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4 Study Strategies to Work Smarter this Semester - Anna Eileen

4 Study Strategies to Work Smarter this Semester


Winter can be a tough time for motivation, Seton alumna Anna Eileen shares 4 study strategies to achieve more this semester and crush your homeschool goals.

It can be hard for anyone to return to school from Christmas break, but I think homeschoolers are often more reluctant than others to return to their routine.

This is because they are home all day, anyway, so Christmas break feels more like a better version of everyday life than something different from the norm.

Because of this, winter and spring can be tough times for motivation, causing students to need more self-discipline than usual.

Here are my top four ways to work smarter this semester and do more work in less time.

1. Get started on school soon after you wake up.

Some people can handle a long, slow start to their day, but I am way more productive when I get started on work first thing.

I can often do more in the first two hours I am awake than I can in an entire afternoon. I even sometimes prefer to work 6-7 days a week for fewer hours, just to keep that same morning study routine going.

I think homeschoolers often get frustrated, because they are getting behind, so they stop trying as hard as they could.

If you plan quality, distraction-free time early in the morning, you will feel a sense of accomplishment at completing assignments that will continue to motivate you to persevere in your studies.

2. Find a homeschooling accountability partner.

I realize this sounds kind of ridiculous, but people use accountability partners to meet many goals, and having a productive homeschool semester is a great goal.

Find a real life homeschool friend or someone on Seton’s message boards. Check in with each other every evening and share what you have accomplished.

Not having to tell someone else that you got little done because you were distracted by Facebook is a good incentive to focus. Plus, by reaching out on Seton’s message boards, you may make cool friends.

I met a lot of nice Seton students online throughout high school, and I keep in touch with some today.

3. Make your goals task-oriented instead of time-oriented.

It can seem like a great thing to say, “I will work on this paper for 1 hour and then take a break.”

However, that hour is not likely to be as productive as it would be if you set a task-oriented goal like, “I will write two paragraphs of this paper and then I will take a break.”

The reason for this is, with the time-oriented goal, the only thing you are telling yourself is you must sit down and do something related to your paper for one hour. You are not giving yourself any incentive to focus and work hard.

With the task-oriented goal, you are setting clear expectations for yourself and get rewarded for focusing. It’s like the difference between getting paid by the hour versus by the project.

One caveat with this is you need to make your goals something that you can accomplish in a reasonable time frame, or you will be tempted to rush through your work carelessly.

4. If you get stuck, get help before you get frustrated.

I know how challenging it can be to teach yourself tough subjects, like geometry. However, the good thing with Seton is you don’t have to do everything by yourself.

Call a counselor, watch a math video, or ask your parent. Sitting at your desk for twenty minutes, struggling to understand a frustrating problem, is a great way to zap your motivation and productivity, but seeking help will help your learning and boost your morale.

Seton students and fellow alumni, what are your best productivity tips?

About Anna Eileen

Anna Eileen
Anna Eileen is a member of the Seton Home Study School Class of 2014 and is now a sophomore in the nursing program at Aquinas College Nashville. She is a scholarship coach with two years of experience tutoring students of all ages.

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