Transitioning from elementary school into junior high can be slightly daunting. The academic and behavioral expectations are different and the amount of homework is bound to increase. But junior high doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. Encouraging good study habits is a great way to ensure that your student is succeeding academically, as well as potentially improving his or attitude towards classroom learning. It’s important to remember that a student’s success builds self-confidence, which inspires the student’s eagerness to learn.
Developing strong study habits in your junior high student is the best way to prepare him or her for success in higher education. To begin, observe your student while he or she does homework or prepares for a test. Look specifically at the kinds of notes that your child takes during class. Are the notes organized, or simply a random collection of words? If your student has little sense of organization when jotting down class material, this is the best place to start.
Talk to your child about potential organization strategies such as outline structures and highlighting. Encourage your child to adopt a format of notetaking that is meaningful and memorable to him or her. Students who participate in notetaking strategies while in class are more likely to be engaged with the conversation or lecture, and the act of writing or typing helps to ingrain the facts and ideas into the student’s memory. Once your student adopts a method of notetaking, show him or her how to highlight or color-code important keywords and phrases. Warn your student about over highlighting. When a student highlights more than necessary, nothing significant stands out on the page.
Now that your student is getting older, create a study space where he or she is able to have access to all study supplies and can spread out textbooks and notes. Providing your student with a small office desk in a place with the least distractions will help aid the study process. Also, if your child’s school doesn’t require students to have a planner or online assignment calendar, purchase a planner for your child and spur him or her to keep track of assignments and due dates. If your child uses an electronic device to enhance studying, choose a free notetaking or organizer application such as myHomework or Evernote to keep track of notes and due dates.
Finally, another large component of fostering good study habits lies in the student’s ability to manage his or her time wisely. A planner helps aids this process, however junior high students need to learn to prioritize their daily tasks effectively. Develop an after-school routine where your child is able to participate in extracurricular activities, but understands that time must be devoted to homework.
Taking the time to understand your student’s daily routine and expectations in the classroom will better help you to help your junior high student succeed in high school and beyond!
Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private SchoolsImage by Fairmont Private Schools