Middle school is a huge transitional period. For many students staying organized and on track with as many as eight different subjects and teachers each day poses quite a challenge. As your child learns to navigate these waters, you can help them by teaching them to use their time at home effectively. These three study hacks will strengthen your child’s retention of what they’re learning and prepare them for success in high school and throughout college.
3 At Home Study Hacks For Middle Schoolers
1. Music! And Gum! Yes, you read that correctly. Music – the right music – can help with retention while reducing tension. The key is in how you listen. If your child plugs in their earphones and starts doing math homework while jamming with Five Finger Death Punch or Taylor Swift, you can be sure there is not a lot of math happening. Music should be background noise rather than center stage. If you’re not sure where to start, try the Study Music Project’s playlist to get you started. While you’re at it, give your child a stick of gum. Studies have shown that chewing gum actually increases focus. (Check with your orthodontist if braces are in the picture.)
2. Make a Cheat Sheet! Again, you read right. You are not encouraging your child to cheat – instead you are teaching them something that some of the best teachers in the world know to be true. If you give students an opportunity to bring an index card with all the information they can fit onto it into the classroom when they take a test, those students:
- Rarely look at the index cards
- Perform exceedingly well on the test
A few days before a quiz or test, set your middle schooler up with an index card and some colored pens and invite them to use all the resources at their disposal to create a card that would help them answer any question they think they might encounter on their test. Let them use the card to answer questions you give them on the remaining nights leading up to the test. (Make sure they leave the note card in your care before the head to school on test day.)
3. Use Technology! You had to use a card catalog to write your research paper. It was the most advanced option at the time. Your child has other options and will benefit by learning to use them responsibly early-on. If your child has a smart phone (or if you’ll let them use yours for a bit), there are countless apps available – many free. A few to look at include: Fetchnotes, Study Buddy, Duolingo, and Vocabology. For a mix of old and new, check out Quizlet. Finally, if your child is struggling with a new lesson, look for an alternative explanations on sites like Khan Academy. If your child has learning challenges don’t forget to check out the incredible number of special education resources available online.
For children with special needs, it’s often extremely helpful to have the one-on-one assistance of a professional educator. Special Education Tutoring can be conducted online in the comfort of your own home. Interested in finding out more? Receive a free consultation from a Special Education Tutor today!
Your child is growing up fast but, they still needs your guidance at home to master the study skills they’re going to need in the future. Middle school is the perfect time to start instilling good habits. As an added bonus, you’ll have fun with these apps and resources and you’ll be learning right alongside your child!