahead and a sense of accomplishment when they complete their work. 

2. Setting Small Goals

Setting a big goal, like “do better at math,” would be too vague for most people, let alone a student in middle school. Instead, set tangible, reachable goals for your student to accomplish, like going through their multiplication flashcards three times a week or completing an extra set of problems once a day. Small goals can help build knowledge in a less intimidating way and can help establish good habits for studying for the future. 

3. Working in a Dedicated Study Space

It can be difficult for many students to stay focused on their work when they’re distracted. Creating a dedicated study space can help many students focus on their work. A good study space includes working technology, easy-to-reach supplies, and more. 

4. Figuring Out What Study Technique Works for Them

There are lots of ways to study, including using flash cards, joining study groups, and more. Help your student explore different ways to learn concepts so that they can discover the one that works best for them. Keep in mind that different strategies may work for different subjects! 

A parent and an online student working on an assignment to build good academic habits.

5. Taking Effective Notes

In the digital age, more students are depending on provided course materials rather than taking their own notes. Encourage your student to find what note-taking method works best for them, whether that means taking notes digitally or with a pen and paper. That way, they have the information they need to reinforce their learning long after a lesson is over. 

6. Asking for Help When They Need It

If your student runs into an issue or concept they don’t quite understand, encourage them to try problem-solving it first to find potential answers. Only if they’re unable to find the right answer should they ask for help from you, their Learning Coach, or their peers or teachers. How you execute this strategy depends on your child’s age group, but encouraging problem-solving from an early age can foster independent learning skills that will serve students well throughout their learning journey. 

7. Finding the Right Balance

Of course, academics are important, but so is whole-person growth. Motivate your student to work hard to create healthy study habits, but regularly remind them that their academic performance is only a part of who they are as a person. Encourage your student to pursue their passions outside of school, whether that means joining a local volunteer or sport group or participating in an virtual club or activity. After all, balance is key.  

Online school allows parents to have greater involvement in their child’s learning journey, including helping them develop good learning habits. Check out our article, “Online School vs. Traditional School,” to find out whether online learning might be the right choice for your family.  

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