Best 10 Study Tips for Kids (and their Parents)

Studying doesn’t have to be difficult. It may seem like you or your child cannot get it all done, but with these especially curated study tips you will be able to make big strides. “Set aside certain regular study hours,” encourages Jasna Knowles, the longtime owner and operator of KnowledgeQuest in San Jose, CA.


1. Set Aside Study Time Each Day
Setting aside regular study hours gives a student awareness of when to be ready to study. This works because the family does not have to decide each day, the study time is set aside and regular. Parents may need to turn off the television and shut down texting to friends until the study time is complete. For student athletes, the time on any given day may vary. In those cases, book out the week with study times that fit in soccer, basketball or other athletic endeavors.

2. Work Quickly
You may have thought that going slowly was the right choice, but there are advantages to moving quickly and veering away from distraction. For instance, reading in 15-minute segments is shown to be a stronger way to learn than to spend hours and hours exhausting the mind.

3. Set Goals for Your Studies
The goal may be to increase performance by one grade letter, or to finish elementary school well-prepared for middle school. Or high school students may choose to focus on getting into college. The saying “keep the eyes on the prize” is tried and true for a reason. Once you have a goal, remember to say it and write it down. Then make new goals so the concepts are always fresh.

4. Comprehension Matters
One of the ways to remember and comprehend well is to link new knowledge to existing knowledge. You can also outline and use index cards to study and increase comprehension.

5. Note-taking as a Best Practice
Review notes each day on the same day notes are taken, when the meaning is still fresh. Learn how notes are taken in your child’s class as the systems are always changing and each teacher may have unique note-taking requirements.

6. Food, Rest, Hydration
When a student is hungry, tired or distracted he or she may not be able to study even if they try. Take some time to ensure healthy snacks and meals are in place to provide the best environment for getting things done.

7. Manage Stress
When a student goes back to school after time off, from summer, or Covid, the stress can be higher and more difficult to manage. The increased interaction takes energy to accommodate. Plus students now may need to manage more in one day than they were managing in three days due to the sensory overload at school. Make sure he or she has time when arriving home to relax, have something to eat, and recuperate. Build back study skills like muscles that haven’t been used in some time – slowly and steadily adding time and assignments as the student catches on to being back in school.

8. Manage Too Much Homework and Negative Self-Talk

Students on occasion can have more homework assigned than is physically possible for them to complete. If you notice your child keeps getting further behind, stop and meet with the teacher to work out a plan. If your child has special needs, you may need special accommodations. Find ways to reward small successes. Prioritize with your child so the most important work is done first.

9. Check Homework
When a child completes homework, take time to review for errors. Talk with your child about the mistakes, and allow them to correct mistakes themselves. If possible, show examples and allow the student to discover the mistake for himself or herself. “The goal is to help your child become a responsible, independent thinker,” says Knowles.

10. Budget Time for Studying with Your Child
You may need to help your children break assignments down into smaller tasks. Help them plan for tests with extra study time so they can prepare. Be sure to let them relax between challenging tasks.

It isn’t easy managing homework, but these tips should make things easier for your entire family. Remember to stay confident even if you don’t understand the work yourself, as the parent you can help your child focus and stay tuned in on a daily basis. If you find yourself getting behind, remember you can hire a tutor or meet with the school for references and assistance. Just like health, it is better to catch problems early and find the right path with study habits and homework.

About the Author: Jasna Knowles

KnowledgeQuest is a tutoring center in Almaden Valley that specializes in remediation and enrichment for students in grades K-12. Founded in 1995 by Jasna Knowles, the center has served thousands of San Jose and the greater Francisco Bay Area students on their way to academic success.

Ms. Knowles holds a BS in Computer Science and a Masters of Education. She also supplemented her expertise with training in special education, learning disabilities, and how to advocate for children during IEP/504 meetings.

Ms. Knowles started her career as an algebra classroom teacher in both public and private schools. In that role, she became aware of the difficulty to be able to reach a struggling student in large classroom environments. This inspired her to get more engaged with students on an individual level at Britannica and Sylvan Learning Centers. Ms. Knowles enjoyed this challenge, but found existing programs to be too pre-designed and rigid, like educational cookie-cutters.


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