Study tips for better grades

Here are some invaluable suggestions on how parents can help children improve their study habits and effectiveness:

Encourage penmanship. What this really means is that while the ability to use electronics is great, parents should also set aside time for kids to write. Do this by having your children select a pen or pencil that they are comfortable writing with. The ability to write well allows for ease in taking notes or writing long essay answers on exams. This helps with brain and mental development as 

Study TimeCredit: © Photoeuphoria

Create a Study Space, schedule Study Time and Stick with It. Create  a space that's comfortable to work in with a table and a chair along with good lighting. Keep it quiet and designated as a study spot. Set up a weekly schedule for study time with two forty-minute study times each day with a 20 minute break between. Pick study times and stick to those times. This should be in addition to  homework time. For younger kids, use this for extra reading, workbooks, drawing and developmental skills.

Buy Study Guides for Your Student.  For high school and college, these easy guides can be found at bookstores for anywhere from $5 to $9 (or purchased used online) and provide great subject matter building blocks. They are the easiest and fastest way to get quick information on a topic. They provide an outline of main topics and keywords. From main topics and keywords, kids can use memory retention methods to bridge to detailed information and descriptors.

Encourage Participation in Study Groups or extracurricular enrichment programs.  After school, join a study group where you can discuss ideas, ask questions and research the answers. You can also engage in extracurricular tutoring programs or enrichment activities either offered by the school or from a private tutor. A tutor provides another set of eyes and approach towards learning a subject and it's one-on one providing a better hands on process to learning the material.

Get the right supplies. The essential items include: notebooks, pens, pencils, text books (for the day only), Kleenex, nutritional snacks, medications, and extra clothes. Label all items and make sure you inspect backpacks and check for school supplies needed on a regular basis. 

Read to your child and test their reading skills. If there was one singular thing I would stress in the early years it is to read to your children. This is the building block for your child's desire to read. Read an assortment of books at different levels and get a library card at your local public library and/or school library. Make sure your child reads at their appropriate age level and that they do not have eye problems.  Have your child's eyes checked. If they need a reading tutor, now is the time to find out.

Encourage Reading Time. Do not interrupt kids when they are in study time or reading their text books. Encourage full attention on the task at hand.

Take Good Notes - Taking good notes is a learned skill and is something that each student has a special technique for. It's a way of organizing thoughts as your child hears them. Some will use bulleted lists and points with keywords. Others will write things in book margins. Whatever the case note taking is a system and a process. Some kids are more adept with writing notes on paper, others can use tablets and other devices. In any case, there are several note taking methods that can help kids. Taking notes allows your child to 1) hear the information 2) write the information 3) re-read the information 4) compare to what they read. That's four different ways that information is retained via note taking.

Encourage the use of mnemonic devices. Make learning fun with rhymes, telling stories or jokes. Also try acronyms to remember lists of details or essential rules.  Repetitive writing helps you remember them. US Memory champion, Ron White used this technique to teach a 6-year-old child to remember all the US presidents. 

These tips will help parents and students create a richer study environment that will help kids get better grades.