Study Habits – Tips and Strategies to Develop Positive and Successful Work Habits
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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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)
- 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.
- Make cue cards / devise practice questions. Using the key ideas from your notes make questions to test yourself and your friends.
- Record any questions you may have. If you are confused or unclear of something, write it down and ask your teacher.