Encouraging Strong Study Habits in High School: Strategies for Success
As your child steps into high school, the stakes get higher. Every grade point matters, shaping their GPA, reflecting on their college transcripts, and laying the foundation for their future academic journeys.
The challenge intensifies for students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), who often struggle with focus and organization.
Even if your child does not have ADD/ADHD, mastering the art of studying effectively is critical to their academic success and beyond. Learning essential study strategies and effective study methods benefits all students regardless of their learning differences.
Here are a few core principles of strategies for academic success.
The Power of Structure
Creating a structured environment helps high school students with ADD/ADHD manage their time and tasks more efficiently. The first step is a consistent daily routine that accommodates not just study time but also breaks, meals, and physical activities. Remember, this routine should be flexible enough to adapt to your child’s individual needs. Visual aids like calendars, planners, or apps are essential to tracking assignments, due dates, and tests, helping your child stay on top of their responsibilities.
The Process is Key/How You Study is Key
Studying is not merely about putting in hours; it’s about implementing effective strategies. Encourage your child to break down large assignments into manageable parts and prioritize them based on deadlines and difficulty. This method, often referred to as “chunking”, as is a core tenant of executive functions, can prevent the feeling of overwhelm and keep your child motivated.
Additionally, utilize active learning techniques such as summarizing or paraphrasing information in their own words, creating mind maps, or teaching the material to someone else. Such approaches make the learning process engaging and promote better retention, offering an edge to students with ADD/ADHD who may struggle with traditional study methods.
To nurture a productive study system, consider integrating assistive technology into your child’s routine. From apps that limit screen distractions to those that promote focus through ambient noise, technology can be a great ally for students with ADD/ADHD.
Furthermore, online resources such as educational videos or interactive quizzes can cater to various learning styles, making studying more appealing.
Moreover, establish a conducive study environment — quiet, clutter-free, and well-lit. Personalize this space with everything your child might need during their study sessions, minimizing the need for them to get up and risk distraction.
Start Strong, Stay Ahead
Starting the school year on a strong note with these tools in place is crucial. It’s far easier to build and maintain momentum than to play catch-up weeks into the school year when your child might already feel stressed or demotivated. Reinforce the notion that steady, consistent effort trumps last-minute cramming.
Remember, every child is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It might take some experimentation and tweaking to identify what strategies work best for your child. This process may be iterative, but it’s essential not to give up or get disheartened if the first approach doesn’t yield the desired results.
Homework Police or Parent
The high school journey is a pivotal stage in your child’s life. Even though it’s more demanding, your child can build resilient study habits with a structured, process-oriented, and systematized approach.
Resist the urge to be the homework police. High school students can resist parental advice, perceiving it as intrusive. Send your student to a study skills workshop, or seek other external help, like tutors or mentors. This will free parents from playing the ‘homework police’ and preserve familial harmony.
As parents, our role is to guide them, provide tools and support, but ultimately, it’s their journey to navigate. Remember, the goal is not just about high grades, but also about fostering a love for learning and shaping capable, resilient individuals.