Mulgrave School’s mission of Inspiring Excellence - the pursuit of personal best - in Education and Life is one that rings true in its holistic approach to education for every student from their wee preschoolers to the Grade 12s who are ready to spread their wings. With the IB programme at its core, Mulgrave offers…
Susan Cumberland, School is Easy
Does your child have the right attitude when it comes to school and is diligent in getting homework done, but you’re still not seeing the grades you’d expect?
Being successful in school is actually a combination of different factors. While attitude and effort are part of the recipe, you must also include strong study strategies to see results. Along with good study habits, effective tutoring can lead to a huge improvement in school.
No one is born a good student. Rather, you can develop good habits in your child that will benefit them beyond the classroom. A combination of different tactics can allow your child to perform their best.
Here are some tips that you can use to help your child understand how to study effectively.
As a parent, you can pass along some study hacks to your child to improve their learning ability. Here are some of the best study strategies that work.
1. SET A SPACE
Find a designated space where your child can study. Pick a spot that is well-lit with limited distractions. Ensure it is stocked with study tools like post-it notes, pens, highlighters, and extra paper. Allow your child to decorate the area, so they feel more at home in the space.
2. SHARE NOTE-TAKING TIPS
Effective studying depends on the quality of notes. Whether in the classroom or from their textbooks, help your child unlock note-taking. These include writing down key ideas or points from the lessons, reviewing notes, and expanding on the most essential material during study time.
3. GET ORGANIZED
Teach your child to organize themselves, including their binders and books from school, their backpack, desk, and study space.
4. TEST PRACTICE
Help your child master how to study effectively by practising for tests. This can include using flashcards or completing practice tests that cover the same material that may be on the actual test. You can write out essay-style questions for your child to complete, which can reinforce the learning process.
5. SET A SCHEDULE
Learning a little each day is more effective than trying to cram for a test the night before. Have your child work out a study schedule where they can review content from their school subjects over time. For example, have them set out 10-15 minutes on Monday to check language or grammar lessons from the week, Tuesday they can review science, and on Wednesday look over math lessons, etc.
If there is a subject they are struggling with, they may want to devote more time during the week to master the material. Taking short breaks is also important to get the most from studying. This can be as easy as stepping away from their study space for a few minutes to grab a drink of water or practice some stretches. It helps the brain rest and refresh.
6. PUT AWAY DISTRACTIONS
Computers, smartphones, tablets, and more can distract from effective studying. Remind your child to remove any and all distractions from their study space. It’s also crucial for your child to practice focusing on one thing at a time. Multi-tasking can interfere with effective studying and learning. Encourage your grade-school student to tackle one subject at a time before moving on to the next task.
7. HEALTHY HABITS
Getting enough sleep and eating healthy are also important aspects of brain development and learning. Studies have found that proper nutrition plays a role in academic performance. Encourage your child to eat lots of fruit and vegetables and to get a good night’s sleep so they can get the most from their body.
8. GET CREATIVE
One of the study hacks you can use is to allow your child to be creative with their study approach. If study time is all about reading through notes and textbooks, it can get tedious for the young mind. Instead, use flashcards, online videos, math apps, illustrations, podcasts, or audiobooks that cover the topic at hand. Having a variety of methods can reinforce subject mastery.
9. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR CHILD’S EFFORT
Encourage your child by focusing on their efforts rather than their performance. This will help them internalize the importance of hard work. Celebrate with them as they start to see their efforts paying off. Praise them if you see them overcoming a tricky problem, sticking to their study schedule, reaching a goal, or finishing a project.
Best Conditions for Studying Effectively
Creating the right atmosphere is vital to help your child study effectively. This includes finding out when the best time to study is. This is often individualized and depends on your child’s mental alertness. Some children are more prepared to tackle learning in the morning, while some do better in the evening. Talk with your child about what they think will work best for them. It may also mean you’ll have to try different times to find one that suits them.
Another tactic is to drown out noises in the home that can distract your child from studying. Some students use earphones with soft instrumental music that can improve focus while avoiding distractions from siblings or other household activities.
Be flexible. As your child works out what type of study routine and approaches best work for them, be willing to adapt. You may need to suggest different times or study methods to help them get their best.
Encourage your child to ask questions or for help. They can talk to the teacher after class or work with a classmate to tackle tougher subjects.
Effective Studying With a Tutor
Working with someone else can help enhance the study skills that your child is working on mastering. A tutor can help them connect the concepts they are learning at school with other aspects of the real world. This is called active learning. Being able to see how the idea or key points fit into everyday life helps your child understand better.
Susan Cumberland founded School is Easy in 2002 in Burnaby, B.C. Winner of several awards including Better Business Bureau People’s Pick and Marketplace Excellence. School is Easy now has over 30 franchises in 7 countries.
Using a child’s passions brings out their innate genius. Assigned school subjects are not usually what children are interested in, but parents and tutors can help a child to use their hidden passions when an assignment is given and I know how to help your child read.
The start of a new school year can be both exciting and nerve-wracking for students and parents alike. As the summer days wind down, it's essential to prepare adequately to ensure a smooth transition into the academic routine. Whether you're a student getting ready to embark on a new grade level or a parent helping…
Do you feel intimidated when you think of talking with your child's teacher? What if your child complains about problems with his or her teacher? What do you do then? I'm a parent and a teacher, so I've been on both sides of the teacher's desk. Here are some tips to help you communicate and…