Going to school online is already a challenge in and of itself, but it can be ten times harder for students living in a crowded house. With Mama walking back and forth in the background, Papa talking loudly on the phone, and Ate and Kuya taking their online classes in the same room, how can a student learn effectively in this type of setting?
Before you browse senior high requirements for next year, here are several strategies that can help:
1. Find a separate work station
If there is an area in your home with low foot-traffic, even if it’s somewhere unusual like in the corner of the kitchen or the hallway, move your work station there. Doing this can help you maintain focus on your classes by minimizing the distractions around you, especially if you have siblings in the house that are also going to online school.
2. Use headphones
Using headphones does not only make your teacher’s voice easier to hear, but it can also help minimize audible distractions around you. This is especially true if your home is crowded and has limited space. In this way, your family will still be able to make noise without the fear of disrupting your classes, and you will remain focused despite the normal bustling of the household around you.
3. Soundproof your room
If you have a separate bedroom in the house, we recommend setting your work station there. To further eliminate distractions while you’re taking online classes, soundproof your room by installing soundproofing materials on the walls or hanging thick tapestries that can deaden the noise coming in or out.
4. Communicate with your family
Since your family members will likely be the primary sources of distractions and noises, communicating with them is the best way to make online classes easier for you. For example, ask them to keep the noise to a minimum while you are in class, and to avoid walking back and forth in the background while your camera is on. If there are very young children in the household, ask your family members to keep them quiet while you’re in class.
5. Do homework during non-busy times
It can be hard to focus on schoolwork when everybody in the house is up and about, more so if you don’t have enough space to do your work. If this is the case for you, it might be better to do homework at night or early in the morning while everybody else is asleep. Alternatively, do your work during siesta times or while your family members are out of the house.
6. Hang a backdrop
To prevent the rest of your class from being distracted by the people moving in your background, hang a backdrop behind you using a curtain or blanket. Better yet, orient your computer so that you are directly in front of a wall.
7. Eliminate distractions
Turn off the TV, put your phone away, and keep your work area tidy. You’re already working at a disadvantage by taking classes in a crowded home; don’t make it harder by letting yourself be distracted.
8. Go outside
If your Internet connection allows it, try taking your laptop or tablet to an area outside with minimal distractions.
9. Set up ‘cubicles’
If you are not the only one taking online classes in the house, and there is no room for all of you to take online courses in separate areas, set up ‘cubicles’ between your workstations using blankets, curtains, or large pieces of paper. While these makeshift walls won’t prevent sounds from traveling to and fro your designated areas, it will help minimize distractions for all of you by eliminating the view from each others’ computers.
10. Take night classes
Night classes are usually between 5 to 10 PM. If this is an option for you, consider taking night classes to do your work while there is not much activity going on inside the house. Moreover, if you are a working student, a night schedule can help you focus on school solely at night instead of trying to do work and classes simultaneously during the day.
The shift to online learning is a challenge for most of us. If you are having trouble with online classes while in a crowded household, try these strategies to help you manage.
Do you have more tips to share for online students? Please share them with us in the comments below!