If you have children, you may not have given enough thought to the value of improving study skills in middle schools. Many educators believe it's a critical time in a student's life. Things are beginning to ramp up in school and homework assignments with grades are suddenly becoming a written record for the future. Within the classroom, children are asked to use their brains in ways that will hopefully challenge them as they hadn't been previously. The need for the best study skills possible is crucial.
While it seems as if there are always those students who never appear to have to study much, there are others who struggle repeatedly with effective studying. Innovative middle schools are working harder than before to improve those skills so each student can benefit. It's not just about learning, but it's also about retaining the learned information as the school years progress.
Here are a few tips that will help to improve memory and speed up the act of studying:
Have a set place to study. It can't be stated enough how important this is. It eliminates frustration, disorganization, and lack of motivation.
Have the right study tools. A desk or table, waste can, a good light, paper, and lots of pens and pencils are mandatory. What is not mandatory are any outside distraction such as music, television, or even snack food.
Have a set time to study. A good rule of thumb is either immediately after returning from school before dinner or immediately after dinner. Don't wait until the late evening before bed as this teaches the student the bad habit of procrastination.
Encourage note taking in class. Statistically, it's been proven that pen and paper help you remember more of what you're hearing. If your child is struggling to get everything he or she hears down on paper, you might want to teach them some writing tricks such as using abbreviations and pictures.
Teach memorization. Most middle schools don't require students to memorize to the extent they do in high school, but it's a great idea to teach them now for later. Again, there are some effective memorization techniques easily found online. Word association is an excellent method.
Focus on areas of need. Middle schools have a way of letting parents know what the areas of need are - it's called the report card. If they are receiving A's in English but C's in Geography, help your child to focus on the weaker subject for a while until grades improve.
Nowadays, with peer pressure and adverse dynamics, middle schools are tough enough to get through. But helping your child to learn and improve study skills is a win/win proposition. It's a way to begin to prepare him or her for the future and get more enjoyment out of the present.