Everyone will develop their own unique study plan based on their needs, but is there an easy way to do it?
According to Intelligent.com: “A study plan is an organised schedule that students create that outlines study times and learning goals. Just like with work or school schedules, students should develop a study schedule where they can block off days and times on their calendar dedicated to studying.”
Learning how to create an effective study plan is a critical skill that your child will be able to apply throughout their life.
Before you start, you need to establish learning goals for each session to use your child’s study time effectively. Your child’s study plan must be reasonable, personalised and realistic.
How to get started
Although the environment has nothing to do with the physical study schedule, it does relate directly to the effectiveness of the actual studying. Create a study environment with minimal distractions and possible interruptions. Refer to our blog post How To Create The Ultimate Study Space to learn more about this.
Decide on a specific time to study. Try to be consistent and stick to a routine. When is your child’s most effective study time – do they study better in the morning, afternoon or evening? In other words, when are they most mentally alert?
Peak your child’s interest
Keep the process interesting with study notes, drawings etc. Do not be too rigid, but rather accommodate the unexpected. Keep it practical. This will help your child to stick to the schedule.
Guide and support
Reflecting on your child’s work ethic, maybe guidance and support is needed. Be realistic about their strengths and weaknesses. Remind your child that you are there for them and that they can always come to you for guidance and help.
Understand that it is very important to take your child’s learning style into account. Take our short learning style identifier quiz to see what learning style best suits your child. Make sure that all study notes are prepared ahead of time. The study plan is just that: a time to study.
Test the plan
Draw up a similar plan ahead of time, for instance, to accommodate the preparation of study notes, recordings, etc. and see if it works with your child. Ask yourself if the time set aside to study is sufficient, and is your child able to concentrate for the proposed session. Determine how long should the breaks be between sessions – I have found that a 30 minute session broken up into 15 minutes of study, 5 to 10 minutes of question time and a 5 to 10 minute break, works well.
Remember this will differ according to age and content being studied. Some type of question time – verbal or written – is imperative to success. An easy and effective way of questioning your child and testing their knowledge is by signing up for a WorksheetCloud membership. Your child will be able to answer questions online that are based on the upcoming school exams.
How to create the study plan
Start by downloading one of our free study schedule templates here.
Then, list all the subjects that need to be studied.
Then, break down those subjects further into themes or individual worksheets. Remember certain subjects need study and practical time. Plan 4 sessions within an afternoon of 30 minutes each (let your child guide you on this as all children are different). 4 sessions should suffice, but you should likely add more sessions in over weekends particularly if your child is in high school. Some children prefer to only study one subject at a time while others prefer a variety.
Lastly, divide your child’s available time over the weekend and during the week into study blocks – remember to factor in time for questioning and breaks.
Giving your child a month in advance to study should be sufficient to revise all work. Most work should have been revised during class time and at home during the term in preparation for continuous assessment administered in the form of tests, projects, investigations, etc.
The final study plan:
- It essential to plan first e.g. colour code subjects to recognize them easily on the timetable (user friendly), determine where the study plan will be displayed and on what: a calendar (in pencil) or whiteboard – easy to erase/change. Make alterations as you go.
- Work backwards, when filling in, to determine how much time is needed.
- Remember to factor in practice exams at the end of the timetable. This will help expose your child to terminology used during exams and the layout of exam papers. Ask your child’s teacher for “old” exam papers if none are forthcoming, or sign up to WorksheetCloud for online and printable practice exams.
A successful study timetable has got to do with the planning you put in. This means good time management which involves effective prioritizing of time taking into consideration that some subjects need more time than others.
It is also important to remember that once created it will only be meaningful if used efficiently. Your child will need encouragement and reminders to stick to the plan.
Do you have study advice to share with other parents? Post in the comments below.