The challenge facing many school children these days is that for the most part they simply don’t have the study skills they need to succeed in the classroom. A major key to educational success is having these strong study skills. Most parents (and many teachers) don’t think to teach their children how to study and those that do aren’t quite sure where to start.
“Having good study habits is a skill that is learned,” explains Cari Diaz of Club Z! Tutoring, a home tutoring company with locations across the nation. “Children aren’t born knowing how to study anymore than they are born knowing how to read. They need to be taught the most effective way to study in order to excel.” Once you give a student the tools they need to really understand how to study, their confidence level increases and they become more engaged in the whole learning process.
Club Z! offers several homework tips to help children be successful, including:
- Choose an ideal study location in the house that offers plenty of space for books, has good lighting, and is free from distractions, such as the television.
- Keep their school materials organized in a planner and use a calendar to mark important exams and project due dates.
- Make sure the child is well prepared with all the necessary resources they need, such as pencils, paper and a dictionary.
- Have your child take breaks when they become frustrated. As much as you may want to do the work for them, it’s better if they complete the work on their own.
Good study habits include a regular routine of proven methods that allow your child to get the best possible results from their study time. Effective study time demands three things: organization, method, and concentration.
1. Organization — Organization begins with having everything in the right place – before the clock starts. Pens, pencils, calculator, books, paper, the computer, and other supplies should all be brought to the study session.
If possible, create a regular study area for your child to keep the supplies they don’t need to carry back and forth to school. By keeping these essentials available at home as well as at school, you’ll end your child’s frustration at having to scavenge through desks and drawers at homework time.
2. Method — Ever used a pneumonic device? It’s a method for remembering something – a rhyme, an acronym, or a mental image. We use these all the time, from remembering which way to turn a screw (righty tighty, lefty loosey) to the notes on a scale (every good boy deserves fudge).
Successful students find and use study methods that help them comprehend and remember what they study. Some methods of study include:
- Writing summaries of material they have read one chapter or section at a time. By summarizing textbook information in their own words, students demonstrate their comprehension and also create an easy-to-read synopsis of the material.
- Creating charts to show relationships between comparative items. Charts give your child a visual picture of information, which makes remembering what they studied easier.
- Emphasizing main ideas through bullet points, highlighting and outlines.
- Breaking a section of text material into main points helps your child understand the main ideas and gives them a handy guide to work with in future study sessions.
- Good old-fashioned note taking – either in words or in pictures helps your child to remember main ideas. Commenting on textbook materials allows your child to make connections to the information in a way that’s easy to understand and remember.
Each of these study methods can help your child cut large amounts of material down to a manageable size. Give each method a try. As your child becomes more familiar with each method, using them will become second nature – a great habit they will carry forward and use every time they have new information to learn.
3. Concentration — There can be no doubt that concentration is essential to effective study. Here are a few tips you can use to boost your child’s concentration during study time:
- Choose a quiet, distraction-free location for studying.
- The study area should be well-lit and at a comfortable temperature.
- Concentration is easiest when your child is well-rested.
- Regularly scheduled, consistent study time helps train your child’s brain to learn at that time.
- Concentration is difficult if your child is hungry. A healthy snack before study time can do wonders.
Do you have some great study tips for students? Share them below!