Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday you were taking your child to their first day of school as a tiny little kid. Now they are a gangly youth, on the cusp of adulthood, ready to begin their first day of high school.
Many kids feel nervous about this new life stage (though they might not say it out loud). They worry about the homework load, making new friends, and many other things. You can help ease their minds about school by offering these 10 tips to study more effectively in high school.
1. Put Deadlines on the Wall
Proper organization is key to not missing a single paper or assignment in high school. Instead of just notating deadlines in a notebook or on their phone, get a wall calendar for your child and encourage them to write all their deadlines on it.
Having them in a visible place makes it easier to stay on top of them. Plus, they never have to worry about forgetting one as long as they are written down.
2. Proofread 24 Hours Later
When writing papers, it’s never a good idea to proofread immediately after you finish writing the piece. Encourage your kids to organize their time and finish projects at least the day before they are due.
Then, 24 hours after they finish the project, they can take a few minutes to proofread the paper. With fresh eyes (and brain) they will be more likely to catch mistakes rather than just gloss over them.
3. Take Detailed (and Creative) Notes
Notetaking is already an excellent way to learn and retain information — especially when writing by hand. The act of doing this helps cement concepts and information in the brain.
Encourage your child to take it one step further by adding fun details to their notes. Colour-coding, flow charts, graphs, and even doodles make the notes more interesting to read. And, even if they never read them again, the act of creating them will help tremendously.
4. Take Frequent Breaks
It seems counterintuitive that taking frequent breaks will help you study more efficiently. However, it does. When you try to sit and concentrate for long periods of time, the brain becomes fatigued and it is harder to concentrate.
A better method is to study for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. Encourage your child to be rigid with this and set a timer. This allows them to be fully engaged for 25 minutes, knowing their brain will get a 5-minute break at the end.
5. Avoid Interruptions
Of course, full concentration is only possible if they aren’t being interrupted every 5 seconds. Set up a quiet place for your child to study. Make sure everyone in the family knows that when they are in their study place, they shouldn’t be interrupted — unless the house is on fire, of course!
Remind your child to put away or turn on notifications on their phones and other electronic devices. These days electronic distractions are far too prevalent.
6. Go Outside
Most of us spend the vast majority of our time indoors these days, and high school kids are no exception. Aside from the fact that most of what we do is indoors, health experts are always warning us about the dangers of too much sun exposure.
But “too much” are the keywords in the phrase. Too little sun exposure isn’t good for you either.
The brain needs a healthy dose of vitamin D to function at optimal levels. There are few good food sources of vitamin D. Most milk is fortified with the essential nutrient in an attempt to help people get more of it.
However, the best source is the sun. Encourage your kids to spend a few minutes outside each day to stimulate the production of this essential nutrient in the body. They can even take their study books outside and get twice the benefit from their study time.
7. Get Up and Move!
In the same vein, most of us don’t get enough exercise each day. The body was built to move, not sit around in chairs like most of us tend to do.
Encourage your child to find some sort of physical activity they enjoy and build it into their schedule. Plenty of exercise will help them stay alert and mentally agile just as it helps the body stay fit and strong.
8. Read Something Interesting
What if, despite all their best efforts, settling down to study is really difficult for your child? Everyone has off days when they find it difficult to calm down and focus on something boring like maths.
To pique their interest, suggest that your child read something that interests them first. It doesn’t take much, just 5 or 10 minutes at the beginning of their study session. This “primes” the brain and gets them in a better mindset to start studying school material.
9. Eat Healthy Snacks
Brain food is essential for long study sessions. Just as the body feels fatigued and slow without proper nutrition, the brain gets foggy and dull without the right fuel.
Unfortunately, many high school students fuel their study sessions with candy bars, energy drinks, and other sugar-laden snacks. This helps for a short while, then the sugar crash comes which makes the brain virtually useless.
10. Spend Time Together
Finally, our last tip is to encourage your child to spend time with you and your family. Social time is just as important as sunlight and good nutrition for mental health.
Even if your child is more of a “loner” in school, they can still get plenty of interaction by spending time with you.
High school is challenging, as it should be. But if your child follows these 10 tips, they will find that it is a challenge they can overcome.
Of course, everyone learns at a different pace. If your child is struggling, personalized tutoring can be extremely helpful. For more details, visit MWNS.
Apart from that, just sit back and enjoy the ride with your high schooler!