Switching to online, homeschool or flex is a lifestyle change. It has its benefits, but it takes some getting used to. Our students can contest to that.

That doesn’t mean your child won’t excel in the independent study environment. All it takes is a little discipline and hard work.

It’s easier said than done, we know.

When it comes to motivating your child–or really anything to do with raising your child–the number of tips and unsolicited advice you’ll receive is limitless.

We could find a lot of articles and share our own expert opinions on how to best help your child excel in independent study. But for this article, we thought we’d get straight to the source: independent study students themselves.

We asked a few students tips they’d give fellow classmates for succeeding in online, flex and homeschool. Here’s what they told us:

Stay on track and don’t procrastinate

Don’t Procrastinate! The thing about independent study is you have so much time and freedom, so don’t say, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ because that leads to more skips and time sneaks up on you! At the end of the day, the time dwindles down with you being a few lessons short of your finished class!” – Alexis G., 10th grade

“Don’t get behind! When you get behind it is so much harder to catch up! Take it from someone who has been behind it is way easier to just do your work!” – Kambri S., 6th grade

“Getting behind in a course can cause you to work twice as hard. You also start to get stressed since there is so much work piling up. Staying on pace will ensure that you pass the class and stay away from unwanted stress.” Andrew A., 10th grade

Make your own schedule and stick to it

“One thing I do to stay on pace with my schoolwork is keeping a regular routine schedule and staying on top of my assignments.” – Jasmine G., 11th grade

“Always make a checklist of the classes that you’d like to complete and excel in every day! Also, make a strategy for how you’ll complete them.” – Kiiri M., 9th grade

When feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take a break

“Know how to stop and relax when things get way too hard. What I do to relax when things get stressful is take a deep breath get some water and read carefully the question or prompt,”- Jasmine G., 4th grade

Find a comfortable place to do schoolwork and organize it

Find a quiet place to work so that you can focus and do your best.” – Angelina B., 8th grade

Have different binders or notebooks for each class! Never use those notebooks for anything other than those classes!” – Kiiri M., 9th grade

Create rewards for motivation

Self motivation is key! When doing independent study, you need to have a lot of self discipline! It is important to keep yourself motivated and never give up!” Kambri S., 6th grade

Create an incentive for yourself when you finish a week’s worth of work. Mine is a victory milkshake!!” Angelina B., 10th grade

Ask for help

Ask for help! You know that the teacher may hold once or twice a week sessions but they are available to you for help! I honestly would say reaching out when your stuck or need something is the BEST thing for you to do! They don’t bite.” – Alexs G., 10th grade

“You will have a lot of trouble with courses if you don’t understand something and don’t ask for help. The teachers are always open to help you and there are various ways to get a hold of them.” – Andrew A., 7th grade

Take notes

“My second tip is to take notes. While going through courses, a lot of material is covered. Taking notes helps verify what you’ve learned and can go a long way when preparing for the checkpoints and exams.” Andrew A., 7th grade

Strive for your best

“Do your Best! The one thing that’s great is the chance you get to be your best! Don’t finish that assignment at a 90% when you know you can take it another time for that extra 10%. Don’t be afraid to contact your teacher for another chance at that exam that you missed a few questions on! Every grade counts so why not raise your grade when you have the option and know you can?!” – Alexis G., 10th grade

“WORK HARD!! Don’t think that just because it is independent study that it is easy! You still have to put the time in. Give it your all to succeed!” – Kambri S., 6th grade