When speaking with parents about their child, many times parents will discuss their son or daughter's struggle with test preparation. Many parents claim that their children do not have a clue about what strategies to use when studying for a test.
One of the main reasons students procrastinate studying for a test, has to do with feeling very overwhelmed by the ACT of studying. These young minds associate studying with an exaggerated image of themselves painfully sitting at a desk while rereading very dense and boring material for hours on end. With this interpretation of studying, it is no wonder these kids struggle with self-motivation.
Before I discuss actual studying tips with students, we dive into setting up a time management plan that includes all after school activities, homework, projects and tests due that week. Next, we discuss where we can plug in studying for the test. For instance, if the student is taking the test on Friday and we are starting this time management plan on Monday, what does the student need to do each night in preparation for his test. Once we start to devise a study plan ON PAPER or on the computer, the studying does not seem as overwhelming.
As I mentioned before, I am always looking for new ways to make studying more interesting and engaging for the student. For many kids, sitting at the table trying to memorize facts is tortuous. Who says that the child has to be confined to a table to study? Let him move around the room, bounce a rubber ball, sit on a yoga ball, or even let him sit upside down on the couch with his head hanging over the edge of the seat (yes I had a student who memorized vocabulary this way!). Have him put history facts into a beat and make a song out of it. You can even make a game out of studying by allowing your child to take a giant step towards the finish line for every correct answer he has to your review.
Remember to help your child chunk the work he needs to study. Do not take on the 5 sheets in the study packet in one sitting. Give you child one sheet at a time to study and review. Chunking the schoolwork will not feel as overwhelming, which should encourage the child to stay engaged.
Pinterest is a wonderful site for parents looking for some great ideas to help their children set up study areas. The more fun and attractive you make the study area, the more likely your child will stay engaged in their work.
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