Whether your adolescent is a high achieving A student or a struggling student, there are several study tips you can share and teach them to find more success in the classroom. These are good habits to start in middle school and high school so they are well established by the time you send your child off to the more independent world of college.
One thing I find is that many students get stumped by vocabulary. Whether they’re studying for science, history, English, math or any electives, there is always certain terminology they need to be familiar with sometimes not just for the unit of study they’re currently working on but for the subject matter the whole year. Flashcards are a great way to memorize vocabulary. Even though curriculum is moving away from memorization assessment, vocabulary and terms are something that if they can memorize and master for long term it will greatly help them in mastering the application of skills to that particular subject area. Creating a vocabulary notebook or note section of terminology for each class would also be extremely helpful. Make sure your child doesn’t forget the importance of vocabulary.
Many classes have required reading, not just English class. Many standardized assessments also involve quite a bit of reading. Students will often complain they don’t understand the reading or can’t remember what they read because it’s boring or too hard. Annotating, which is a form of note taking, can be beneficial in understanding and remembering the reading. As they annotate, they should make predictions, connections, ask questions, draw conclusions and record anything of uncertainty in order to ask for clarification in class.
Putting assignments or prepping for tests off to the last minute is also a common issue with adolescents. Saving assignments and studying until the night before can lead to late nights and a sleep deprived student the next day. When a test or large assignment is approaching, they should be putting a little bit of time towards it each day, either days if not sometimes weeks, before the assigned test or due date.
Another key thing in striving for success in the classroom with study habits at home is to eliminate the distractions. Many times students have assignments that require them to use the computer but while they’re on it they tend to also open up the browser for facebook or other social networks. Even though they may not be talking on the phone while they work or study, it’s become much easier to multi task by texting friends while working on homework. And then there’s the distraction of the TV. Now that there’s digital video recording and so many other ways to catch shows at your convenience, they need to arrange a separate time for homework and studying from their time of watching their show. They will get their work completed much quicker if they solely focus on it and then use the time afterwards for all the media distractions of today.