As children grow older, it becomes very important to have good study habits. There are a few things that middle and high school students can do to establish solid study habits.
For middle school students:
- Visualize what you read! Turns out that what you understand is related to how well you can picture it in your mind’s eye. Stop trying to memorize what you’re reading. Instead, picture it so that you can understand it and think about how it relates to what you already know. This is what real studying is all about.
- Toss out your highlighter. When the cap comes off, the brain turns off. Read with a pencil instead. Active ‘pencil reading’ is key.
- Organize your papers each night. Take a short bit of time each night and organize your papers for that day, then prepare your backpack for the next day. Running around in the morning trying to find what you need is a stressful way to start the day. Even worse is showing up at school without the homework you completed. That will cost you.
For high school students:
- It’s time for the adults to step back. It is best to stumble in high school and iron out the kinks before college, where it might be harder to get back on your feet.
- Put away your phone. Attention shifting will hurt your productivity. MIT did a study and it turns out multitasking does not work. When it comes time to study, turn off your social media and put away your phone. Work for a solid block of time, and then take a break.
- Read it on paper, not a screen. Studies show comprehension is better when reading from paper. Plus, the blue light that screens give off can wreck your sleep cycle, which makes it harder to get to sleep.
For both middle and high school students:
- Get enough sleep! It’s hard to learn when sleep-deprived. Your brain integrates what you have learned during sleep. The average teen gets around 7 hours, but needs between 9 and 10 hours of sleep according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Langsford Director Stephen McCrocklin talked to WDRB news about establishing good study habits.