Study tips to give your child the edge: Advice from a teacher

Three must-haves for successful study are: be organised, avoid distractions, and find ways to help you memorise information. There are lots of strategies and resources that can help; however from my experience as an educator everyone has their own study style. This means that what suits one child may not necessarily benefit another.

Why not trial one, or all, of the following study apps and strategies which, I’ve found, can work really well for older children

1. Be organised

When, where and how long to study are important considerations. Developing a routine that makes the most of their time is key.

When: Don’t assume all children study best after school or at night, why not trial studying in the mornings, it might be a better option.

Where: Some children find a study space that is removed from the rest of the family’s activity can feel like punishment. Find a place that works well with your child’s needs.

How long: Expecting a child to study for three to four hours every day is almost impossible. An effective after-school study routine would be a blend of play and study time.

If losing class and study notes is a problem for your child then an organisational app like Evernote might be a good idea. Apps such as these, will help your child to keep all their notes in one place. And one thing I really like about it is that your child can use it to organise presentation notes, and even create their own study guides from notes taken in class.

2. Avoid distractions

Whether you’re a school student or an adult, if you’re surrounded by things you’d rather do than study, then you’ll probably do those things instead of studying. If your child finds themselves checking social media or a favourite website for the hundredth time, then it might be a good idea for them to try an app like SelfControl, which allows users to block a selection of websites for a set period of time. They won’t even be able to take a sneak peek once it’s been activated.

The best way to help your child use an app like this is to provide advice regarding the best time length option for them. This app will also work most effectively if your child takes control of it because they see the value in it.

3. Memorising information

A tried and tested way for remembering information is to form an acronym. That is to form a word from the first letter of each fact to be remembered. It can be a real or made up word.

Flashcards can also be really helpful. StudyStack is an app that allows users to create flashcard sets and use flashcards that other users have already made. When a card is flipped, you choose whether you got it right or wrong. Wrong cards will be repeated until you’ve learned it, making it a great tool for memorisation. A great feature of this app is that once the content has been loaded on, the site can turn the information into a number of tools and games perfect for studying. Your child can play hangman, unscramble, or a matching game before taking quizzes and practices tests. These options can help build some fun into studying. They would also work well if your child likes to study with a friend.

As parents its important we support children in their study. Providing good (and realistic) options that might help them work to their best is a great way to do this. It will also importantly help your child to understand their own study preferences and strategies that work for them.