The 5 Best Study Habits to Teach Teenage Children

Collaborative post by another author. Good study habits are the foundation of a fruitful educational journey. They’re particularly important for teens in high school, since many of them are preparing to enter university. Practicing proper study habits will not only boost their academic performance, but also equip them with the skills needed to flourish in higher education. 

Studying tips for teens, image from canva pro

Of course, good habits aren’t intrinsic, and they also can’t be developed overnight. Any kind of practice must be consistently implemented to be retained. As such, teens require some guidance from their parents and teachers in order to reinforce the most appropriate study habits. 

It’s worth noting that every individual has different strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles—therefore, there’s no “right” way to study. Certain techniques may be effective for some students and ineffective for others. Remember to take your teen’s unique needs into consideration so that you can find the strategies that work best for them. 

That being said, there are a few fundamental practices that have worked very well for many teens over the years. Below are five study habits that can benefit students from a Singapore international high school, particularly those enrolled in a competitive International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme

Using Organisational Tools

To help your teen effectively manage their school tasks and projects, encourage them to use different organisational tools, such as calendars, planners, and to-do lists. You may opt to provide these tools in physical or digital form—whichever works best for your teen’s needs. Some students enjoy the more tangible aspect of physical tools, while others prefer the convenience and portability of digital ones. 

Calendars can be used to take down project deadlines, tests, and other responsibilities that need to be completed. Planners can be used to create more detailed schedules. Finally, to-do lists are great for breaking down large tasks into smaller ones and helping you and your child track their progress. To-do lists also serve as a step-by-step guide for students, which helps them feel less overwhelmed when completing requirements. 

Understanding the Expectations of Teachers

Teachers usually express their expectations at the beginning of the school year through materials like syllabi and course outlines. It’s best to help your child seek these out and study these materials carefully so that they can fully understand their teachers’ expectations as soon as possible. By doing so, they’ll be able to align their study strategies with their teachers’ desired learning outcomes. 

If your teen is having trouble understanding what’s expected of them, encourage them to ask their teacher for assistance. Students should know that it’s perfectly fine to seek guidance, as it helps them grow and also prevents misunderstandings. 

Studying in the Right Environment

The quality of your teen’s study sessions is heavily influenced by their environment. Dark, loud, and cramped surroundings can make it difficult for students to concentrate. Knowing that, set aside some time to help your teen create a space in the house that’s conducive to learning. A quiet and well-lit area is ideal. In addition, make sure that their desk is big enough to spread out study materials. 

Try to eliminate distractions as much as possible. If your teen is easily distracted by electronic devices, help them develop the habit of switching their electronics off and setting them aside during study sessions. If gadgets are necessary to learning, your teen can use an app that limits distracting notifications within a set period of time. 

Practicing Effective Note-Taking 

Effective note-taking is vital for students in high school since majority of their class time is dedicated to lectures. Students should be able to efficiently record critical pieces of information that a teacher discusses in order to review them later. However, many students have difficulty accomplishing this, as they’re naturally inclined to copy everything word for word. While this style of note-taking isn’t “wrong” per se, it’s not the most effective method out there.

Teens should be taught how to extract key pieces of information through active listening. Rather than copy what the teacher is saying verbatim, advise your child to look for keywords or points of emphasis. You can also encourage them to create visual aids like maps and charts. Studies have found that this method of note-taking can greatly improve information retention, as it helps strip concepts down to their bare essentials and connect related ideas. 

Taking Regular Breaks and Getting Enough Sleep

Students can easily forget to take breaks when they’re busy studying or accomplishing school work. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to their development and performance, as rest prevents cognitive overload and burnout. Hence, do ensure that your teen is incorporating regular breaks into their study sessions

In addition to this, try to prevent your child from going to sleep too late. Research states that teens need eight to ten hours of quality sleep in order to maintain proper cognitive functioning. Pulling an all-nighter can actually prevent them from absorbing and retaining the information they’ve learned. It helps to inform them about these facts so they can be more aware of the benefits of proper rest.

Building good study habits takes some time and patience, but parents and students will find that it’s well worth the effort. By helping your teen practice the habits listed above, you can set them up for success, no matter where their academic journey takes them.

No comments

Thanks for your comment (unless it's spam in which case, why?)