Top Tips for Learning at Home

learning at home graphic

1) Create a study space

It is important to create the right environment for learning at home.  You will need enough space to fit your learning resources.  An office is ideal but not always possible to have, therefore you may need to adapt to what you have available.  Having a dedicated learning area can be useful, to have quiet space and to help get you in the zone.  

2) Get Organised

It is a good idea to make sure that you have the right IT equipment and stationery etc.  It is also important to keep your study space clean and organised.  Keeping your learning resources in one place can help you save time.

It is also good to create a timetable or planner when learning at home, so you know when to set aside time for studying.  You may want to use an app or put learning time in your diary or calendar.  It may also be useful to plan for tasks that you need to complete and if you need to do any assignments or assessments schedule these as well.

3) Manage your time

You may at times feel like your time is limited for learning, but hopefully you can manage your time effectively, structure your days and fit learning in. It is important to establish a routine if you can.

Some people like to set a stopwatch or timer to time the amount of learning that they want to do.  It is important to have study time but you also want to avoid study overload. 

It is also important to study at the right time for you too, whether you are a morning person or a night owl, take advantage of when learning is best for you.

4) Take regular breaks

Be kind to yourself and make sure you take regular breaks when learning.  Be sure to move away from your study space too.  Taking breaks can help you to refocus.

5) Eat well

When learning at home don't forget to eat regularly and eat the right foods to help you stay on top form.

6) Avoid distractions

It is important to avoid distractions and stay focused while learning.  Maybe switch off your mobile phone and avoid checking emails whilst learning.  Also get any little jobs done before you start learning, so they are not playing on your mind and so you then have time to relax after studying.

7) Get a good night’s sleep

Getting a good night's sleep and enough sleep is important to ensure you are refreshed and alert and ready to process new information.

8) Use your support network

Make sure that you have a support network and use it.  Whether it be family, friends, other students or tutors, it is important to stay connected and keep in touch with others.  Don't be afraid to ask for help or advice. 

Let family members know when you are learning so that you are not interrupted, friends can offer words of encouragement, other students will recognise what you are going through and tutors (if available for your course) are there to provide support too.  It is important when learning at home not to let yourself feel isolated.

9) Practice self-care

It is really important to practice self-care and to look after yourself.  Make sure studying doesn’t take over and you leave time to relax and to do something you enjoy.  Whether that be doing some exercise, talking to a friend, watching TV, cooking or reading a book.  You can then come back refreshed and motivated to learn some more.

10) Stay focused

A key thing is to stay focused on your end goal and think about the ways the learning will help you in the long term.  Use this to inspire you to continue learning and to help you complete your learning goals.

For more tips like these and to find out more about Learning at Home, visit the Climbing Frame website and the unionlearn [email protected] webpage

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Louisa Smith

Louisa Smith is a Projects Officer at unionlearn. She has worked for the TUC for over 15 years in TUC Learning Services and unionlearn.

Louisa is currently part of the Service Team, leading on Supporting Learners, Higher Learning, Supporting Younger Workers and also manages the union learning Climbing Frame website.