ONLINE LEARNING: How to “get” yourself to learn

Exactly two weeks ago, at about noon, it was announced that classes would be held at a distance for the next 14 days without going to school. Many were not yet aware of the real gravity of the whole situation, which in the meantime had become even more serious and more difficult. Two weeks ago, some students might have thought that there were some kind of holidays ahead of them. What then seemed to be a kind of vacation became almost the opposite. There is a lot to be done and there is a lot of time in the day to do it, but in fact time is short. For all that we would like to do and all that we should.


It is important that we do what we can

In the morning when we wake up and have a full day ahead of us, we are often full of plans and ideas, and in the evening we realize that we have not been able to realize them all that much. Why? Some things just didn’t work out for us, while others took us a lot longer than planned, so we didn’t even get to the third ones.

With all other responsibilities, schoolwork is no exception – it’s easier when we get organized and have at least some structure. Plan. Schedule. At the same time, it is of great benefit when this layout is realistic, within the scope of what we can really accomplish and make.

Lately, especially the last five days, our thoughts are often elsewhere, we have been wandering off. We care. We are frustrated with the restrictions. Maybe our families are already getting on our nerves. Like us. And we cannot direct our minds to what is our obligation – school. We cannot concentrate. There are better days and bad ones. And better ones again. Maybe in one day we change our moods several times.

It is important that we do what we can. At least we will briefly remove the focus from the situation we are in and we should theoretically feel better because we have done something. We should not aim too high, nor do we need too much of ourselves; as much as we can. Important to try. And let’s get started.

Try to find a more peaceful place at home where you can study and do schoolwork. If you do not have your own room, try to arrange a time for your family to leave you a place where you can work without major distractions.

Find the time of day that works best for you. Currently, we are not limited to just a few hours before afternoon or a few hours between lunch and training. If you seem to remember better in the morning – then it’s your time.

Make a plan, especially if you have a backlog before. Count how many lessons you need to learn, how many pages, how many unfilled pages of a workbook, how many unwritten tasks, what are all the subjects. Distribute them by day. If you have 6 history lessons you want to complete by the end of the week, you can schedule them so you learn two each day. Or three today, three tomorrow, before you’re done and you’re free on Sunday, at least as far as history goes.

Write down what you need to do. Make a list. Sometimes it helps when we really see, and not only do we have some framework concept in our head, so it seems very little or very much to us, but in reality it is different. Put a check mark next to the completed task or cross it. You will be pleased to see that it gets shorter with time.


You can also write assignments separately, each on a separate piece of paper. Eg. Learn Ottoman Empire, Biology – Asia – RB. If you have post-it, put somewhere where you will see them and where they do not bother you or others. How you do the task, take off the paper, fold it, tear it up, throw it away. Some of you will probably feel special. With every piece of paper thrown in, there’s less work waiting for you.

It happens that we really have the best intention of doing something, we are motivated, but after a while we realize that we didn’t do anything, that we didn’t really start, and time has passed. In the current circumstances, this is something you can expect. You may find it harder to concentrate than usual. And it may seem that you can’t remember anything, that it just doesn’t go to your head. It helps some to read aloud to hear themselves. You can try and be a professor and teach yourself a lesson. Think about the questions your professor might ask you and try to memorize the material. You can also start by first reading the questions at the end of the lesson to see what it is all about, so you’ll have at least some skeleton of what’s in front of you.

But if you just can’t afford to study, at least take a book or a notebook and read it. Try to convince yourself that you are about to read a really interesting text. Maybe it works. Anyway, read on. As much as it may seem that you will not benefit from it and that you will have to do it later, you will be surprised how much easier it will be to master that lesson later. Still, you remember reading something. If anything, at least your content will be somewhat familiar next time.

Make a plan, schedule the material by day, by hour in the day, by importance, just keep it realistic and feasible. It works at its own pace. As much as you can.

And after doing what you have intended and being able to do, do for yourself something that makes you happy and you like it (of course, within the limits of an emergency) – we all need it these days!


By: Tanja Manović, social pedagogue


Disclaimer: This is unofficial translation provided for information purposes. Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center can not be held legally responsible for any translation inaccuracy.  

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