Do you enjoy the fresh starts of new quarters and semesters like I do?
Fresh starts are great times to review basic—and critical—study skills for developing academic skills, in other words, for learning how to learn.
The following questions can help stimulate growth in basic study skills. Of course, the answers need to be adapted to a child’s age and grade level.
Does my child have a good study place?
An ideal study place is quiet and doesn’t have distractions like television, phone, computer games, or access to the internet. A desk or table, chair, good lighting, books, supplies, and a clock or timer can round out a great physical location.
What about when your child needs online access for homework or study? You might consider minimizing the potential distraction by making it available for a limited time during the study period.
Until a child demonstrates good ability to focus and good success in completing homework and study tasks independently, the study place functions best when parents keep an eye on it.
Does my child have a good plan?
A clear written list of goals for study time, including planned timing and order of events, can help everyone.
Maybe a student struggles to complete homework. A parent might have that student write down what is due in each class, check it off when it is completed, and make another check when it is turned in. It’s a simple organizational plan that we all have to learn–and some people need a little more help than others do to figure out how to manage the learning process. Eventually, we hope, the student becomes independent, having learned how to organize his work and complete tasks on his own.
Or maybe a student doesn’t yet recognize when brain fog settles in during a long study session or how a later start impacts him. Starting early and then taking short breaks during the study time can help a student stay refreshed. Even high school students can profit from getting completely focused for 20 to 30 minutes and then taking a short break.
Does my child plan ahead well?
We all know that reviewing every day is better than cramming the night before. And that bigger assignments go far better when we break them into parts and work on them little by little for several weeks. But our children often need guidance (and accountability) to actually do that. Ok, well, maybe their parents (and teachers?) struggle there as well! But we guide them (and model!) so they better learn the process of learning.
Check out our website for more study helps. And have a great semester!