How to Catch Up at School Following a Long Absence

Students have all sorts of reasons for prolonged absence. An illness might draw them from their schooling — either their own or a loved one’s. They might choose to dig their heels into a demanding extracurricular activity that pulls them from their studies. Or they may be part of a non-traditional family that travels often or relocates frequently.

Whatever the reason, that student still deserves a fair shot at a timely, quality education. And to pull it off, they’ll need to strategize how best to catch up.

In this article, explore a few common ways to cover lost ground, work ahead, and graduate on track with your peers.

Consider Online Education

Online school is a fantastic alternative to the brick-and-mortar education experience — especially for students playing catch-up.

Unlike physical schools, online institutions are flexible with their start and end dates and do not require you to keep regular hours.

If your family travels often or you spend your daytime hours on something other than school, online learning lets you fit your studies around the unconventional schedule. Just make sure you choose a reputable, quality, ministry inspected online school approved to grant credits toward a diploma.

Choose a Self-Paced Model to Work Ahead

The best online schools follow what’s known as an “asynchronous model” — or self-paced learning in simpler terms.

Essentially, under a self-paced model, the student sets their own speed rather than following a strict classroom pace set by a teacher. They can work slowly through a course, ensuring they digest every last morsel of knowledge in the textbook. Or, in the case of absentee students playing catch-up, they can work quickly through a course — putting in longer hours, and potentially finishing in half the time of a regular brick-and-mortar class.

Self-paced studies are a terrific way to fast-track your education and graduate alongside your peers. But it’s tough to pull off quickly without the following point on our list.

Utilize Tutors and Outside Help

 If you plan to expedite your studies, you need every bit of help you can get. The last thing you want is to blow through high school courses haphazardly. Sure, you may finish on time. But it could be at the expense of competitive (or even passing) grades.

The best online schools offer 24/7 tutoring to students, in addition to one-on-one time with teachers and faculty. Use these resources. Don’t be afraid to call for help whenever you get stuck. And if you don’t attend an online school with built-in tutoring resources, strongly consider hiring a private tutor.

Additionally, you can call on parents, peers and even internet resources to help you as you power through your courses.

Create SMART Goals and a Reasonable Timeline

Lastly, you’ll need to manage your time effectively and create SMART goals to stay on track. It’s much easier to pull off an expedited school course if you have clear structures in place to guide you.

You can read more about SMART goals at this handy link, which tells you everything you need to know about creating effective academic goals. As for crafting a schedule, begin by establishing a reasonable timeline; then, break your course down into units and determine how long to spend on each. From there, you can further break down the units and assignments, so you have something resembling a daily/weekly study schedule.

Don’t let a setback turn into an overwhelming fall-behind. Follow the straightforward steps above to get back on track.

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