It is best to start building study habits in the middle school years because poor study habits will quickly come to light during high school when the demands of high school academics and homework load are much greater. Even if your teen is in 12th, it’s too late for them to learn how to study better. The study skills they build in high school will greatly serve them in college.

Here are 3 time-tested tips that will make a difference in developing your teen’s study habits: (I’ve use them myself and know that they work!)

  • Help your teen set a daily study routine. This daily routine can be 4 to 6 pm for afterschool activities, 6-7 dinner time, then study from 7 to 10 pm. Part of setting this routine is making it realistic for how your teen is involved outside of school and in the community. To really stick with this routine, stay flexible. You can make adjustments when necessary on a week-by-week basis until your teen feels comfortable with knowing that if it’s Wednesday evening at 7:30, they should be studying and not watching a movie on net flicks.
  • Remind them to review their class notes each day. You may be thinking . . . I don’t have time to hover over them while they’re studying. I don’t mean to imply that at all. This means that from time to time, perhaps when they discuss a grade that was lower than expected, you suggest that they should consider reviewing their class notes each day. Another thing they can do if they have a study period, is look ahead to what will be covered in class later that day.
  • Designate a quiet space at home (or library) to avoid distractions, i.e. texts, music, and friends who socialize. A designated space at home can be a desk in any room, a dining table, a comfy chair or couch as long as it’s free of obvious distractions. If studying at home isn’t an option, then perhaps suggest that your teen studies at the local library for a few hours.parent-2-parent-final
  • Have dinner together. In all the research that’s been done on what makes the most difference with doing well academically, it’s having dinner together. This can be tough to schedule especially if you have more than one child, nevertheless it’s been shown to have the greatest impact, even moreso than doing homework.

Please let me know what you’ve tried that works.

Check out our Parent 2 Parent audio clip on study tips for your teen!


Author: Pamela E

Dr. Pamela has helped thousands of teens attend the college of their choice. She brings her 25 years experience in education to assist families, schools, and employers with college selection, admissions, financial aid, and more. Dr. Pamela holds a PhD from Stanford School of Education, and an MBA from Dartmouth.

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