Study Skills 102

School is fast approaching (starting this Tuesday – can’t believe it!) so we are springing into action around here and getting all our stuff ready.

We went school supply shopping and then sat down and organized everything. That, is certainly the first best study tip anyone can have: organization.

We made sure everyone had the tools for success: pencils, pens, erasers, rulers, compass, dividers, paper, staplers, etc. etc.

The little guys don’t need much, except for a little exercise book for them to practice their dictee and spelling in, and some really good pencils and markers.

Zach and Zandra are transitioning into needing more stuff. They both each have a big binder with compartments and dividers so they can have a section for each subject. Zach started this last year and it worked really well for him so Zandra is giving it a try this year too.

Gabe makes the transition to high school, so it’s a bit different. We got a binder per subject, then divided each binder into sections 3 sections: notes/handouts, test/test prep, and assignments. We talked about the importance of dating and labeling his notes with page numbers (every single page needs a date and a page number), adding in handouts right away with his notes (so he got a hole puncher too for that since often teachers don’t give them out with holes), adding in the study notes he makes for test prep (and then keeping the returned test with those notes), and then adding in any info for assignments.

Since organization is key, we talked this week about making “to do lists” for school.

I am a huge believer in lists. They help you remember things, they help you sort out your priorities, and they make you accountable. If it’s on a list, it is way more likely to get done. And, you become much more aware of time if you see how much you have left to do!

So, I suggested that everyday each child has a “list” of “school work to do” to follow. Not just “Yah Yah it’s in my bag, I”ll just do it” but an actual list that gets things crossed (or checked ) off. They can make their list and even put beside the task how much time they think they can complete the task in (this is helpful for the turtles in our family).

I also suggested that they make “study lists” prior to a test; listing all the things they need to do to prep for the test (e.g. re-read chapter 2, make study notes, test myself, ask parent to quiz me, review 3 times before bed).

With these lists, they will become more independent as they will be managing their own time, they will know when they can stop doing homework (when the list is done) and they will be more accountable to make sure that things do get done.

Hopefully they will all be off to a great start for another school year!!

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