3 Ways to Ensure Effective Studying
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.
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