It’s not unusual to have a child who loves school, enjoys the lessons, has an excellent memory and a great relationship with their teachers and school mates, but it’s just not visible in their test results and grades.
The reason for this is that your child still hasn’t cracked the code of learning and developed effective study skills. Being successful academically is a combination of many factors: attitude, confidence, organisational skills, time management and consistent effort. Developing these skills is crucial for a prolific academic performance and is actually a learned behaviour.
As a parent, this is where you can help a great deal and develop the necessary skills your child needs to be a successful student. Here are several useful tips to get you started.
Creating the right environment
The first step towards effective studying is creating a designated space for it. It could be your child’s own desk in their room or a workspace in an area that is conducive to studying, such as a study station in your home office. Make sure it’s well-lit and devoid of distractions such as computers, TVs and other devices.
Buy sufficient study supplies like highlighters, pens, pencils, post-it notes and note pads, and keep them at hand. Allow your child to set up the space and decorate it to their taste so they can feel it’s really their turf, and teach them to clear it up and organize it at the end of every session so it can be ready for the next day.
Developing a specific plan and set up priorities
A very important part of effective studying process is time management and developing a specific schedule is essential. Help your child create a planner where they can write down any impending tests and exam dates.
Multitasking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and it can take away from the process of learning. So, help your child prepare for upcoming tests by breaking down the content into smaller, manageable units over the period of the next several days. Set goals for each segment and offer incentives and rewards when the desired results are achieved. This will offset cramming, relieve pressure, build your child’s confidence and make their workload much more doable.
No shame in asking for help
Many kids are really afraid of asking for help as they have had negative experiences in the past when they were shamed for being weak or incompetent. It’s imperative you teach your child there’s nothing downgrading in asking for help. On the contrary, everyone needs help at some point in their lives in order to overcome challenges.
If you realise that your child is struggling with a certain subject and it’s outside the scope of your expertise, such as maths often is for general population, rely on the help of maths tutoring experts to help with identifying your child’s strengths and weaknesses, setting goals and preparing the child for upcoming exams.
Note-taking, highlighting and revising
Teaching your child the classic note-taking system such as Cornell Notes can significantly help your child in processing information presented in the class and retaining what they have learned. Several studies show that hand-written notes result in higher retention than the ones done on a laptop.
Another great strategy is learning the three basic steps in reading larger chunks of matter: skimming, highlighting and reviewing. The first step helps a student get the general idea, colour-coding key elements helps emphasise important bits and final revising by taking notes based on highlighted passages, helps summarize the matter and check retention.
Finally, it’s important for you as a parent to stay positive. Pick your words and formulate your messages carefully, as kids are very sensitive and can easily interpret the right information wrongly. Having a positive mindset can make all the difference. Teach your child to transform negative thoughts into positive ones. Instead of your child saying that they have started studying too late and that it’s impossible to get a good grade, show them how to recognize the issue and turn it into an encouragement by saying that it might have been a late start, but with a good plan and strategy, some help and a lot of effort and persistence, anything can be achieved.
When parents make the effort to help their child improve their academic skills, it usually has positive results. Study skills such as time management, organisation and prioritization will lay the basics for future learning success.
This article has been provided to us by Emma Joyce. Emma Joyce is a Sydney-based student who is always reading and learning new things. In her free time, she likes to travel and meet new people. Thanks a mil, Emma!