One day a group of moms and I were sharing information about our hobbies, jobs, and businesses. I told the group that I just started a YouTube Channel with Fun Accelerated Learning Tips for Kids. One mom asked me to make a video of Study Tips for Tweens/Teens. Excitement was my feeling because I love doing research, telling others what I have learned, and solving problems. My response was “I will work on it!”
Below is what I have experienced and found to be effective study habits and strategies for kids.
Let’s Get Going!
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How Can I Help my Kid study?
You can assist your child with their school work by being involved in their studies. Ask your child about the topics they are learning about in school. Create conversations during dinner, car trips, or walking the dog about that topic and share what you know. If you don’t know much about the topic, have your kid teach you about the subject. You may also do your own research on the topic and share what you learned.
Another way to assist your child is to attend parent conferences, open houses, or back-to-school nights. Students usually do better when they are supported in their academic life. As a parent, request meetings with teachers and other staff just to check your child’s progress. These meetings should happen whether your child is doing well or need some extra attention with school work. Open Houses or Back-to-School nights are when parents learn about school programs and polices and other opportunities your child may take advantage of.
Some Basic Necessities
It is important for parents to provide the basic necessities children need to study such as nutritional meals and sleep. Nutritional meals can help your child focus and increase their attention span. Children need the proper amount of sleep in order to be alert during the day. Parents can help by turning off electronic devices at certain hours and creating time limitations.
Conducive Study Environment
Children should have a conducive studying environment. This includes having the tempature between 74º and 77º. It is helpful to place desks or tables away from distractions. Some parents find putting their child’s desk in the corner of their room away from the door and facing the wall helpful. Natural light is the best light to study with; however, if this is not available, ensure there is proper lighting in your child’s study area.
Another tip is to have a distraction sheet near your child in case they have ideas pop in their head that are not related to school work. The child can write down their thoughts to prevent them from constantly thinking about it during study time.
What are the habits of Successful Students?
Learning Outside the Classroom
Two habits of successful students are learning outside the classroom and doing practice exams. Many successful students don’t just read the text book provided by their school, they take the initative to learn about a topic through reading other books, watching educational videos, and through experience. For example, if a child is learning about the American Civil Rights Movement, they may read about civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis, watch a documentary on the movement such as Eyes on the Prize, or visit a history museum.
Successful students often do practice exams. A practice exam can be informal when a parent is having an analytical dialogue or asking the child questions about the topic. It can also be formal where the parents create a practice test for their child. Practice tests can also be found in the back of other textbooks on the subject. Sometimes, you can find older editions of textbooks at your local library.
How Can I Improve my Child’s Interest in Studies?
Children will be interested in their studies when there is a connection to what they are learning. I remember in high school disliking my geography class because I felt no connection to other countries. My interest in geography did not come alive until I started to travel internationally while in college.
Let’s say your child is taking geography, then observe your child and see what they like and offer a connection. For the child who loves sports, have them research Sports played in the countries they are studying. If your daughter loves fashion, have them research the dress and fashion trends in the countries they are studying. Take it a step further and compare their findings to what happens in their home country.
Another way to spark interest in studies is to encourage the child to find how it applies to their lives. Another subject I did not like in High School was Physics. However, if I would have done some hands on physics experiments then I would have been more engaged in my studies. For example, a great physics lesson is visiting a playground and studying how the two opposing forces of a seesaw lever and fulcrum (placed in the middle) counterbalance each other, creating a smooth ride through the air. My only exposure in high school to physics was in a book and I did not connect with it.
4 Ways to Improve Study Habits
Chunking is the process of breaking information into smaller pieces so the brain can digest it more easily. As a second grader writing a short story in class, I could not remember how to spell the word together. I got up and asked my teacher and she said three words “to” “get” “her.” From that time on, together has never been a word I have forgotten to spell.
Chunking can be done in many ways. Kids can group together information by categories. For example, if your child is learning the symbols of the periodic table, they can remember them by groups. First they may learn the Group 1 which are the alkali metals, then move on the Group 2, the alkaline earth metals, and so on.
Mind mapping is one of my favorite ways to learn new things. It is an easy way to get information in and out of your brain. With mind maps you can study, take notes, create new ideas and plan projects. It consists of words, colors, lines, and pictures, which coincides with how our brain thinks.
There are 5 steps to Mind Mapping.
- Get a blank paper with colored pens, pencils, markers, or crayons.
- Draw a picture in the middle of the page that sums up your topic or subject.
- Draw thick curved, connected lines coming away from the picture, one of each for the main ideas you have about the topic.
- Name each of these ideas and it is helpful to draw pictures of each.
- For each of the ideas, draw other connected lines spreading like tree branches.
- These represent the details.
We remember information better with pictures because it uses both sides of the brain. For example, it is natural for photographs, books and magazines to bring back our memories. If you want to remember all your favorite things, just draw a color coded picture like below.
If you wanted to Mind Map an article, use the basic elements below in your picture.
Get creative with how new information is studied especially if it is a subject you are not fond of. If you love making home videos, create a show on the information you are studying and perform it for family and friends. Another idea is to make up questions about the subject and play a trivia game with friends in your class. Have all your friends bring a certain amount of questions for the game. If you like music, write a song about the information and put it to a catchy beat.
Please note: As you are preparing for your creative way of studying, ensure you understand the material first to pinpoint any area of confusion you have.
Get creative with how to study information
- Create a You Tube video teaching others about the topic.
- Create a commercial or role play on the information.
Schedule but with a Catch
It is helpful to set up a daily schedule of when you will study. However, it is important to include fun things like hobbies, time with friends or playing video games, and digital media time. You are more likely to complete tasks when you have playtime and work time on your schedule. This allows you to create in your mind something to look forward to.
One of the easiest ways to remember information is to associate it with something in which you are familiar. For example, make up a sentence using the letters in the formula to remember the area of a rectangle which is A = lw. The sentence could be Laura and Will had a big baby named Adam. Try to use items that you will remember like name of friends and family.
I hope you have found these tips helpful!!!
Use these studying strategies above to make studying revelent, interesting, and fun!