Advice for Excelling in Online Learning

This post is crossposted on IU High School’s blog.

Here’s some additional advice I have gained through my experiences at IUHS:

  • I found that focusing on 1-3 courses each day was more productive than working on all of my courses I was taking in a semester; this allowed more time to intently focus on a few assignments, rather than 5-6 assignments.
  • Use a planner to assign dates and times for your assignments, tests, and exams. Over the course of four years, I have used a paper planner, Todoist, Trello, iCloud calendar, and others to help me figure out the best way to plan out my days, weeks, and months. You will have to experiment to find out the method/s that work best for you, but having a planner and a to-do list will help you keep track of what needs to be done every day. 
  • Find someone to help you stay on track. My mom has served this role for me. It can be simple, such as sharing your progress and plans with your accountability partner through a productivity platform like Trello. Or it can be something more complex like having a morning meeting every day to discuss what tasks need to be completed in order for you, the student, to stay on track.
  • Remember the distinction between procrastination and taking breaks. Procrastination is knowing you need to complete a task, but continuing to put it off. Taking a break is being smart enough to recognize the fact that your brain, body, and well-being need time to recover, so that you can be a more efficient and consistent student. Remember, work smarter, not harder.
  • Unfortunately, I cannot protect you from failure and procrastination during your high school journey. However, I can remind you that failures should not be feared, but rather should be treated as lessons and opportunities for personal growth. Failing can show that you have the courage and desire to grow and better yourself. Additionally, I can tell you as a former IUHS student that learning how to manage your stress and to avoid procrastination during your high school years will prepare you and even give you an advantage over your future classmates in college, colleagues, and friends. Learning to manage stress and avoid procrastination is hard, but I am glad I started learning these lessons in the safe, supportive environment at IUHS before I head out into the “real world”. 
  • Always listen to music without words while studying. Okay, this may be a weird one, but it is true, at least in my experiences. Music with lyrics always distracted me from what I was working on.
  • Try to turn off social media and other notifications that are not immediately important on your devices while studying. Additionally, I have had to keep my phone off my desk while I am working to stay focused and motivated. 
  • Try to work around other people. I noticed that when I worked on my schoolwork near my younger sister who was working on her own schoolwork, I was more productive and focused. Working at a coffeehouse, a cafe, the library, or other public places where people were around, but were not too distracting, also helped me stay focused on my schoolwork.

Some final words of advice from Colin Powell, 65th United States Secretary of State:

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

Let me know if you have any other questions by leaving a comment down below.

~ Ceilidh

Busy and fun day.

Today was very busy, but fun! I had a pottery class, which I learned a lot in. I got to work on some school, not as much as I wanted to get done, but I still made progress.

I got to have some relaxing time today, I watched Lilo & Stitch (with my Stitch ;)) and I got to watch some Firefly with my Dad.

I hope tomorrow is just as successful and fun as today was.

~ Ceilidh

Tuesday and Wednesday

I had two great days and I got some very good schoolwork in. I’m very tired tonight so this post will be short. I just wanted to say that I’m very happy with what I’ve accomplish the past two days, and I hope the rest of this week I’ll be as productive as the last two days were.

Highlight of my Tuesday: My favorite vloggers, Tim and Jenn Tracker, read my postcard I sent them!!!! Which absolutely made my day!!!

~ Ceilidh

FUN day with my family

This morning I went up to Greenwood with my mom and sister to take the car in for a check-up. While the car was being serviced, we went shopping at JCPenney’s and ate at BJ’s Brewhouse. We got a lot of good stuff at JCPenney’s (including a Sulley onesie for me!) and had an amazing meal at BJ’s (I got a caesar salad :)).

After we got back from Greenwood, we rested for a bit before we went to pick up my Dad from work. Friday nights are our family date nights, so today was my turn to go out with my Dad. We went to Barnes and Noble and the movie store (Family Video), both of which were lots of fun and we got some fun stuff at both stores.

Now, I’m spending the rest of the night with my whole family. I’m glad I got to spend some special time with each of them individually today.

Can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds for me, hopefully, a productive and relaxing Saturday.

~ Ceilidh

I had a very productive day

Today was a very productive school day for me. I got 2 biology assignments, a lab, and a geometry assignment turned in. I already found out that I got 100% on my geometry assignment. YAY!

I’m spending most of the day tomorrow in Greenwood, we’re taking our car for a check-up. While the car is being worked on, my mom, sister, and I are going to shop and eat at the Greenwood mall. I’m excited to get to spend some time with them!

I hope tomorrow feels just as productive as today felt!

~ Ceilidh

I’m a puzzle and Star Wars lover

I’ve spent most of the day working on puzzles, one at my Grandparent’s and one at my home. I love working puzzles because it gives me something to take my mind off everything and just focus on one thing. I also love puzzles because they give my brain a workout which makes me feel better.

I got to see Rogue One today and it was AMAZING!!! I think I liked it better than The Force Awakens, but not as much as the original trilogy. Oh, and it was definitely way better than the prequel trilogy (which isn’t hard, though).

I’m glad I got to spend some time with my family today which made me super happy. Now, I’m going to go work on the puzzle again.

~ Ceilidh

Disney Travel

My family and I have been to the Disney Parks 7 times, 6 at Walt Disney World and once at Disneyland. I love visiting the parks, but what I love even more is the actually planning for the vacation.

I just got back from Disneyland and I plan to start giving reviews and thoughts about the experience. I really enjoy both parks and I’m glad I finally got to visit Disneyland, and I can’t wait to share it with you. I hope I will help you plan for your future visits to the parks with this blog.

~ Ceilidh

Dance Life

I’ve been dancing basically my whole life, I have recently joined a new and upcoming studio in my town and so far it has been a wonderful experience.

I was a competitive gymnast for 9 years, ok 3 of those were actually when my parents and I thought gymnastics would just be a fun activity I do only once a week, but instead I ended up in a very competitive sport that I did up to five days a week.

I’ve also done musical theater, which is actually where my love for dance was born. I learned tap, jazz, ballet technique, and of course, musical theater styles of dance from my time in musical theater. Musical theater definitely helped my dance ability get where it is today.

I also did showchoir which is where I was introduced to modern/contemporary and hip-hop styles of dance. The choreographer of the showchoir program I was in definitely took my dancing to the next level.

Now, I’m at a dance studio where I can continue to strengthen in all dance styles that I love. I plan to use this blog to record my dance progress through the next few years.

~ Ceilidh



Welcome to my first ever weekly TOP-10, I plan to release one each Sunday at exactly 12:00 a.m. EST.

Here’s the first one:

My TOP-10 2017 Goals:

  1. Keeping up with this blog throughout the entire year and posting at least once a day.
  2. Keeping up with my studies.
  3. Swim 300 meters without stopping (I need this skill to be a lifeguard, which is a big goal of mine for next year, of course :)).
  4. See my abs again.
  5. Spend LESS time on my gadgets.
  6. Get back to reading as much as I used to.
  7. Get back to being as active as I used to.
  8. Drink MORE water.
  9. Read a passage from the Bible once a day for a year.
  10. Get together with my friends more often.