5 Study Techniques to Help Your Child Get Better Grades
There is much debate about the importance of grades and the efficacy of the grading system. And it’s true that grades aren’t necessarily an indicator of knowledge since it’s possible to pass tests with excellent grades yet not retain any knowledge in the long run.
Nonetheless, grades are an indicator of academic accomplishment, and there are multiple reasons why it’s important to get better grades.
Why It Is Important to Get Better Grades
Despite the many flaws of the common grading systems, good grades matter.
First of all, grades can determine a child’s future. Good grades can lead to acceptance in better colleges as well as more scholarship options. As a result, they can also lead to better jobs and higher revenue throughout life.
Getting better grades can also boost children’s confidence. Since both parents and teachers tend to praise for higher grades, this can positively affect how children feel about themselves.
Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that…
Grades Alone Won’t Guarantee Success
While grades do indeed matter, neither parents nor teachers should emphasize good grades alone. Instead, they should focus on increasing students’ intrinsic motivation to study and participate in class.
There are two different kinds of motivation: internal and external motivation. External motivation can lead to spikes in short term results, yet is not effective in the long run. So, if students lack the overall motivation to study and are driven by good grades alone, they may cram for exams, but not retain knowledge long-term.
This is not something we should aim for as forgetting essential information can lead to gaps in knowledge and make it exponentially harder to keep up as study subjects advance.
On the other hand, internal motivation can lead to both – students able to get better grades as well as retain the knowledge.
Another factor that can dramatically impact the quality of grades is good study habits and strategies. This will ensure that children do not spend all their time studying. It is important for them to get proper rest and nutrition as well as time to play and spend with their family and friends.
The opposite can lead to the lack of motivation to study which can cause procrastination, affect students wellbeing and, as a result, their grades.
A great way to establish good study habits is through homework. This is when students work independently. Therefore, good study habits can help them get better grades and meet their other needs.
Below are some strategies that parents can teach their children to stay motivated and adapt to establish better study habits and get better grades.
Study Strategies to Get Better Grades
1. Determine Learning Style
Every person learns differently and has a different way in which they absorb, process, understand, and retain information. By taking that into consideration, children can adapt the study methods that they use, maximize their productivity, achieve much more, and get better grades.
Most educators distinguish between three major learning styles (Some children may have a preference for one of a few.):
- Visual learners understand and learn new information best through visuals such as maps, charts, graphs, diagrams, spider diagrams, hierarchies, and similar.
- Auditory learners comprehend and learn new information through verbal instructions, speaking, discussing, repeating, and similar.
- Kinesthetic learners acquire and retain information through hands-on activities, demonstrations, simulations, case studies, experiments, and alike.
Some also list a fourth:
- Read/write – these learners prefer verbal information such as PowerPoint presentations, lists, dictionaries, thesaurus, manuals, and more.
Therefore, parents can help students to use that to their advantage.
For instance, a visual learner can make a spidergram of the study material they’ve read to prepare for a test or highlight important points in different colors. An auditory learner may retain information by retelling what they have learned. A kinesthetic learner will benefit from hands-on tasks, STEM activities, educational toys, building and creating, as well as experiments that help them apply theory in real life.
There are different online tests to help determine those. However, it is possible by also observing how a child plays or experiments with new concepts.
2. Designate a Study Area
Having a specific study area can help a child to settle and get in the right mood for studying. Make sure that your child has all the necessary supplies so that they do not get distracted if they need anything. It should also have enough space, away from distractions such as a TV that you may have on, and be well-lit.
It may help a child to learn if their study area is personalized. So, you can have your child choose a desk, lamp, or the chair that they like. Doing so can also indicate that you are in your child’s side and are genuinely interested in them succeeding rather than simply bringing good grades.
For a visual learner, something like a whiteboard can be useful too.
3. Plan and Prioritize
Teaching a child how to plan their time, will not only help them do their homework and get better grades, but will also teach them how to get more done in less time. This can be extremely useful in the future as well.
One of the things that you can do to help is to get a planner. There, your child can record everything that they need to do and accomplish.
When your child returns from school, you can sit down together and write down everything that needs to be completed that day. You can even estimate how much time you think each task would take. Later, you can assess if that as accurate and discuss why it took longer or not. This way your child will be able to assess their abilities much better and see where their time is going.
Planning can also be useful with long-term assignments and projects. Planning out the work can ensure that your child doesn’t have to do everything last-minute.
Next, make sure to prioritize. Which task is the hardest and most urgent? Then, tackle it first. Getting the most challenging thing out of the way can help get through the remaining tasks.
However, it’s important to remain critical. If you see that your child is really struggling, sometimes, it may be better to handle a smaller and more pleasurable task first. The sense of accomplishment after completing it may serve as motivation to proceed with the harder task.
4. Minimize Distractions
Make sure that the study area is as free of distractions as possible. Some of the most common distractions can be TV, loud music, and even younger siblings. If your child has a phone, advise to put it in silent mode or, leave it in their bag or in another room.
It can be extremely useful to ask your child about what distracts them. It is possible that it is something that you may not be aware of.
5. Take Breaks
While it may seem counterintuitive, taking regular breaks may lead to more productivity. Each of us has a limited attention span during which we can stay fully focused and productive.
Therefore, encourage your child to get up and move regularly. Make sure they don’t spend these breaks watching TV, playing games, or on a phone. For younger children, this can be as often as every 10-15 minutes. Teenagers may be able to stay on a task longer – up to 20-25 minutes.
Consider Seeking Professional Help
If for any reason you may not be able to help your child with better study techniques and strategies, then you may want to seek professional help, such as a tutor. Someone with experience and qualifications in education may be able to assist your child better.
Make sure to choose wisely though and ensure that the professional you choose has your child’s best interests in mind.
Have you tried any of these study techniques to help your child get better grades? Which one is the next you’re going to experiment with? Feel free to connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and tell us about it!
If you live in East Brunswick, New Jersey, and are looking for professional help or STEM classes to help your child get better grades, get in touch with us.