Close your eyes and picture someone studying for an upcoming test. What do you see? Most likely a child, sitting at a desk with his or her notes scattered everywhere. The child is probably tired, bored, and possibly a little anxious. All these feeling are often associated with studying and, quite honestly, can lead to a less-focused and less-driven student. Here are 7 creative ways to improve studying at home that can make studying more fun and improve academic performance!
1. Get Organized and Plan.
Before the actual studying begins, it is important to get organized. Ask yourself, do I have everything I need? Make sure you have your textbook, notes, supplies, and any other quality review materials to get started. Set up an attainable plan for yourself. Set up study times and make a checklist with your to-do items. The most important aspect of planning is to set a realistic schedule and not overwhelm yourself.
2. Find Your Happy Place.
At home there are so many distractions. Your phone, twitter, or family members to name a few. It is vital to a successful study session that you find a space where studying is the main focus. If it is a nice day, then study outside. If you like building forts, then build a fort to study in.
Finding a spot perfect for you is essential to improve studying. Some students love peace and quiet when studying, and others prefer quiet music to block out background noise. Knowing yourself and what environment you work best in is important. Find a spot you love – just as long as it is an area where the primary focus is studying.
3. Study with Friends.
OK, so I know this tip is not the most creative way to improve studying at home, but it is so beneficial that I feel obligated to add this to the list of ways to improve studying. Studying does not have to be done alone. Invite a classmate or classmates over to help review the material.
Studying in groups not only makes studying more fun, but there are many benefits that come with it.
- It brings new views and perspectives to the topics.
- Including other students promotes discussion and questions, which in turn lead to more retention of the material.
- Students often have different weaknesses, so they can help you with topics you struggle with. And vice versa!
Get together with some classmates and hit the books to make studying more fun and rewarding.
4. Be the Teacher.
Another creative way to improve studying at home is to find a parent, sibling, grandparent, or anyone in your house willing to listen and make him or her your student. Teach your family the topics you have been studying.
Understanding a topic in the textbook is far different from explaining the topic to someone. Explaining the topic is not only a good change of pace from reading and writing, but it shows you fully understand the topic.
Once your lesson is complete, create a quiz for your student. Creating a quiz is a great way to pick out the main objectives of your studies and get the most out of the material you have. Picture this: making your mother take a quiz and then grading her mistakes! Sound pretty great right? On top of that, haven’t you always wanted to teach your parents something while they have to be quiet and listen?
5. Take Breaks.
Studying for long periods of time leads to less focus, less retention, and even to frustration. Every student has been there: you’re solving equations or practicing your spelling words, and the topics are just not sinking into your brain. This is a great time to reward yourself with a break.
Take a short break and watch a show on Netflix, play a game, or, better yet, take a short nap. Pick an activity you like and take a relaxing break. This will allow you to come back refocused and energized to ready to work.
If you’re like me, you tend to get a bit jittery when studying and need to move around a bit. Go for a walk or run around the block. A light walk is a great idea for a break but can also can be done while studying.
Bring your notes with you or, better yet, record yourself reading your notes and listen to them on your walk. Exercise will get your blood pumping allowing your brain to function better.
7. Rewrite Again and Again.
Rewriting your notes is a proven way to increase understanding. It will help you review concepts taught in class. While rewriting your notes highlight material that is still difficult. Once, you have rewritten your notes, revisit the highlighted topics. After revisiting the difficult topics, rewrite your notes again. Once again highlight the material that is still challenging to understand. Repeat this process until there are no notes that are highlighted.
These creative ways to improve studying at home will keep studying fresh and new. This will encourage students to study more often at home and, used appropriately, will ensure success and a quality performance in the classroom.
Did we miss any? What uncommon study methods work for you?
Author: Nate Baltzer, Writer and Teacher at A Grade Ahead