Teaching Children Lasting Study Skills January 04 2012

Your children will spend a long time in school - possibly decades. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that they learn good study skills, and as early on as possible. Study skills are a systematic approach to learning and applying information, and are the make or break factor when it comes to success in school. Good study habits can drastically reduce study time, increase learning retention, and improve the overall education experience. For those reasons, you should do everything within your power to foster healthy and productive study habits in your school-age children. Here are some tips for teaching lasting study skills.

An integrative approach. There are many methods of learning, and a good study regimen includes a variety of them. The best way to teach study skills that last is to customize a study routine to the child's specific way of learning. For example, rote learning involves rewriting notes in order to "memorize" information, and is good for visual learners, while listening to tape recorded lectures is great for auditory learning styles. It is also useful to use a number of study methods (flash cards, sample tests, acronyms, etc) to present information from different angles.

Time management and organization. One of the most important parts of studying is organizing and managing the process. Once you choose your study methods, you need to create a timeline of when and how you will use each one, so that there is no question as to what your student should be doing and when. For example, you may set a schedule to rewrite definitions and key points on Monday through Thursday, the give a sample test on Friday and review recorded lectures over the weekend. Working study skills into the schedule like this is a great way to make them a natural part of the daily routine.

Consistency. There is no substitute for studying on a regular basis. Once study time and study methods are worked into the regular schedule, you must instill in your child the necessity of sticking to the routine - no (or few) exceptions allowed. Studying should be second nature - like eating breakfast or brushing teeth - as it needs to be done consistently to be effective.

Priorities. Studying needs to be a priority if you are to be a success at it, plain and simple. That means that you can't just squeeze your study schedule into your priorities; study time must hold a high ranking. Set a rule that studying comes before things like after school snacks, video games, Internet, and phone calls, if you really want to establish the importance of studying.

Good study skills are one of the best gifts you can give that special student in your life - and it is a gift that lasts a lifetime. Follow these tips to teach the value of studying and plant a seed that will last a lifetime.

About the Author: Ericka Carratala loves studying education and hopes to continue working with children as they develop useful life skills. She writes about methods of schooling, grants for college, and hands-on education practices.