3 Ways to Ensure Effective Studying

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As parents, we have an incredible amount of pressure in our “adult” world.

However, we chose to be parents and we need to make a plan to help our children transition through school as happy as possible.

“Go to your room and only come out when you’ve finished studying!”, “You couldn’t possibly have finished studying, it’s only been an hour!” and “Why aren’t you studying, you’re writing next week?” sound familiar right? I’m sure they do, but have you stopped to consider why your child isn’t studying?

Have you considered that your child may be an auditory learner, who actually remembers what is taught in class and may not need as much study time as, say, a visual learner? Perhaps your child is a kinesthetic learner and being cooped up in their room is lethal, they need to move to learn.

How to ensure your child is studying properly

  • From a young age, children need to know that we are the parents.
    As soon as our child loses respect, we lose our child. We need to build a solid foundation of unconditional love and mutual respect. We need to understand each other as parent and child, so that we can feel safe and secure within our relationship. Once this relationship is sound, it can then make room for patience, tolerance, guidance and nurturing.
  • We need to know what is going on behind closed doors when our child is studying.
    We need to be involved, but always in a non-threatening way. Let your child know you are interested in what they are doing and you are available if they need help.
  • Search for ‘learning styles’ online to gain insight into how your child learns.
    You and your child may actually be able to identify your child’s learning style by just familiarising yourselves with the different terminology. Otherwise, do one of the online profiles or make an appointment with a professional who can administer one for you. They will also be able to give you ideas of how to study within the relevant learning style.

As soon as all of these aspects are in place, studying starts to make more sense as your child has a ‘starting block’ to begin from. Now your child can start studying effectively and you can start deciding:

  • Where it is best for your child to study
  • What tools or materials they need to study
  • What time-frame best suits their learning style
  • How to test what has been studied

Importance of reading and parental involvement

Effective studying also relies on ensuring that your child understands what is being studied. The biggest concern teachers have today is that children are either not able to read effectively or they are not understanding what they have read. For this reason, children struggle to study. All studying is reliant on reading. Read with your child or have them read their work to you, this way you can correct any mistakes and ensure your child grasps the content.

The other concern is that parents seem to be leaving their children to “get on with it”. It is never too late to change or too early to start. Show them how to make studying meaningful by teaching organisational and study skills. If we lay effective foundations and continue to build on it, one layer at a time, our children will embrace studying – especially if they know it has a purpose.

You should definitely consider using WorksheetCloud to help your child study and prepare for exams. WorksheetCloud saves you time by giving you access to hundreds of printable, CAPS-based revision worksheets and practice exams. Take the WorksheetCloud tour here.

Every task has 3 phases

As Kirsten Jacobsen and Sarah Ward say in their “360 Thinking Cognitive Connections 1”:

  • Get ready: all the tools and materials, as well as space, to study
  • Do: create study notes, mindmaps and any other study aids needed
  • Done: quiz your child, let them complete old exam papers or practice exams

The idea is to get your child to map out the above by starting with the “Done”, so that they know what they want to achieve when they are finished studying. Pre-planning is just that, a sketch of what should be under each heading when finished. Your child will then know exactly what is expected of them once they have finished studying a section of work.

This approach can be used for other areas of school work as well, like projects. It encourages pre-thought and organisational skills, all with an end result in mind.

Happy studying!

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About the Author

Adele Keyser has 27 years experience in teaching pre-primary, foundation phase, intermediate-senior phase and adult education. That's 27 years experience in dealing with children (and parents!). Currently teaching in Cape Town, her major focus is building classroom environments that foster healthy self-esteem and help children realise what they're capable of.

2 Comments

  1. Masabata

    Wow this is really helpful. I have a problem with son’s teachers which I they’re really not trained for a kind of a person that he is. That example about keeping him in a room for 30 minutes to him it’s a torture he’s only 7years in grade2.my son hates writing and what surprises me is that when I read for him him his school books he knows everything though he can’t read and he likes drawing if not seriously monitored he looses focus on his work and starts drawing. So I find it hard for me to teach him and I also believe even his teacher too. He goes to a so called private school by name not action, some of his classmates says he can read very well but some says he can’t write he only draws which is true I also confirm it to be true but what disturbing is that one of his friends told me that the teacher no longer mark his books, when I try communicating with her,she says everything is fine but I as a parent I can see that there is something not right. Because he’s such an intelligent and multi task kind of a person but I feel that he needs people like you who will be able to lead him to who he really is. Most people says he’s a kind of child who hates doing what his peers does and that’s exactly who he is. Please help me before my son’s intelligency is thrown in a rubbish bin.

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Masabata

      Thanks for your message.

      It sounds like there are a lot of different aspects and factors that could be having an effect on your son’s scholastic performance. We’d suggest that you have a very serious and honest conversation with your son’s teacher/s. It seems there may be a disconnect between what you experience at home and what they are seeing in class. Express your concerns to the teacher/s, highlighting your worry about his writing skills and perhaps his learning style (it may be that he is a more visual learner and needs visual support to complete tasks). The teacher can then look at ways to better support your son’s learning style in class, as well as provide some useful tips on things to do at home to improve his concentration and writing skills.

      Another step, if you feel that your son’s teacher/s won’t be able to assist or you feel added assistance would benefit him best, would be to have him assessed by an educational psychologist or occupational therapist. It may be that he just needs a little help to bridge gaps in his cognitive ability to put his thoughts into words, or even just some help improving his concentration skills. You can find a list of relevant professionals here: http://www.findhelp.co.za/

      Another resource which could assist your son in improving his ability to put his thoughts into words, as well as his general writing skills and grasp of the curriculum content, would be WorksheetCloud.

      WorksheetCloud is an online resource that gives you access to interactive and printable worksheets to help your child revise and practise for class tests and exams. All the worksheets are based on the South African CAPS curriculum which means that they are 100% relevant to the work done in class. The printable worksheets will help your son to write his answers and engage with the content, thus improving his written language skills and grasp of the curriculum.

      We also include detailed memorandums that include the answers and model explanations and working-out for each and every question.

      You can see a full list of subjects and topics we currently cover on this page: https://www.worksheetcloud.com/worksheets/

      I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us at any time and we’ll be very happy to assist.

      Kayleen ?

      Reply

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