Study Habits – Tips and Strategies to Develop Positive and Successful Work Habits


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By Erin Silver

Now that my boys are mid-way through SK and Grade 1 it’s time to develop some good study habits. This whole semester I’ve been making them do homework whenever we have a spare minute. Sometimes we start our work at 7am. Sometimes I will try and study with my older son when my younger son has a playdate, which ends up being distracting.  I even quiz them on their spelling words when they’re in the shower. I thought I was doing a good job — it was all getting done, after all — but it turns out I could be doing a better job. Amanda, our tutor, has provided her six best study tips. I will be implementing them right away and especially in the New Year when we can all have a fresh start.
Note – some of these suggestions work best with older students who have heavier workloads, but all of them offer a strategy to maintain focus, organization and routine.


When developing good study habits, Amanda suggests:


  1. Find a quiet space free of distractions. Distractions can mean technology and external noise. If complete silence bothers you then some music may help, but instrumentals only.
  1. Be prepared. Have your notes / the textbook / any handouts / the teacher’s review in front of you at your workspace. This will ensure you can remain seated and studying and won’t need to get up unnecessarily (except for breaks). (*note – depending on the age of the student, frequent breaks are necessary to sustain endurance. Standing up, getting a drink of water, listening to one song on the radio are good ways to refocus a child’s brain so they can continue with their work).
  1. Read the review. Understand what you will need to study. Determine what the key points are. (If there is no review, skip to tip 4)
  1. Highlight your notes and try to synthesize them further. Ask yourself: What are the big ideas? What are the key questions? If possible rewrite your notes.
  1. Make cue cards / devise practice questions. Using the key ideas from your notes make questions to test yourself and your friends.
  1. Record any questions you may have. If you are confused or unclear of something, write it down and ask your teacher.