At any given moment in life we are all students. In a literal sense, we our children or ourselves attend a physical classroom or, we are students of life continuing to learn and grow with each day. Sometimes being a student can become overwhelming and we struggle to appropriately balance our time and efforts. When time and effort become out of balance we begin to slip. Or, our children begin to slip. Learning is an essential part of every person’s life and upon applying the proper structure we can foster the most success. Creating a proper study environment, establishing priorities, and setting goals are three simple concepts to embed into you or your child’s study routine and daily lives that will start you off to the perfect school year and every year to come.
Create your haven; create your perfect study environment. Choose a place at home for studying that is comfortable. The ideal study environment will have as few interruptions, distractions, and as little noise as possible. Tell your family about your study environment so they can help you to minimize distractions while studying. TV is a huge distraction and surprisingly enough, so is a window! Noise in general is a powerful distraction; it takes energy to block out distractions. Try studying for a week or two without even music to see if it makes a difference. If there is a window in your study environment, try closing the curtains.
Ensuring a proper study environment is the first step, the next is to set goals. Setting goals are to aid in a successful bigger picture and provide an important sense of direction. Sit down with your children and help them to determine goals for the school year. Start by developing long term and short term goals. A long-term goal would be to graduate high school with a B average or better. A short-term goal would be to earn a minimum of a B on their next test. Short-term goals also include weekly and daily goals such as completing all science problems by Thursday and writing down all homework assignments. When you set goals for yourself or for your children you become sure about where you are heading and are able to get what you want out of life.
In order to achieve your goals you must then establish priorities. At any given time some activities are higher priority than others. Determining what activities are high priority and what activities are low priority will vary depending on the day. Every day, write a list of things that need to be done and also personal desires. Prioritize the list by order of importance. When a child comes home they should be allowed a thirty-minute break to have a snack and relax, but then their priority should be to get all their homework done. After dinner, they can schedule some time to relax. For example, spend thirty minutes on Facebook.
By training yourself and your family to follow these basic guidelines you are setting yourself and your family up for a successful school year, every year. Moreover, you are allowing yourself and your family to lessen stress and create a more fulfilling life. Remember to create your study haven and that a daily priority would be to complete chemistry homework whereas a short term goal would be to get an A in chemistry class to achieve the long term goal of receiving a B average upon graduating high school.
Diane “Sunny” Goodwin
Sunny Day Tutoring Services Oceanside, California.
Sunny is a Master Teacher, Educational Consultant, Diagnostician and Curriculum Developer. She is fully credentialed with 40 years of teaching expertise in many subjects and grade levels, Pre-K through 12 and adults.
phone: (760) 439-0136