13 Nov Study Skills for Middle School Students
When I was in middle school no one taught us HOW to study, and it is often the same in many classrooms today. Giving your middle school student the right studying skill set now, will help them in high school, college and beyond. Middle school is when students have several different classrooms, and a different teacher for each subject…it’s when school starts to get more complex, more like real life. Giving them strong middle school study skills now, provides a good foundation that will help beyond just this school year
Helping Children to Learn to Be Organized
With more classes and teachers, helping your children stay organized can have a big payoff. Help them find and learn to use a system that works for their style. Each subject should probably have its own notebook, binder and/or folders. They need a place to take notes and perhaps two folders for each class: one for homework to turn in, and one for returned assignments. Help them think through their classes and homework and find a way that works for their needs. Check in with them a week or so later to see if the system needs tweaking. Find or create a daily homework assignment notebook too. Encourage the habit of writing down, both daily assignments, and future projects.
Breaking Assignments & Projects Down
It can be so easy for kids to put off a big assignment. You can help them create good habits by asking questions to get them to think through and estimate how long they think each assignment will take, so they can figure out how much time to allot to studying for each class. For larger projects, ask questions that help them learn to break a big task down into smaller pieces and plug them into their schedule. Remind them that this also leaves time for sports, other hobbies and play time, rather than having to cram all that work in on a project on the last day, right before a big sporting event or fun activity they might have to miss in order to finish the project.
Teach Children to Ask for Help…When they Truly Need It
Some children are very independent and even stubborn, and keep grinding through a subject, even if they are not “getting” it. Other kids ask for help at the drop of a hat, whether they really need it or not. Learn to recognize both of these destructive and distracting behaviors and help your child learn when to ask for help…and whom to ask. Sometimes talking with other kids gives them just the hand they need, or it can send them in the wrong direction. Asking a parent can be great, if the parent remembers that it is the child’s homework and helps guide them to the answer, rather than giving it to them. If children are really struggling – ask the teacher for help, or look to programs like ALOHA for assistance. Classes like ALOHA’s can also help high achievers get ahead too.
Middle School Brings More Tests – Here are Some Test Taking Tips
- Reviewing quizzes from earlier in the semester is another great study tip for kids of all ages. Encourage them to extrapolate (a great vocabulary word by the way) how the teacher might present new classroom material in similar ways on the next test.
- Encourage the use of flash cards. You can purchase 3×5” or larger cards and have your children put the concepts on which they will be tested on one side, and the answers on the other. Then they can test themselves or you or a sibling can work with them. This works for math problems and formulas/equations, for vocabulary words and for concepts in social studies or even science.
- Children can also create a vocabulary list then tape it up in a location they see often, next to the computer, on their bathroom mirror, the bedroom wall or on the fridge.
- Kids sometimes want to be in fashion – wearing whatever is “in” that season, but reminding them to dress warmly in winter, or dress so they’ll be cooler on a hot day, helps keep them focused. No one takes tests well if they are too cold or too hot.
- Getting enough sleep the night before a test is another great strategy to keep kids focused and less distracted. Not enough sleep can have a negative impact on memory the next day.
Taking classes and programs like Aloha through age 12, is also a great way to help your child prepare for the challenges of middle school. Kids with confidence in their math, reading and writing skills should be able to better handle the challenges that come in middle school.