Studying can feel like a serious grind, particularly if the topic isn’t one the student is particularly interested in. Even so, studying is an important part of learning and reviewing material and can be critical to academic success. So how can you help take your student’s studying from endless hours of staring at notes to an active, useful process?
Simple. Make studying a goal oriented process.
Step 1: Manage your Time
Students may not be able to cram all of their studying into one hour. Look at the material the student has to cover and decide how much can be accomplished in one session. Ideally, students should study in thirty minute increments with short breaks in between to stretch. Remember that if the child has a lot of material to go over, they should try to allot enough time to cover that material without strain. Younger children may need help with setting up a workable study schedule.
Step 2: Set Goals
Instead of studying all the potential material for a class, a student can set notes based on your assignment, test, or that day’s class topic. Setting goals can help students narrow down their study focus and make studying a more productive time. Setting goals also keeps children motivated by allowing them to focus on a few things they need to accomplish rather than all of the extra materials. If today’s class was on the life of whales, they may not need to study coral reefs as well. If tomorrow’s test is on long division, students don’t need to spend time studying multiplication tables.
Step 3: Minimize Distractions and be Comfortable
Make sure the study location is quiet, free of distractions, and comfortable. This isn’t the time to catch up on missed television shows or even to listen to favorite music. If a child must have background noise, choose instrumental music that won’t distract from the study material. It can also be important to tell family members to not disrupt a child’s study sessions. Sometimes family members can interpret quiet studying as unimportant or as wasted time. It is important that a student is comfortable while they study – but not too comfortable! Find a good chair or quiet study spot where they can be comfortable and relax and stretch freely. Avoid spots that might entice them to sleep, however, like their bed. A student should be able to sit up, stand, or stretch as needed without the temptation to fall asleep.
While studying is generally not anyone’s idea of a good time, students can maximize the effectiveness of their study time to accomplish goals and effectively learn material.