I have done everything to get into a four year credited college. I got good grades, took the SATs (several times I might add), took online classes (some even with a normal school load), even graduated a year early! Now, all I'm asking is for a little help from the world. But I am not asking for anything for free. I will work for anything you have to offer. And remember, nothing is too small or too insignificant. Advice or a kind word is as greatly appreciated as a donation or contribution.



Saturday, July 24, 2010

How To Graduate High School *For Parents Too!*

In the days leading up to my trip, I've decided to create How To's since there is a lot I would like to share about High School.

Note: This is also for parents too!

Today's How To: How To Graduate High School

1: Take Online Courses.

I took about a whole school year's worth of online courses, and I found it was easier to learn online than it was in school. Now, online courses have a bad rap with students because most are afraid that it isn't for them. I've had several people tell me that they just couldn't stay focused with an online course. While this might be true, most of those students probably looked at the course, looked around, and decided that it wasn't worth the effort. (I'm so sure, I'd bet on it.)
I don't know how many online course sites there are out there, but for anyone living in Florida FLVS (Florida Virtual School) is the best. It's free for middle and high school students, and you can take as many classes as you want. I took Physics, Algebra, Algebra II, Geometry, Driver's ED, Pre-Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, American History, and Micro Economics...either Honors or AP. All of the courses offered at FLVS are based on an "at-your-own-pace" type of deal. It's even part of their motto.

My advice is to at least try FLVS if you are having difficulties with learning certain subjects in school such as math and history (like me), or if you just want to get ahead in high school and graduate early. Online courses take a lot of determination to finish (because you have to do it all out of school) but they can prove to be worth your while if you stick with them.

2: Take "Good" Notes

They were right when they said, "if you write it, you're more likely to remember it."

Though, I've found it was really hard to take "Good" notes. Who really knows what good notes are? As long as it wasn't one sentence, I figured it was ok. Wrong!! I also tried writing everything down...and when I went back to it later I got bored reading pages of notes.

The best way to take "good" notes is to write things that you can use later to help you remember the lesson. Even if it is a short phrase to remind you of something, such as "SOH CAH TOA." For those who haven't taken Trigonometry yet, that probably is a bunch of gibberish. But for those of you who have, it means "Sine: Opposite over Hypotenuse, Cosine: Adjacent over Hypotenuse, Tangent: Opposite over Adjacent." This are very important to remember for graphing and other trig functions, the little phrase SOH CAH TOA helps you remember it, and is easy and fast to write down when taking notes.

3: Schedule Your Year Smartly

If you already know you have to take PE and you hate it, schedule another "fun" class right after or before it (or take it online!). In order to save yourself from a bad attitude all year, schedule plenty of "fun" classes you enjoy taking, like band, art, culinary, forensics, or even an academic class you're good at. This will keep your positive attitude high and you will feel better during a hard or boring class.

4: Don't Let Your Ipod Rule Your Grades

If you're like me, then you would love to have every teacher allow Ipod listening during class. You don't see why it isn't allowed, because you do so much better with it playing in the background.

Music may let you relax and focus better on your studies, but you can't let it rule you. Even if you are able to have it on during some classes, even the most "lax" teachers will not let you even touch it during an exam. And if you're like me, your exam scores will show that you aren't as focused as you were when you had it on. So, try to leave your Ipod out of class. Experiment with ways of distracting yourself enough so you can focus. Here's one that I found to be effective. I have a watch that clicks softly like an old grandfather clock every second. While it may sound just annoying, during a test it was almost like I had music on. It at least was a steady beat, and when I needed a distraction to focus, it helped. And the really great part was that it wasn't loud enough to distract anyone else in the room.

If that doesn't work for you, try silently tapping your foot to a beat. This will also provide your brain with a "distraction" but you will still be able to focus on the material in front of you.

5: Try Different Ways To Study

If there is one thing you take from this post, it's the necessity to STUDY! Yes, it may be boring for most...but it is a must, even for the lucky people who have photographic memories. As I said in an earlier post, there are many different ways to study and it is important that you find which one works for you.

*Try having a "Study Party" (like college kids do) if you just can't make your class interesting enough to remember. *Just remember to study:) *

*Try flash cards if you are able to remember small facts by repetition.

*Try creating a song or beat in your head to go along with your notes if you remember music lyrics easily.

*Try recording yourself repeating phrases or facts if you can remember things you hear better than see. *This can also be helpful if you are taking a foreign language class too*

*Try creating phrases like SOH CAH TOA if you just need a little reminder. Someone in my Algebra II class came up with "I Won, I Won, and in-between I lost" to remember the imaginary numbers values:
i = i
i^2 = -1
i^3 = -i
i^4 = 1
and so on...

Because Won sounds exactly like One, it reminds you that the value is one, and not i. The word "lost" is supposed to remind you that whatever the value is, it is negative. The pattern repeats every 4 terms.

High School is rough, but it can be made easier. My last tip:
6: Relieve Stress

Stress does a lot to your mind, and your body. And during school, it is not beneficial to be over stressed. If you have a hectic life, take a small break from it all. If you can't take a vacation, plan a day or an hour to be by yourself or with friends.
Lighting candles and turning up the music is one way, but drawing, playing an instrument, and even working out are all very good ways to relieve any extra stress.

So students, take these tips and learn from them! Parents, use these tips to help your kids! And if anyone has any questions or suggestions, please comment! If you have anything to add, I'd love to hear from you!

Hope this helps,

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