Originally Sent: 4/2/2015
April 2, 2015
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Study Skills: Your Teen’s Path to Future Success
One important facet of homeschooling through high school is developing your teen’s study skills. Not only do these skills benefit your teens during high school, but they also prepare teens for future success whether they enter the workforce, enlist in the military, enroll in trade school, or enter college. Let’s look at learning styles, organizational skills, note-taking strategies, test preparation tips, and time-management aids.
Although we throw out many suggestions, please don’t be overwhelmed! Use as many—or as few (!)—of these recommendations as you have the time and energy to implement. You may want to introduce several concepts each year of high school rather than trying to put them all into practice at once.
Space them out and cheer your teen on as he makes progress.
Eight Learning Styles
Before we discuss study skills we need to address learning styles because teens study best when they utilize their strengths. Homeschoolers can take advantage of much research done in this area. One book we recommend is How am I Smart? A Parent’s Guide to Multiple Intelligences by Dr. Kathy Koch.
The best study skills employ your teen’s preferred learning styles. Academic achievement depends upon your teen using his strengths to learn new ideas and concepts. Here are eight intelligence factors researchers have named. As you might expect, teens are often a mix of two or three strong learning styles. Koch’s book references the following factors:
Dr. Koch’s book offers evaluation advice on determining your teen’s strong learning styles. Here’s a free online questionnaire teens can take to help determine their preferred learning styles.
Help your teen learn to organize his schoolwork into a binder with dividers. Use tabs to keep track of assignments, notes, vocabulary, current work, completed work, and other paperwork. Also encourage teens to organize their study area. Being able to find assignments improves your teen’s ability to turn work in on time. This simple step will minimize the time lost looking for schoolwork. Although teens often spread their work around the house, work on a method to keep school supplies in a useful, accessible container.
Because reading chapters takes a lot of time, students save time in the long run by developing note-taking skills. College-bound teens must develop lecture note-taking skills as well. Students can begin practicing this skill on videos and progress to sermons or topical radio shows. When adults need to learn material quickly, they generally create outlines, and publishers write textbooks in a straightforward manner. This makes chapters conducive to outlining. Outlines are central to studying for a test, developing an oral report, or gathering facts for a paper. Tailor the following study skills to take advantage of your teen’s strong learning styles.
Tests Preparation Tips
High school teens need to learn review and test preparation study skills. Actually, taking tests helps teens hone these critical skills. Parents can work with teens to modify techniques. When a parent’s strong learning styles are compatible with a teen’s strong learning styles, then the parent’s honed study skills will greatly benefit the teen. The challenge arises when the teen’s strong learning styles conflict with the parent’s. Individualized homeschool instruction means parents work with the strengths God has given their teens and help them develop those skills and abilities. Here are test-taking sites that parents can adapt to suit their teen’s strong learning styles.
Time Management Aids
Teens need to learn how to divide large assignments into manageable sections. Begin this process by giving weekly assignments for one of your teen’s courses. Monitor how the week progresses, because this gives valuable insight into your teen’s time-management baseline. Begin building skills from that baseline. Time-management skills are crucial to developing independent learners.
Your teen needs help and encouragement to develop these study skills. Take heart and know it is never too late to begin teaching these essential skills, and reassure your teen that his skills will sharpen with continued use. Over time he will reap rich rewards for putting these skills into practice.
Join us next month as we jump into the topic of extracurricular activities and elective courses.
Grateful for you and your investment in your teen,
Carol Becker and Diane Kummer
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