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.
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.
HS4CC Tips for Keeping the Monkey in its Place
- Create a “due date calendar” for your teen’s class even when there are no due dates.
- Take the time to break bigger assignments into smaller assignments (checkpoints).
- Roughly calculate how many clock-hours you want your teen to devote each week.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.