3. The Challenge: Studying Effectively
Here’s the situation: Your child likes online school. He enjoys online classes and teacher interaction. He even does his homework every night. But that effort and enthusiasm just isn’t translating to the kind of academic gains and grades you both want to see. In a case like this, good study skills could do the trick. Developing good study skills can be a challenge. Most kids need to be taught how to study effectively, or they may spin their wheels without getting much done.
How Parents Can Help
Take effective notes – Teaching your child to take notes can help your child process information taught in class and truly retain what they’ve learned. There are even studies showing that writing notes out by hand results in better retention than not taking any notes or using a laptop. Teaching your child to use active reading strategies—like taking notes or highlighting key themes and passages—is also very helpful for retention.
Practice for tests – Simply reviewing content before a test isn’t necessarily the best method to ensure your child is prepared for an upcoming test. As parents we sometimes feel that ‘going over the work’ is sufficient. With online schooling, it might not be enough. Instead, encourage them to try more interactive approaches, like completing practice tests. Asking your child review questions and having them provide short essay-style explanations aloud can also be a great strategy to make sure they truly understand the material.
Avoid cramming – Studying a little bit of a subject every day is much better for long-term retention than studying for a longer period of time a single day. It’s also important to encourage your student to break up their studying with smart breaks. Taking a 15-minute break once every hour can work wonders on keeping them focused and productive.
Teach your child to ask for help – Perhaps your child is struggling with understanding a specific lesson in a particular subject or doesn’t quite understand the lesson. When this is the case, asking for help is key. With online schooling, many lessons and theories can be easily misunderstood. Many kids are afraid to ask because asking might lead us and the teacher to think that they are not paying attention. Teaching your child how to build effective working relationships with other students and asking their peers for help is another important lesson in asking for, receiving, and offering support.