Strong note-taking skills and study habits don’t always come naturally to kids and teens, and that’s okay! Sometimes students need to be taught how to develop good study habits that will support them throughout their educational journey. It is important to remember that there is no one size fits all approach for learning how to study effectively. Every student has different strengths, so it’s good to remember that what might work for one student may not work for another.
Improve Your Teen’s Study Habits
There are many benefits to learning how to study effectively, and most significantly, good study habits make it easier for your child to learn and succeed in high school and beyond. Here are 5 tips to consider when helping your teen develop good study habits:
1. Organization is Key for Study Success
Teenagers are always busy. In addition to school, many students are involved in sports, extracurricular activities, family commitments, and their own social lives making high school the perfect time to learn how to develop time management skills. A planner is the most valuable tool for organizing due dates, or your child may prefer to use their smartphone or tablet. Writing down homework, tests, and assignments as soon as they are assigned will ensure they aren’t forgotten. Using a calendar, planner, or checklist will help your teen keep track of how much they have to accomplish each day and their progress on each task. Organization is the first step in developing good study habits. Once your child understands what they need to do, it becomes easier to focus on how they will do it.
2. Know the Teacher’s Expectations
In high school, most teachers will provide your child with course outlines and syllabi. These resources exist to help your child understand their teacher’s expectations. If your teen doesn’t understand something, reassure them it’s okay to ask their teacher for help. Questions will clarify any misunderstanding and ultimately lead to improved grades.
3. Location, Location, Location
The location your child chooses to study at can have a significant impact on how effectively they work. Does your teen study better at school, the library, or at home? You might find that your child works better away from distractions in a quiet, well-lit area with low traffic. Or, maybe your child prefers to study with someone nearby in case they need help.
4. Effective Note Taking Strategies for Teenagers
Once your teen understands what their teacher expects of them and how to get organized, it’s time to become a note-taking master. There are many note-taking methods for high school students because, at this grade level, teachers are likely to lecture for the majority of class time. Your teen will need to pull out the most impactful points from the general information provided. Students should not be aiming to write down every word (since this would be next to impossible), but rather, they should be actively listening and gathering main points from what their teacher is saying. A good study tip for teenagers is to compare notes with their classmates to ensure that everyone has the most relevant pieces of information.
To help your teen retain information after class, encourage them to spend time simplifying their notes. Some techniques to simplify notes include:
- Underlining or highlighting keywords.
- Creating a visual aid such as a chart or mind map to organize the information.
This style of note-taking for teenagers will help them better remember important information once the lecture is over.
5. No Surprises Here! Study Tips for Teenagers Include Breaks
Taking breaks is probably the most critical part of developing good study and note-taking habits, but it’s often the most forgotten piece of the puzzle. Your teen might try to convince you that it is essential for them to pull an all-nighter before a big test, but this is a huge mistake and can lead to the negative effects associated with overstudying. Sleep is necessary, and your child should be aiming to get the recommended eight to ten hours of sleep every night so that they have the energy to tackle the day.
The Pomodoro method, otherwise known as the tomato timer, is another useful study tip for teenagers. The Pomodoro technique was developed in the 1980s by a university student named Francesco Cirillo when he was having a hard time focusing on his assignments. So, he decided to commit to just 10 minutes of study time and found a Pomodoro (tomato in Italian) shaped kitchen timer and thus, the Pomodoro technique was born. Here’s what you need to know:
- Get a timer.
- Set your timer for 25 minutes, and focus on a single task until the timer rings.
- Then enjoy a five-minute break.
- After four Pomodoros, take a longer 15-30 minute break.
Developing effective study habits can be difficult, and Scholars is here to support you and your child every step of the way. Whether it’s offering essential study skill tips or providing tutoring support for the more challenging subjects, we want to help your teen succeed. Contact a location today and start seeing results that matter with Scholars!