Study skills are skills that students can LEARN! Even kids that get distracted, can do better if they follow these simple study guidelines:

  • Plan specific times for studying. Stick to your schedule. Studying before everyone else gets out of school may allow you more time with your friends.
  • Be well rested and well fed before you start studying. If you’re exhausted, reading might put you to sleep. If you’re hungry, you’ll be thinking about dinner, not about algebra.
  • Conquer procrastination.  Cramming is not good for retention.  If you’re working on a project or a paper, time between is beneficial.  When writing a paper, I recommend writing a draft, putting it down for a few days and then re-reading it with a fresh set of eyes–you’ll see more errors and you’ll end up with a better flowing paper.
  • Establish a study zone–make it comfortable–make it yours.  This doesn’t have to be the kitchen table or a desk.  It can be your bed….complete with headphones….and comfortable pillows.
  • Prioritize your work.  Do the most difficult tasks first–when you are fresh.
  • Set goals for your study time.  I use to set goals/rewards for myself–I could call my friend after I read three chapters or after I understood a concept.
  • When possible, make studying fun.  Studying for me was always a solitary endeavor.  I couldn’t really study with friends or listen to music–but lots of kids can.  If you can–if you really can–then make studying enjoyable.
  • Even if you can’t make studying fun–make it rewarding.  Appreciate what you’ve learned.  Appreciate the dedication and self control that allowed you to learn a new concept.  Be proud of yourself.

Maybe you can think of additional study skills–ones that incorporate fun into the learning process.  Because after all, fun learning is forever learning.

Ann Simpson

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