6 Tips to Motivate and Focus Yourself for Next Semester
It happens the same way every year.
You start off the school year full blast with fresh excitement, brand new books, sharp pencils (with erasers), and a will to work.
BUT… about halfway through the year, you find your enthusiasm has tragically crash-landed in the sad, sad little world of “I just can’t do this anymore…” Don’t give up – hope remains!
Here are tips on how to prevent and remedy this annual dilemma, which, as a seasoned Seton student, I have found helpful over the years.
1. Make Daily Goals
Before you start your schoolwork for the day, catch up with your parents/parent on where you are in your studies (since most high-schoolers are semi/fully independent).
For example, “I’m on Week 5, D1 in History.” Then, discuss your priorities with them and set a goal you wish to achieve that day.
This will avoid confusion on both sides, and help you stay focused.
2. You’re On Your Own Time
Set a certain amount of time aside for each class as needed – give yourself more time for difficult classes and a little less time for classes you know you’ll breeze through. Keep track with whatever you can find: an egg-timer, a stopwatch, or just a regular watch.
When time is up, drop everything and move on to the next class. If you didn’t get as much done as you would have liked, it’s okay – you have the freedom as a home-schooled student to do more later on.
Timing yourself will give you a challenge and help prevent your mind from wandering.
3. Change of Atmosphere
If you have attempted to use both of the ideas listed above, and STILL struggle to focus, your habit of sitting at a certain desk, in a certain room, all day, every day may be the culprit.
Change your atmosphere. You don’t have to go to Mars – relax on your beanbag for English reading, go outside on the porch swing for Religion, hang out in the basement for History, etc. Go. Somewhere. Else.
As long as the place isn’t overbearingly noisy or distracting, you’ll benefit from the change.
1. It’s All in the Mindset
As you face your pile of schoolwork to be done, do not heave a sigh and mutter “There’s SO MUCH to do…” Rather, ask your patron saint and guardian angel to assist you with your work and help you stay on track.
Then, try to turn your frown upside down and think positively: “Yes, this looks challenging, but I can do this.” A bad attitude will only make things worse for you.
2. Make It Fun!
Another way to re-motivate yourself is to make your schoolwork fun. How? Get creative! A rainbow of multi-colored pens will make notetaking and parent-graded quizzes more enjoyable. Working out math problems on a dry-erase board will give you a break from plain old pencils and paper.
Last, ask your parents if you may grade your own work once in a while – to temporarily put yourself in both the position of a teacher and a student, which will allow you to see your mistakes, correct answers in a different light, and make schoolwork more interesting.
3. Plan Ahead
Here is one final fun tip to help yourself in the motivation department. In your spare time, write down everything you want to do over summer break you can’t do during the busy school year. Put in it a place where you know you won’t miss it.
Reviewing it often will motivate you to actually WANT to do school – after all, the sooner you get to work, the sooner you’ll finish.
And the sooner you finish, the sooner you can engage in your favorite activities!
About Alyssum Pylar
Alyssum Pylar, is a seventeen-year-old high school senior who has been homseschooled for over 9 years with Seton. She lives with her family in the beautiful and scenic state of Michigan and enjoys all of the seasons the Mitten State has to offer. She is the big sister to Olivia (13), Maris (10), and John Francis, who is now in the loving arms of Our Lord. She has two funny and adorable cats named Momma Kitty and Leah, who love to eat, sleep, and make her laugh. She is fond of spending time with her family and friends, hunting and fishing, cross-country skiing, archery, and playing Christmas songs on the piano. After she graduates, she's considering learning website design and hopes to one day have her own blog, join her parish choir, and own a Gypsy Vanner (or at least ride one).