The situation is this: Your child enjoys school. They like their classes and their teachers. They complete their homework every night. The students are trying hard-but they aren’t seeing the kind of academic gains and grades you both want to see. If this sounds familiar, focusing on developing effective study skills may be the key to assisting your child in meeting his or her learning objectives.
In the classroom, success comes from a combination of attitude, habits, and effort. Study skills are an essential component of this recipe, and they can be learned.
How can you, as a parent, help your child develop the study skills necessary for academic success while also reaping benefits outside of the classroom? Here are a few pointers to get you started!
Designate a study area for your students.
Does your child have a desk or workspace in an area of your home that is conducive to concentrating? Make sure it is well-lit and free of distractions. In this area, keep study supplies like colorful post-its, pens, pencils, highlighters, and scratch paper. Allow your child to decorate the area, and teach them to tidy up and organise their desk each night so that they’re ready to focus on work when it’s time to study.
Effective study skills require effective time management. Make sure your student knows how to keep a homework planner. Write down important due dates for homework and projects, especially if their teacher lets them know ahead of time. Then, it’s all about staying on top of the assignments. When preparing for important tests, assist your child in breaking down the content and creating a review schedule for the days leading up to the test. Set smaller milestones and collaborate with your child to create a timeline for when each component will be completed as you break down large projects. Making their workload feel more manageable can counteract cramming and procrastination (and build their confidence in the process).
Prepare for tests.
Reviewing content before a test isn’t necessarily the best way to ensure your child is prepared. You should instead encourage them to use more interactive approaches, such as practice tests and flash cards. You can ask your child review questions and have them provide short explanations aloud in the form of an essay to ensure they truly understand the material.
It is far better for long-term retention to study a little bit every day rather than for a longer period of time every day. Your student should create a study schedule that allows them to space out their practice on different subjects—even 10 minutes a day can help! You should also encourage your student to take smart breaks during their studying. Once every hour, taking a 15-minute break can keep them focused and productive.
Ask your child for help.
It is possible that your student is struggling to understand a specific lesson in a specific subject or that he or she does not fully understand the assignment for the night. If this is the case (and it happens to everyone at some point), asking for help is essential. Your student should be able to raise issues with their teacher and ask for assistance early on, and you should not be afraid to do the same. Teaching your child how to build effective working relationships with their peers is a second important lesson in asking for, receiving, and offering support.
Don’t let yourself be distracted.
When your student is studying, show them how to put their computer away and turn off any other devices that might distract them. Multitasking also impairs learning, so encourage your child to focus on one subject for an extended period of time before moving on to another. Ensure that your child has healthy sleeping and eating habits in order to maximize their focus and make the most of the time they spend studying.
Also, get to know the 10 ways to increase your students’ interest in a subject.