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Five Tips for Parents to Help Your Student Learn How to Study

Aug 6, 2019

Whether it’s during the school year or the middle of summer, parents call Mathnasium of Tallahassee seeking math tutoring for their child and begin the conversation saying:

“I can’t help my child with their math homework anymore.”

The reasons parents make this self-admission vary:

  • They no longer remember how to do the math.
  • They learned how to do it differently than how it’s currently being taught in the classroom.
  • They are unable to identify where their child’s learning gaps are and don’t have the resources to create a plan to help.

Regardless, of the “why,” they acknowledge it’s time to get outside tutoring and homework assistance.

While it may be necessary to get outside math homework tutoring at Mathnasium, it doesn’t mean parents are completely helpless in assisting their child with their academics. 

Whether it’s math or other school subjects, many students struggle with their studies because they do not know how to study. 

Research shows that students often have poor study skills and rely on homework and test preparation strategies that do not work.  However, parents can help their child improve study techniques and classroom preparation.  It not only helps with school but also can help parents and kids bond.  

Yes, families can bond over homework!

Popular study techniques such as re-reading, highlighting text, and writing summaries, are not effective.  However, researchers have found that students have greater success with the following approaches. 


Create a Plan

No surprise here, but the idea revolves around establishing a regular time and routine for homework.  Whether it’s scheduled reading time, math homework, or any subject, a familiar pattern is key.  This includes minimizing distractions from screens and choosing appropriate locations and surroundings. 

Parents need to be cautious about their approach.  It’s important to resist “nagging” or “badgering” students, which can lead to children dreading studying.  However, if a child has appropriate input in creating the schedule, with parental support and monitoring, it becomes a more collaborative effort. 


Space Out Study Time

Academic research shows that students who space out their studying are more effective in retaining information.  Simply put, students who study material for a period, take a break, and study it again, are more successful long-term. 

Like our math tutoring approach at Mathnasium of Tallahassee, students who study a topic for an hour each day for three days over the course of a week, know the information better than someone who spent three hours studying the material in one night. 


Mix It Up

Athletic trainers, sports coaches, dance instructors, music teachers, etc., know students benefit from practicing different skills in a single session.  The same is true when it comes to math, reading and other class studies. 

At Mathnasium of Tallahassee, math tutoring sessions include an appropriate mix of concepts to help students identify the problem and how to best solve it.  When studying at home, this approach can be applied to not only math but other subjects.  Spending time working on one subject or single problem keeps students from seeing the relationship between them. By balancing different topics, it teaches students to distinguish various problems and their respective solutions. 


Self-Testing

One of the most effective study techniques is self-testing.  Students who are quizzed about material they are studying, either by a partner or by themselves, have better short-term and long-term retention of the information. 

A similar process, self-explanation, is where students talk to themselves about the information they are studying. 


Students Become the Teacher

Because of the focus on standardized tests, many students learn facts, including math concepts, just well enough to get through the test.  Unfortunately, that means when a student needs to apply those math skills in the future, in next level classes (i.e. – Algebra), they are unable to do that. 

Instead, students should be encouraged to learn material well enough to teach it to someone else.  Not only will they know the material for the test, but they will have a long-term understanding in the subject.  Afterall, teaching is more interesting than being tested. 

Not knowing how to study can limit a child’s success in academics.  However, as outlined here, parents can teach their child how to study, leading to improved classroom performance and test results. 

 

More About Mathnasium of Tallahassee

The award winning Mathnasium of Tallahassee, located in Bannerman Crossings, provides math instruction and tutoring for students in elementary, middle and high school. Customized learning plans produce results for students seeking gifted and advanced math enrichment, tutoring assistance to catch up, math homework help, and test prep for the SAT and ACT.

The Mathnasium curriculum and the Mathnasium Method combine to benefit students at all levels of their math education. The development of number sense leads to a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts, improved performance and greater confidence. This growth aids students in their classroom work, standardized tests, future education and career plans.

In July 2019, Mathnasium of Tallahassee was recognized as one of the best math learning centers in the country. It ranked as the third highest performing math tutoring center of the more than 100 new Mathnasium U.S. locations to open in 2017.