The start of another school year presents great opportunities to develop positive habits surrounding your child’s schooling. These could include healthy eating and sleeping habits, or even positive morning routine habits when getting ready for school. Developing effective study habits early on and sticking to them is one of the best things your child can do for their education and well worth the effort.
Here are 5 effective study habits to adopt early
- Plan the study time
If your child can plan out their study ahead of time it is much easier to stay on track and ensure that the necessary areas are covered. Unstructured study can result in missed opportunities and an inefficient use of their time. Having a plan in place for scheduled study sessions and sticking to that timeline ensures your child gets through the areas of study they need to. Planning how your child studies each subject will also greatly help their progress. Will they study notes from class or will they use chapters in a text book? Or both? Find out which method works best for your child to learn and retain information. Studying at the same time each day is also a great habit, as it means your brain will associate that time of day with study, and more easily slip into a study mindset and routine. Using different colours to denote different subjects on notes or a study planner, is another way to effectively help recall information. For example, highlighting information using a colour-coded system is great for visual learners. The significance you give each colour provides a mental cue and helps you to process the information more effectively and efficiently.
- Set realistic study goals
Goal setting has been regularly proven as an effective motivator and encourager. When your child has something to aim for, study becomes easier and more important to them. Set small goals for the study session, medium goals for the week or month and long-term goals for the year. A great template to use for goal setting is the SMART goals technique.
- Be consistent
As with any learned skill, consistency in practice is the key. A daily study time or even three to four times a week will provide huge benefits over one or two longer sessions. Smaller amounts of regular study will always trump irregular, longer study sessions. The longer a study session, the more likely it is that time will be wasted or concentration lost. More information is also generally retained with shorter sessions.
- Create a distraction-free area for study
Mobile phones, computers and tablets are good tools that can assist your child’s learning, but they can also become your child’s biggest distractions. If they aren’t needed for your child’s study then ideally they should be removed to avoid distraction, or set clear boundaries for their proper use. For example, avoiding social media or instant messaging when using technology required for study. Create a quiet place where your child can focus and is less likely to be interrupted.
- Create a revision journal
Taking notes is a tried and tested method for learning, so why not collate your notes to use as a study tool? Since note-taking is often done in a hurry, rewriting notes neatly, whilst removing irrelevant content and adding helpful tips, is also a great study method in itself. At the end, they have a single source of summaries, examples and content that they can refer to for their study. EACS endorses the Split-page or Cornell note taking systems.
These suggestions are a great starting point to begin thinking about your child’s study routine and how to make it more effective. It is worth remembering that everyone is different and what works for some may not be the best style for your child. You may find that a variation on the above tips may be more beneficial. You will need to assist your child to help them figure out what study structure/plan/techniques works for them, then encourage them to apply themselves. Every parent wants the best for their child and to help them to reach their best potential academically. Help your child create good habits now, that will carry them in good stead throughout the rest of their schooling life.
All students at EACS receive annual seminars on effective study skills through the proven ‘Elevate’ study skills programme. These are strengthened by the assistance teachers and parents give following their own seminars. If you would like to know more about Esperance Anglican Community School, sign up to our newsletter.