Improving Back to School Study Skills for Middle School Students
Middle school is a vital time in a student's educational career and middle school study skills are essential to success in high school and beyond. Think of middle school much like the practices leading up to a big game. An athlete's practice performance is important because that time spent mastering the fundamentals pays off when the stakes are high during a game. Middle school is the same way. There are many different study skills that students should master in middle school that will play a valuable role when the stakes are much higher.
As a parent it is vital for you to play an active role in your middle schooler student's education. Working with your child now to master essential middle school study skills will help lay a strong foundation for future grades. Parents and students should work together to:
- Find the best time to study Every student is different. It is important to remember what works for others, or what worked for you, may not be best for your child. Spend time experimenting with study times to see when your child is most effective. For several days have your child complete homework and other school tasks immediately upon arriving home. Then try switching the study time to later in the evening, perhaps immediately after dinner. If neither of these times work for your child, evaluate your family's daily schedule for other available study blocks that may be more beneficial.
- Keep materials organized Many middle school students don't naturally possess essential organizational skills. The ability to organize materials, schedules, and assignments can be difficult. Work with your child to establish and maintain an organizational system that is efficient and tailored to this year's coursework. Provide the materials necessary for your child to stay organized such as binders, folders, and an assignment planner. Take the time to help your child keep the materials organized and intervene if your child is experiencing difficulty.
- Learn to take notes Taking notes is a critically important study skill in high school and college. Middle school is an ideal time to learn note taking skills because it provides plenty of opportunity to practice and refine this skill. Huntington Learning Centers offers students the opportunity to learn study skills, including note taking, from highly trained professionals. Your child's tutor will teach specific note taking skills to help with this year's courses. There will also be an emphasis on general note taking skills that can be applied to a variety of subject areas. This helps your child view note taking as a universal study skill that can be used in any course.
- Develop a study schedule Your child has a schedule full of challenging academic work and may be overwhelmed by the prospect of managing all of the assignments, projects, quizzes, and tests. Ask your child for course schedules and syllabi and work to create a master schedule. Help your child see the big picture and understand that planning ahead is essential for success. Work together to devise weekly and monthly study schedules that provide plenty of time for all coursework.
- Build foundational research skills Think about all the research papers and projects in your
child's future. High school and college courses require students to research topics to write papers, complete laboratory work, prepare persuasive arguments, and present material. This research based coursework will be much easier if your child has the research skills necessary for success. As part of the study skills tutoring sessions at Huntington Learning Centers students learn how to conduct effective research and how to use valuable reference skills to determine important information. Students learn how to find the information they're looking for and ways to compile it for use in papers, projects, and presentations.