How did this happen?
Your little baby is all grown up and their first day of high school is quickly approaching. Are they ready? Are you ready?
Well, we can’t help much with parental heartache at this new stage of life. But we can offer our top 10 study tips for high school students to help your child start off (and keep going) strong. Let’s dive in!
1. Study in Blocks
Many kids find it difficult to sit and concentrate for long periods of time. Your child will likely find that the amount of homework they are expected to complete in high school is a little more demanding than what they are used to.
Suggest this tried and true method to help them focus. Instead of sitting down and going all out for as long as they can, study in blocks. Set a timer for 25 minutes of study, followed by a 5-minute break.
Having that 5-minute break to allow the brain to rest makes it so much easier to go strong for that 25-minute block. They’ll even find that even though they are taking breaks, they are more efficient!
2. Cut Down on Distractions
Of course, to really be able to focus for that 25 minutes, they need freedom from distractions. Encourage them to let you and the rest of the family know when they are going to study. Maybe you can create a fun “do not disturb” sign to hang when they are hitting the books.
Of course, familial distractions aren’t the only thing interrupting teenagers these days. Encourage them to silence notifications on phones and laptops so electronic distractions aren’t butting in.
3. Get Creative with Notetaking
Yes, taking notes is boring and nobody likes doing it. Yet, it is such a great help when you are trying to learn something. The mere act of writing it down makes it more likely that you’ll remember the information later on.
Encourage your child to take this concept one step further and get creative when taking notes. Use different colours, graphs, flow charts, hieroglyphs — whatever can help them remember the information and tie concepts together.
Even if they never look at them again, the mere act of making these notes will help cement the concepts in their brain.
4. Get the Mental Juices Flowing
Does your child have a hard time settling down to study? They might be nervous or excited after (or before) a big day and getting their brain into study mode is nearly impossible.
According to MWNS, there’s a neat trick that can help with this. Suggest that your child sit down and read something interesting and thought-provoking before beginning a study session.
By using a topic they enjoy, they can more easily slide their brain into the “read-and-understand” mode. It only takes a few minutes and then they can turn their attention to math and English.
5. Get Some Exercise
Another way to wake up the brain and help kids focus is to get some exercise. Only about 23% of Australia’s children ages 5-14 get the recommended amount of daily exercise.
It might be surprising to know, but the brain doesn’t function as well without proper exercise. Plus, adequate exercise accounts for a dramatic drop in the risk of many diseases later in life including heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
Encourage your child to build regular exercise into their daily routine. This will help them stay healthy and strong, as well as make it easier to concentrate when studying.
6. Spend Time Outside
With the push to protect yourself from skin cancer, everybody’s afraid to spend any more time outdoors than absolutely necessary. But though too much sun is dangerous, too little sun isn’t healthy either.
Our brains need vitamin D to function properly. The best way to get this nutrient is to spend time in the sun. The rays from the sun stimulate our bodies to produce just what we need.
7. Put Deadlines Somewhere Visible
Many students keep track of assignments in little calendars or by making notes on their phones. This isn’t always a great idea. It’s too easy to overlook something, especially when you start running out of room to make notes.
Buy your child a wall calendar and encourage them to mark all their deadlines on it. This makes them more visible, encouraging your child toward their goals and helping to ensure they don’t miss anything.
8. Don’t Edit in the Moment
The wall calendar ideas also help students to plan ahead. Remind your child that it’s too easy to overlook mistakes when editing a paper immediately after writing it. Your brain knows what is supposed to be there and automatically fills it in.
Instead, encourage them to edit papers at least 24 hours after completing them. Yep, that means they’ll need to write them early. Having those deadlines up on the wall helps keep them conscious of what is due when.
9. Spend Time With You!
Social time is important for proper brain function as well. Feeling alone and isolated can easily lead to depression and other mental health issues.
Encourage your child to spend time with you and their friends. Organize a weekly game night with your family and make sure your child gets plenty of time to hang out with wholesome friends.
10. Fuel the Brain
Candy bars and sugary snacks won’t do your child any good, but their brain does need fuel to work. Make sure there are plenty of healthy snack options on hand, especially when they have a big test to study for.
Things like nuts and fruit offer plenty of brain-fueling nutrients without too many added sugars or empty calories.
Enjoy High School!
High school is an exciting experience for your child. They’ll learn a lot, make new friends, and prepare for life as adults. They might not act like it too much anymore, but they can still benefit from your helpful advice — or just have them read this article!