The Weather

J.D.’s Take: Study Skills

March 8, 2017
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Study skills have been undervalued by schools for a long period of time. I am sure that you fondly remember the middle and high school years, where teachers would throw heaps of information at you without any strategies to study the material.

Fortunately, the times have changed. Some schools have incorporated a study skills class to complement the rest of the curriculum. Nevertheless, students who attend schools without study skills classes have been left high and dry.

If you feel that your child’s study skills are lacking, here are a few tips and tricks to help your child manage those seemingly incomprehensible tests and pesky pop quizzes.

If your child puts his or her notes in layman’s terms, he or she will retain the material more effectively. As a tutor, it pains me to see students mindlessly rewrite teachers’ notes without giving further thought into what each bullet means. Putting notes into his or her own words encourages critical thinking and sparks creativity!

Once your child feels confident with the material, he or she should test him or herself by making new practice problems. Per Bloom’s taxonomy of learning, creation and evaluation require a level of advanced expertise that is attained once one has truly mastered a concept.

Your child should also utilize as many different modalities as possible. In addition to going over notes, he or she should watch videos or perform other interactive activities. For example, Khan Academy is an incredible resource to watch videos on almost any educational topic. Moreover, Khan Academy provides quizzes to test comprehension.

Finally, do not cram! Cramming should be avoided as much as Hammer pants after 1992. Your child’s brain will absorb the material very well if he or she studies every day leading up to the test. Even if your child’s daily study routine encompasses twenty minutes of flash cards or a few practice problems, the continued exposure is preferable to one night of intense cramming. At a certain point, sleep becomes just as productive as studying. Our brains need sleep to function and properly retain information!


So who’s J.D.? Our resident BrainStorm blogger – bringing education focused articles, current events and resources that are valuable for any parent – all with a BrainStorm twist.


This entry was posted in Brain Food, BrainStorm’s resource center for parents.
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