How to study effectively

We’ve all heard about (and, let’s face it, many of us have even experienced) the ‘all-nighter’.  However, all the research points to the fact that this is definitely not how to study effectively, and will not likely lead to the kind of grades you, or your children, will be happy with.   There’s a better way, and the earlier we start teaching our children how to prepare for and write tests, the better off they’ll be, both now and in the future (these days, there is an expectation of ‘lifelong learning’, so they can expect to write even more tests once they’re out in the work world).

My daughter is only in grade 3, but she has tests on a regular basis (math tests on Fridays, spelling tests on Mondays and a spattering of science and social studies tests at the completion of each unit of learning).  Part of me thinks that’s a lot of testing for an eight year old, but the other part is hoping that the extra practice is helping her become more comfortable with the test-taking process.

Understandably, her current study skills are a little ‘undeveloped’, but I hope to give her some tips and techniques that she can use to ensure that the time she does spend studying leads to the most effective results.  As she gets older and the work gets even more challenging, she can build on these study skills even more.

This video provides some good overall tips for getting the most out of your study time.  Check it out.

It may be difficult to convince kids to be proactive and to implement good study habits but, if we’re successful, the payoff can be significant.  After all, “study skills” are not just useful when studying for a test, but can also be applied to other life and work situations.

If you’re having a tough time encouraging your child to try their best, you may also be interested in my post on How to motivate your child to do well in school.


The importance of study skills

As busy parents, most of us have spent very little time thinking about the importance of study skills, although the majority of us would agree that we would like our children to have “good study habits”.   We try fervently to convince our children of the importance of studying so that they can achieve academic success and honors status.  However, we rarely consider how, in addition to helping our children ‘ace’ their next test, study skills can actually assist our children in many other aspects of their current and future lives.

The below video talks about the importance of good study skills, not just as it relates to our children’s academic lives, but also within a broader context (e.g. in the work world).  It claims that study skills are so important because learning them requires us to master the essential life skills of critical thinking, collaboration and problem-solving.

I would go even further and assert that the process of learning study skills, teaches our children such valuable life skills as discipline, focus, organization, persistence and staying calm in the face of adversity (come to think of it, this is the life skill that parents need when we try to help our kids with their studying!!).

Give this video a listen and see what you think!

Watch this video on YouTube: Cost of NOT Teaching Study Skills

Our kids live in a very competitive world and that’s not likely to change.  If we can provide them with the study skills that they can use to excel both in school and beyond, then why not do it?  But let’s not wait until they’re faced with college exams before we teach our children how to study.  Instead, let’s begin teaching them what they need to know in the early grades, so that they can start benefiting right away!