Posted in HS4CC

Procrastination in Self-Paced Classes

One of our most popular programs, Arizona State University Universal Learner, offers several self-paced classes. We also know that credit by exam options like CLEP or the ACE programs like Sophia or Studycom all use self-paced models. If you’re considering a self-paced class this year for your teen, procrastination is a big problem that can gobble your time and money.

TED Talk

I want to open this post with a short video by Tim Urban. He has an excellent (and funny) presentation about why we procrastinate, and I think it’s well worth 14 minutes if you’re planning self-paced courses for your teen this coming year. If you don’t watch the video, the tips that follow won’t make sense.

Tim Urban: Inside the Mind of a Procrastinator

HS4CC Tips for Keeping the Monkey in its Place

  1. Create a “due date calendar” for your teen’s class even when there are no due dates.
  2. Take the time to break bigger assignments into smaller assignments (checkpoints).
  3. Roughly calculate how many clock-hours you want your teen to devote each week.
  4. Work in “recovery” periods to catch up when you fall behind. An example might be to assign 1 recovery week every 3 weeks. If the student is on time, they can either work ahead or take the week off as a reward!
  5. Embrace the panic monster! Tie high-reward activities to deadlines. There is nothing wrong with pulling the occasional “all-nighter” or working extra hard to meet a deadline.
  6. Some students excel under the panic/pressure and love to work hard and fast in small chunks instead of a little each day – if this is your teen’s style, teach them strategies to make that work for them.
  7. Some students experience negative stress and shut down under panic/pressure. If you see this happening in your teen, consider removing the course from their schedule and setting them up for success by using a paced course next time.
  8. Homeschooling for College Credit takes advantage of resourceful high school planning, which means YOU get to help your teen find success. Embrace that role and remember that earning even 1 college credit in high school puts them ahead.


Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit