The kids go back to school in two days, this summer has flown, although at times it felt like school would never come again! The kids are excited, anxious and nervous all at the same time, especially Lexi. She is going into 10th grade this year and that means she is starting to study for the PSAT’s, thinking about what colleges she wants to go to and really buckling down on her grades.
We already have the PSAT thing set up as she will be attending a study course with the Princeton Review and she already knows exactly where she wants to go to college. Since she wants to get into the dual degree program with Wellesley and MIT, her grades need to be amazing. I am quite proud of her right now because she has spent a large chunk of her summer researching different studying techniques and honing her own skills until she came up with the perfect study routine. When we were Back to School shopping at Walmart, we picked up everything she needed to make her study habits successful this year.
I think her study tips are great, but I may be biased as her mom, what do you think?
Find a Comfy Quiet Spot
Whether it’s your bed, desk or even Starbucks, find a place that you find comfortable and is relatively free of interruptions.
Eat Healthy Snacks
It is always important to eat healthy as much as possible, but when you are studying, healthier snack options help keep you energized and focused. Opt for snacks that are lower in sugars and carbs and higher in proteins. Lexi’s new fave snack for study time is granola bars and Peanut Butter Cheesecake Dip. Also, drink plenty of water, and definitely no soda!
Listen to Music
This one isn’t for everyone, some people need complete silence, others need a beat! I highly recommend classical music as it helps to open the mind to learning. Lexi can’t use classical though since she is a violinist and whenever she hears classical music, her mind starts trying to play the song in her head and she loses focus. She prefers songs with words because when she is studying a specific topic and a song is playing, remembering that song when she is taking a test helps her to remember what she studied. Whichever method you choose, make a playlist with many songs so that you don’t have to mess with your phone while you are studying.
This goes right along with the creating a playlist. Once you have your music going, put away the phone out of reach. Turn off your computer, or at least social media sites, like Facebook, and get rid of any other distractions.
Take Frequent Breaks
Keep a To-Do List
Use Color Coding
This also is not for everyone, but Lexi and I both color code everything. It helps to keep us organized and well, it looks pretty! Lexi even prefers to have her classes color coded so that when she goes to her locker, she knows that the green notebook is for German and purple is Algebra. She also color codes her notes with her highlighters. Yellow is for general information, orange is text that she needs more clarification on and pink is what will be on tests and she definitely needs to study.
It is important to always ask questions when you don’t know the answer and remember, there are no stupid questions, just an intelligent person seeking information. If you are struggling, ask your parents or a classmate, or write down the question to ask the teacher next time you are in class. Lexi likes to use small Post-it® Line Notes for these and she keeps them in her book so that they are there when she is ready to ask the teacher.
Teach Another Person
When Lexi and I told my husband about this one, he thought it was silly, but it is a tip I highly recommend. When you are studying and you are having a hard time fully understanding the material, try and teach it to another person. Grab your parents, your siblings, heck grab a teddy bear and just start teaching. I use this technique a lot, granted I am usually just talking things out to myself, but it’s the same concept and it really works. And Lexi had fun last year trying to teach Gavin all about Geometry!
Don’t Stress or Over Study
I cannot stress this enough, no pun intended. Yes, tests are important, but stressing over them and over studying can lead to a disaster. Your mind and body get worn and exhausted when you stress and it makes it hard to fully absorb the material you are studying. Don’t study the night before a test, study two nights prior and take a nice rest the night before, take a relaxing bath, read a non school book, whatever relaxes you and go to bed early.
Get Plenty of Rest
Last but certainly not least, get plenty of rest. If you are tired during class, you may miss out on vital information and if you are taking a test, your mind may not be able to focus. Getting plenty of rest helps keep our minds open to learning new things and keeps our bodies refreshed. Keeping organized is a great way to always get rest too!