Tips for online school from a professional home schooler


Photo courtesy of Joey Wolf

Joey Wolf is a home schooled senior who lives in Silver Spring. Wolf is taught by his mom and enjoys playing his guitar.

Joey Wolf is a high school senior who lives in Silver Spring (zoned for Einstein) and has been home-schooled pretty much his entire life, except for about a year of preschool. His mom teaches him and his three younger siblings. If he had gone to school, he most likely would have attended the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville.

Q: How do you manage working at the same time as your siblings?
A: Make sure to spend time with your siblings when they ask. If you do they will be willing to give you space and peace and quiet when you need it.

Q: How often do you recommend students should take a break from work and for how long?
A: You’ll get the majority of your work done when you are most energized, don’t sit in one place for more than two to three hours at a time. When sitting at a desk sit with good posture\; feet flat on the ground and use your back muscles to sit upright.

Q: What does your daily schedule look like?
A: Plan ahead your day the night before. I wake up at 6:00 or 6:30 a.m., run, shower, eat breakfast, work on assignments, eat lunch at noon, take an hour break for lunch, go back to work, stop working at either 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. and go to bed between 10:00-11:00 p.m.

Q: How do you keep a routine?
A: Routine is similar to a habit, you have to stick with it. The routine should be easy to follow. Remember to persevere. It takes 30 days of following a routine for that routine to become a habit.

Q: What should you make sure to include in your daily schedule?
A: Make time to use the restroom, eat, hydrate and go to bed at a decent hour.

Q: How do you keep your motivation while staying home?
A: Make goals about where you want to be in the next week, year or even five years from now. Sticking to your goals should help.

Q: How do you go about teaching yourself?
A: I usually read as much about a topic that I can find, and for math, keep doing problems to practice. I don’t like going to Google and finding Youtube videos. You can always ask a friend or your parents might know someone who can help you.

Q: What tips do you have on taking a test at home?
A: Do what you can to minimize distractions, get a good night of sleep the night before, eat a good breakfast/lunch and get some exercise (remember to social distance) before you sit down and take the test.

Q: How do you stay organized?
A: I use bullet journaling. Bullet journaling is when the night before I make a to-do list of everything I want to accomplish the next day and make a time schedule planning the day out.

Q: How do you keep up a social life when home-schooled?
A: Homeschooling is not about being online. I’ve only started taking online classes since everything was shut down. We have our own social groups that connect to our classes. Plus I’m involved with USY, BBYO and NCSY.

Q: Do you have a designated study/work spot? Do you think it’s important to have one?
A: I don’t think it’s important. What’s more is important is mentality. I sometimes work in my bed and on a park bench, but I spend most of my time working at my desk.

Q: How do you keep focused and not get distracted?
A: It all comes down to motivation and your goals. Your goals will keep you motivated. My bullet journaling keeps me focused.