Study Skills: An Integral Part of Learning

Does this sound like an all-too-familiar conversation?

Click here for help breaking a specific bad study habit: cramming for tests and quizzes.

“Taylor, come down for dinner.”

“But Mom, I’m just finishing my social studies homework.”

“Just finishing? You started right after school and said you only had five questions to answer!”

“Well . . . ”

We all want the best for our children. When you notice an ongoing problem, it’s time to get help. But what could the problem be and where do you turn?

Starting off the new school year on the right foot is crucial. If your child appears to be spending a lot more time working on assignments than seems warranted, has difficulty taking notes or isn’t receiving grades that reflect his ability, there may be a study skills issue present.

Often this problem will surface “across the board” and may not be subject-specific. If so, it’s a good indicator that the problem lies primarily in work habits. And unfortunately, this easily solved situation may lead to a poor attitude toward school.

There are many techniques that can make studying and completing tasks in a timely manner easier and more manageable. These will also help your child get more out of class time, make study time more effective, meet project deadlines and ease test stress by being well prepared.

The techniques include:

  • Time management
  • Organization strategies
  • Effective note-taking
  • Outlining
  • Reading for meaning
  • Memory techniques, pnemonic devices
  • Test-taking strategies
  • Test preparation

For improvement in these areas, you can consult both parenting books and websites or ask for teachers’ advice. Or students can receive 1-on-1 instruction and study skills practice.

Instruction in these key areas can make a world of difference in your child’s school performance and confidence. Best of all, this can lead to a new outlook on and attitude toward school.

Beverly Stewart, MEd is President and Director of Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, Inc., an area leader in 1-on-1 tutoring, test prep, study skills for children and adults, and translating/interpreting since 1985. Back to Basics is a Department of Education-approved 1-on-1 private school for grades K-12, as well as a business and trade school for ages 16+.  Email Beverly, call her at 302-594-0754 or visit on the Web at or

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