The following is a guest post written by Chris Whittington and Clare McIlwraith of The Study Gurus.
In a traditional high school, learning can become forced and mundane. Homeschooling, on the other hand, has the amazing ability to create a lifelong love of learning.
This view will be invaluable throughout your children’s lives. A desire to learn and explore will mean they’ll be able to do anything they set their mind to, provided they have the right tool-set.
Before many kids venture out into the big wide world, their journey will involve going to college. You will want to do everything in your power to fully prepare your children for this incredibly important step.
Starting college means a huge shift towards independence.
For many students, this will not only be the first time that they’ve lived away from home, but also the first time they’ll have to take complete responsibility for their own education.
They will no longer have your help to complete assignments, prepare for exams, and just be there for support. The work-load will be more intense and pressure will rarely let up.
There will be no room for spoon-feeding, and self-direction will be required.
Studying is a skill.
Just like sports, crafts, and music, studying can be practiced. Anyone can learn to improve. The more you ‘practice’ studying, the better you get.
If you help your children master their study skills now, before they head off to college, you will ensure they reach the success you know they’re capable of achieving.
What can you do to help?
Everyone has their own ideal way to learn. We like to call this ‘ideal way’ a study formula.
Your children’s study formula will be made up of all the different techniques and habits that help them study most effectively. Understanding their study formula will guarantee they get the most out of every study session.
Here are a few things you can do now to help your children find their study formula and develop habits that they will use at college every single day.
1. Explore her learning style.
If your child knows the ways that she retains information most effectively, she can tailor her study to meet her own needs.
- Does your child learn best when she has diagrams that she can memorize?
- Does she like hearing something explained verbally?
- Does she need to read something in a book, or write it down to commit it to memory?
- Or does she learn best by putting something into action – by doing things?
2. What is his preferred study environment?
- Where does your child like to be while he studies?
- Does he like to be surrounded by people or completely alone?
- Does he like to use a computer or does that just lead to distraction?
- Does listening to music help him focus?
- Does he like taking notes in a particular type of book?
While it may not seem relevant, some of these little details make the difference between okay study and great study. Being in the right environment will help your child get into the right mental space for studying before he even starts.
3. Hone your child’s time management skills.
Photo by John Morgan
If your child has the ability to plan time effectively and manage her work load she’ll be on the fast track to getting straight A’s at college.
One of the best ways to combat procrastination and poor time management is to set time aside for study in advance. Help your child draw up a study timetable. Even if she usually makes time to do her work, the act of committing to a timetable will get your child into the habit of a study routine.
This habit will be priceless during college.
They’ll thank you on graduation day.
Forming great study habits early, by perfecting their own study formula and getting into the routine of set study times will ensure your children hit the ground running at college.
Add this to the fact that they have encouraging and supportive parents behind them, and there’s no way they won’t achieve great things!
What do you see as the best thing you’re doing now to prepare your children for college?