Freshman Boost Camp: Establishing Routines

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Freshman Boost - Part 1: Establishing Routines

    The first year of high school is a year of incredible change. Students (often) are in a new building with new teachers, new staff and new expectations. It’s our goal here at NexTech to support all of our new students, especially our new 9th grade class. The blended learning model is an additional new item that our new students need to get acclimated to. This series of posts is targeted at new high school students for NexTech and tips for their success in their first year. 

Establishing Routines

At NexTech, students are able to come to school either in the morning or the afternoon session. There are multiple benefits of this program, one being our ability to keep class sizes small and another being the freedom for students to work independently on their tasks as they need. We also know that relationships matter with the staff and teachers here on-campus. The learning experiences here matter. Success happens when the magic happens between student independent work and their learning here on-campus. 

Students, establishing a school-home routine will help you set yourself up so that you can have a scheduled time to work on your tasks on a daily basis. I like to make the comparison to the modern-workplace. Many offices are implementing work-from-home policies where the employees work from their home offices and go to the office building when they have important meetings. Setting up a schedule of work time helps you be successful and stay accountable. 

Here are some simple tips to help you set your routine:

  • Picking and communicating a work time 
    • Understand when you work best! Think about when you are your most alert or when you have the most uninterrupted time at home. This should help guide you to pick your “work hours” at home. 
    • Once you have decided when your work hours are, tell everyone! Tell your parents, your work, and your friends. This should be a protected time that you keep sacred. Don’t let anyone steal this time away from you. 
  • Use technology to help you keep accountable. 
    • Google Calendar (calendar.google.com) is something you have access to through your NexTech email. You can load this app on your phone as well. Schedule your work time into your calendar and you’ll receive updates and reminders about when you should be working. Parents, you can have your child share their Google calendar with you and you can integrate it into your app as well! 
    • Screen Time (iPhone) is a setting integrated within the iOS operating system. You can set your phone to stop you from browsing the internet on your phone during set times during the week. Here is information about setting Screen Time hours (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208982).
    • Android - Screen Time Apps are available as well as iOS. Here is a list of options for ways to limit distracting technology during your work hours. (https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/best-apps-for-limiting-your-screen-time/ )
  • Use frequent breaks
    • Even the most productive individuals do not work the whole day through. Know that you need to take breaks. Set a timer for your work time and break time. Make sure you get back and back on track from your break in a timely manner. 
    • I recommend taking a 10 minute break for every hour of work. 
    • Try to give your eyes a break from screens during your break. This means that hoping on Instagram or Fortnite will not give your brain and eyes enough a break. 
    • Movement helps! Take a walk, do some chores, have a snack, and do some things to take care of yourself during your breaks. 


As you start school here at NexTech, communicate your work time plan with your Homeroom teacher! You’ll also hear things here about how your teachers work at home to get their work done as well. Being open about your plan helps you not only get feedback about how it is working, but you can also help others develop your own plan. 


Next Up: 
Freshman Boost Camp - Part 2: Setting up your workspace