Check Up On Study Skills For The New Year


Dr. Paulette Nadel, Ed.D. is a professional academic counselor with a private 
practice specializing in school stress and test anxiety. You can visit her website at or reach her at or 516-445-2104.
    The new calendar year is generally a good time to check up on your child’s study skills. It’s a good time to get organized, re-establish routines, and reinforce skills that may be getting sloppy at this point in the school year.
    Middle school, high school, and college students may need reminders to reinforce good study habits. Students always have a better chance of succeeding when organization and study skills are used effectively.  Parents can be helpful in keeping students on track. 
    While some teachers may teach study skills, students often need more assistance than they get in the classroom alone. Middle school students in particular may have more homework than they’ve had previously and it may start to become more difficult for them. Study skills developed and practiced now will be used in high school and college as well. 
Here are some tips for helping your child with study skills and organization:
    Set up a study place.  A study place is very important. It can be a desk or a table. It should be well lighted and free from distractions. Students should have enough room to spread out their books and papers. A good comfortable yet sturdy chair is also important.
    Using a planner. Students should get in the habit of using a planner. They should carry it with them to class so that they can write down all assignments. Short term homework assignments should always be written down and referred to when students get home to do their work. Long term assignments need to be written down as well. If a project or report is due in several weeks students can use their planner to set up short term work segments during the weeks before. This will help them to stay organized. This also works with tests and exams. When students write down test dates ahead of time they can be more prepared and less pressured and stressed to cram the night before.
    Organize notebooks and folders. This is a good time of year to take a look at notebooks and folders. Random papers can take up room and look sloppy. Students may have a way of collecting papers that they no longer need. Parents should take time to go through notebooks and folders with their students to bring things up to date and keep them organized. 
Good study skills can help reduce anxiety and stress. If your student seems stressed talk to him about it. It may be helpful to seek the help of a professional coach. When parents stay involved and maintain communication and routines, students seem to be more successful. This will help to reduce stress in parents and in their students.