Saturday, August 31, 2013

Why Parents Make the Best Study Partners

All parents want their children to make good grades, and they want it to be as painless as possible. Academic success takes hard work. There are no shortcuts. There are, however, study methods that are more effective than others. One of these is the use of a study partner. It’s the best way to study for the test. Students master material in faster time and in greater depth when they have opportunities to verbalize it. Many parents have found that sending a student to the bedroom to study alone returns poor results. They find that a lot of time has been spent on a disappointing outcome. Here are a few points to argue that parents make the best study partners, no matter how old the student may be.

  1. Parents are more efficient with time. When students try to study alone, time is often wasted on daydreaming, getting organized, and fighting distractions. Parents are busy and have much more to do than study for the history quiz. There’s plenty of motivation to stay focused on the task and finish in a timely manner. Parents also have the authority to remove distractions, like disruptive siblings.
  2. Parents already have the responsibility to supervise their student’s academics. What better way to stay on top of your children’s study habits and test performance than to be their study partner. There will be no wondering about what material the test covered, and there will be no surprises about your student’s readiness for the test. This type of hands-on involvement gives you more insight if you need to help them improve their grades.
  3. Parents have a broader knowledge of study methods than children. Some students can learn and memorize by reading. Most cannot. Many students need to “talk it out” or have it verbally recited to them. If you do not know what works best for your child, you are the person in the best position to experiment with different study methods. When you figure out what works best, you can reduce study time and stress by making sure your child uses the most profitable study methods.
  4. Parents serve as the best accountability partner. Are the students writing down their assignments properly? Are they working on projects at a proper pace? Are they studying early enough rather than cramming? When a child knows he will be studying with his parents, he’s more likely to follow the procedures his parents and teachers expect.
  5. Parents have the power to be a student’s best encourager and motivator. Believe it or not, every child wants his parents to be proud of him. No one motivates children like mom and dad. Remember that they care about what you care about. Likewise, they dismiss what you dismiss. The hands-on approach of studying with them communicates the high priority you have for academic success. Sometimes, students need encouragement when their test performance disappoints them. When you studied with them and you know they did their best, you are in the best position to help them gain the right perspective about the disappointment. Stress that you are mostly interested their effort, not comparisons to other students or siblings.

There will be times when the day’s demands don’t permit you to be as hands-on as you prefer. When you have to “farm out” help, make sure you ask questions, provide accountability, and communicate that academics are important to you. When you work closely with your child – supervising and motivating – you will observe your child getting the most out of their study time.