It takes effort and persistence to be a good student, and the hardest part for many is learning and consistently embracing good study habits. However, the investment is worth it. Students who learn the tools to study smart as younger students will be well equipped to handle the increased workload for multiple classes in high school.
To be most effective, study time should be efficient, focused and organized. If your child’s study sessions could be better, here are four tips to help:
1. STUDY WITH A PLAN
Studying without a plan can lead to procrastination and wasted time. Your child should get into the habit of planning out what to study and for how long every single day. A planner, either through an app or a paper version, will be very useful here; have your child get one and use it to record daily homework assignments, upcoming tests and project dates and other obligations (such as extracurricular activities).
At the start of homework time each day, your child should review assignments due the next day and look ahead at the rest of the week for any upcoming project deadlines, quizzes or exams. Your child then can prioritize all tasks and complete the assignments.
2. GET IN “THE ZONE”
Studying when the heart is only halfway in it isn’t as effective as studying when focused and ready to work. You can help your child by talking about when he or she feels the most alert and motivated and planning to study at that time whenever possible.
Without question, there will be times when your child just isn’t feeling it. The key is to get into the studying mindset prior to starting on a pre-defined list of priorities and minimize any distractions. A concentrated 30-minute study session is much better than one hour of partly distracted and unenthusiastic work.
3. STOP TO SELF-CHECK OFTEN
It’s a fact that regular summarizing and self-testing is one of the best ways to help solidify knowledge. If your child has a lot of reading to do, encourage him or her to preview the text before reading, jot down main points while reading and stop every few pages to summarize what he or she just learned. If it’s a problem-solving subject like math, have him or her complete any practice problems or self-check quizzes in the text or workbook.
4. AIM FOR CONSISTENCY
Regular studying of a topic helps it “stick,” making those exam study sessions much easier and less stressful. While homework is generally assigned to reinforce class teachings, it’s always a good idea for middle- and high-school students to spend time each evening reviewing any class notes, even if just for a few minutes.
A student who spends 20 minutes each evening completing homework and reading and reviewing concepts covered in class for two weeks will be far better prepared than the one who does homework only but pulls an all-nighter study session the night before a test.
When it comes to learning, how your child studies is as important as how often he or she studies — if not more important. If your child seems to struggle with getting started, or you notice that his or her time or effort is not translating into positive results, you may consider enlisting some professional help.
The Huntington Learning Center Gulfport is located at 8950 Lorraine Road, Unit E, Gulfport. Contact the center at (228) 206-2353.