One of the most important skills that a child can learn, as a student and a person, is organization. A child who does not have their assignments and test dates in order is almost certainly set up for a letdown when grades are released. Especially when students are older, they are provided with a course outline that has a schedule of all tasks to be completed throughout the duration of the class and other expectations. In middle school and high school, your child will receive several syllabi, so it is especially important to have a planner and create to-do lists. In case your child loses one of the course outlines, all assignments will be filled out in the planner. When assignments are piling up, you can show your child how to prioritize certain tasks over others in a list form. It will be satisfying for them to cross items off the list as they complete each assignment, making homework a little more fun.
There should be no surprises at test time. When an exam approaches, both you and your child should be aware of it. Teachers give their students advanced notice when there is going to be a test. This can happen on the very first day of school if a detailed syllabus is provided! Parents should work with their children to make a habit of reviewing all course outlines together so you can remind one another when a test is coming up. Depending on how difficult the subject is for your child, a week or two of study time should be scheduled out to prepare. Last minute reviews of notes without applying the concepts will not be much help to your child. Organizing all test materials, creating flashcards and working through practice problems several days in advance of the test will result in true understanding of the ideas and hopefully a better score for your child.
Designated Study Areas
There are more distractions in today’s world than there ever were when we were kids. As a parent, you constantly have to regulate how much time your child spends on a cell phone, tablet, computer or watching TV, as well as what they’re doing on these devices. Although most homework assignments will require a computer, you can take away all other electronic devices during study time. While your child may not realize the benefit right away, they will more than likely complete their assignments faster without music playing in the background or access to Facebook. If your child only needs a computer to type a paper, disable the internet. The place where your child does homework should be a designated quiet area for that purpose only. If you start to disassociate homework with these distractions, your child can be more focused on academics.
Many young students get anxious before taking a test. They understand how significant their score is to their overall grade and, even when they have mastered the material, their nerves can get the best of them. Practicing good time management skills can help alleviate the initial stress your child feels when the test begins. Make practice at home fun by using a timer during homework time. Start with small assignments and work up to a practice test to see how much your child can complete in the designated time allowed for the upcoming test. Review the results and help your child strategize to be more efficient. By the time the date of the real test arrives, your child should feel more relaxed going in and prepared to master the material, as well as the time limit.
Ivy Bound will be here for your child every step of the way. In addition to our study skills course, we offer academic tutoring for students in K-12. However, it is important for parents to be involved in the academic success of their children. By following the tips outlined above, together we can create a very effective support system for your child!