El Centro, California (NAPSI) - In school, your child takes English, history, math and other classes. But a key area of academic development isn’t taught in a specific class, and without it, a student will struggle to excel in school. That skill is studying.
Sylvan recommends the following tips for elementary and secondary-level students to help improve their study skills:
1. Planners are a sanity saver. Time management is tricky. Having all major deadlines, due dates, events and extracurriculars in one place helps kids visualize their week, manage their time and stay on track.
2. Breaking it down is a good thing. Understanding how to break daunting projects into more manageable ones is a key skill. For example, to make studying for a giant math final approachable, list all the concepts on the test and review them one at a time.
3. Organization isn’t overrated. Keeping notes, projects and reading materials in logical order helps kids find what they need right away, cutting down on time spent tracking things down and upping time spent actually studying.
4. Good notes matter. Practice picking out the “main ideas” in conversations with you, in news reports or in magazine articles.
5. Study slow and steady. The best way for kids to do well on tests is to review the information daily at home. Studying with friends in small groups outside of school can encourage this.
6. Harp on homework. Getting homework done thoughtfully and on time is one of the most fundamental study skills.
7. Concentrating is critical. To avoid distraction, make sure their cell phones are tucked away and don’t let a chatty classmate cause them to lose focus.
8. Directions aren’t always direct. Students can get tripped up by homework or test instructions. Encourage kids to listen carefully and spend plenty of time reading directions. Also make sure they know it’s OK to speak up if they don’t understand testing directions.
9. Know you’ve got help. If prepping for tests is a tough ordeal and your child is losing confidence, a lack of study skills could be to blame. Luckily, there are places to go for help. For example, Sylvan Learning at http://tutoring.sylvanlearning.com/study_skills_programs.cfm has a great record of helping kids improve study skills.
10. It’s fine to have fun. Come up with some cool “rewards” with your kids—extra time with you, a favorite treat, later curfew—to let them know you recognize their efforts. Support and encourage them and keep your sense of humor. It all helps.