During the middle school years, your child may feel able to coast by without developing good study skills. After all, they understand the material; why put any more effort into it? As long as your child’s grades look good, you might not worry too much about study skills, either. Unfortunately, if your child waits until high school to start developing good study skills, it could be too late. In fact, you can significantly increase your child’s odds of college success by developing the right study skills in middle school.
Why Students Need Study Skills in Middle School
Students who have solid study skills often perform better on standardized tests, including the ACT and SAT. They’re able to absorb more information quickly and know how to retain it effectively. As they develop study skills, students often develop self-discipline along with it, which can help them be substantially more successful in a variety of arenas–including homework completion. Students with solid skills know not just what they need to learn, but how to learn it. Often, they also have a better understanding of how they, specifically, absorb information and how it relates to their overall academic performance.
What Study Skills Does Your Student Need?
If you have a middle school student, you don’t want to overwhelm them with information about study skills on top of the homework they already have or the after-school activities they enjoy. At the same time, you do want to make sure that your student has a basic grasp of the study skills he or she needs most.
Getting and staying organized is crucial for handling your child’s academic needs, from homework to studying for a test. If your child is constantly digging for another piece of paper or running around the house looking for materials, they won’t be spending that time in dedicated study–and it could make it more difficult for them to accomplish their goals.
Does your student know how to condense information and break it down into understandable chunks? Many students learn best when they take notes over material presented orally or in written form, rather than simply passively absorbing that information–but if your student lacks basic note taking skills, they may struggle to take advantage.
Multitasking has become increasingly common in many arenas, but that doesn’t make it the best choice for your student. Rather, your student needs to know how to turn off their phone and concentrate on one task at a time, allowing them to more effectively take care of the tasks on their plate.
When your child sits down to work on a task or project, are they able to effectively manage their time, or do they struggle to complete anything, often jumping from one piece of the task to another? Do simple tasks seem to take much longer than they should? Helping your child focus on time management skills can transform their ability to handle projects.
Many teachers skim over the “how” of paper writing, leaving students with poor writing skills struggling to keep up or catch up with their classmates. Your child needs to know how to reproduce information, how to avoid plagiarizing, and how to write effectively, whether they’re putting together a persuasive argument or reporting information.
Some things simply have to be memorized–there’s no better way to learn them. Does your child know how to utilize tricks and strategies that will aid in memorization, making it easier for them to use that information later?
Teaching your child study skills in middle school is critical. Without study skills, your child may struggle to perform in high school, college, and beyond. At The Tenney School, we ensure that your child receives a well-rounded education, including a focus on study skills that will help them succeed later in life. Contact us today to learn how we can help.