Plenty of kids get all the way through high school without ever developing good study skills. However, these kids fail to gain the most they can from their academic assignments as a result – and if they're college bound, they will definitely feel the burn upon arrival. This does not have to be your child.
What You Need to Know
Some school districts provide detailed programs outlining what study skills K-12th graders should master each year, which can ensure that important skills are being introduced early, then nurtured throughout children's academic careers.
However, this is not true of all – or even most – schools.
As your child enters middle school, and his schedule becomes more complicated – managing different assignments from different teachers, keeping all their different instructions and materials straight – strong study skills become evermore important.
Cramming is the number one problem and study-skill killer among middle schoolers, who are establishing the study habits they're going to carry into high school. Among expanding social horizons, increased extracurricular involvement, and possible part-time jobs to manage in addition to school work by that time, cramming might not go over quite as well as it might be in 6th grade.
How You Can Help
That said, you may want to take some extra measures at home to instill these skills early.
- Setting a regular study time that fits in with the overall family schedule
- Removing distractions, like television and phone calls during study time
- Being prepared with all necessary supplies before getting started
- Keeping written record of assignments and deadlines in an academic calendar
- Effective note-taking
- Effective time management
- Organizing for a test
Students also tend to imitate the organizational habits of the central adults in their lives – and that means you. So if your kitchen counter is always cluttered and you never know where to find your keys or never begin anything until the last minute, you may know what to expect ahead from your child. Even if you've been a tad scatter-brained your entire life, try to slowly implement some positive changes for your child's sake – even if it means you're just hiding your clutter in a secret drawer or keeping quiet about your frantic quest for car keys, as a start.
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