Tips For Home Study

Study is something you do from the first day of your course. Study means learning about something. This involves reading, observing and practising. Learning is not just piling data on top of more data. It is understanding more and discovering better ways to do things.

Create a space to study

The difference between studying online and going to school is that you are responsible for your learning environment. You provide a space to study, a computer and any other materials you need. If you study online without the necessary equipment, you will quickly fall behind. Have set places where you can study, ideally free from distractions such as loud music, talking, television noise and so on. This may not be easy but try to have set times and places for your study and stick to a routine.

Ensure you have reliable internet access

If your internet is not reliable, you might get interrupted throughout a lesson. Consider using a computer which is wired to your modem instead of relying on a wireless connection.

Manage your time

There should be regular periods in the week when you have spare blocks of time that you can devote to studying your subjects. Put yourself in a position where you can concentrate on your work. This is most unlikely to happen if your favourite television programme is on in the same room. The attention span of most people is 40-60 minutes. After such a period, have a drink and a rest, maybe do something else before studying for a further period.

Identify your goals

Before beginning to study any subject try to think and establish for yourself a purpose for studying it. Once you have done this, write what your goals are for each subject you take. Review them every day before you sit down to study your course materials. Read through your class notes daily, follow this up by reading the relevant topics in your course textbooks.

Do not go past any word that you do not understand

When you are reading or studying, have a dictionary with you. Never go past a word you don’t know the meaning of. To be a successful student, look up each word you don’t understand in a dictionary right away. Make sure you understand it thoroughly before you continue reading. The only reason a student becomes confused or gives up subject is because he or she has gone past a word that was not understood (Hubbard, 2003).

Use glossaries at the back of your textbooks

A “glossary” is a list of special or difficult words (usually in alphabetical order) with the explanations of those words. The term “glossary” comes from the Latin (the language that used to be spoken by the Romans) words “glossa”, which means “a hard word that needs explaining” and “arius”, which means “connected with” or “place for”. It is important that you use glossaries. You see, the purpose of any glossary is to give you an easy to understand explanation of the words as used in the materials being studied.

Do not hesitate to ask for help

Know that you can always contact your teacher for help. We all struggle with study materials sometimes, and you might have better luck with some subjects than with others. If you need clarification, login to the Online School Portal and use the chat box to contact your teacher, who is there to help you. Just remember to phrase your question politely and to give as many details as possible.

Participate in online discussions

Login to the Online School Portal and start participating in online discussions. When you discuss a topic with other students and teachers, you often learn more than if you study it on your own. Furthermore, you will gain a sense of community that can make online learning more enjoyable.

Stay Motivated

Motivation has something to do with having the right attitude. Your attitude to something is the way that you think and feel about it rather than what you can and can’t do.


“Whether you think you can, or think
you can’t, you’re right.”
Henry Ford.

Here are some simple suggestions to help you stay motivated:

  • Remember when you wrote down your goals for each subject? Keep reminding yourself of them.
  • Tap into your interests and dislikes. See what learning techniques really engage you and focus on topics that get you excited.
  • Take regular breaks. Get outside. Taking a walk for 15 minutes or so can help increase concentration.
  • Ensure you have a daily and weekly study schedule. Reward yourself for sticking to it. Maybe you get an extra hour of television in the evening, or spend more time with friends, or play a new computer game you’ve wanted to try. Whatever it is, create a reward system that turns your online learning experience into an enjoyable adventure.