Study Skills for Primary School Children
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Whether your child is preparing for a primary school exam, or simply revising for a class test, helping them develop effective study skills will benefit them now and in the future.
Sometimes it’s not what your child studies but how they study that ensures good exam results. In this post, we’ve outlined the most important study skills for primary school children.
One of the most important study skills that your child can learn at primary is how to organise their work for independent study. At primary school, most of your child’s work is allocated by their class teacher and so they don’t often get the chance to manage their own workload. When it comes to studying at home however, your child needs to be able to organise their studying on their own.
As a parent, you can help your child develop organisation skills by encouraging them to plan ahead and document their tasks. Creating study planners, mind maps, to-do lists and using diaries are all good ways to help your child plan their work.
You should also make sure that they have all the resources they need to study outside the classroom. For example, creating a quiet space at home that has all the books and stationery that they’ll need can provide them with a good starting point.
Note-taking is an essential skill that your child will use throughout their academic career. You can help your child develop these skills by encouraging them to identify important information and pick out keywords and phrases.
Encourage your child to be an active listener and to decide what information is the most important. The number one mistake that students make when note-taking is writing down every single word. By encouraging them to abbreviate and use symbols, they’ll be able to take down notes much quicker and they’ll be able to understand them afterwards.
It’s also a good idea to encourage your child to focus on the quality of their handwriting. Because note-taking can be time-sensitive, students have a tendency to scribble down notes without paying much attention to legibility. If your child can take legible notes quickly, they’ll have a far easier time when it comes to revising them after.
For more information on how to take great notes, check out this video from Well Cast:
Every now and then, your child will come across a topic or concept that they don’t quite grasp. And if they’re studying at home, they won’t have the luxury of being able to ask their teacher for help. This is where having good research skills comes in useful.
Encourage your child to use the resources they have to hand. This could include you, as a parent, books, textbooks, the internet, or friends. Likewise, you should encourage your child to use more than one source of information. By double-checking facts and figures against various sources, your child will be far more likely to arrive at the correct answer or methodology.
Most primary school kids are used to being told what to study and when, so it’s no surprise that they often find it difficult to manage their time when studying or revising on their own. You can help your child improve their time management skills by helping them allocate specific time periods to certain tasks.
For example, if they’re studying for the 11 Plus exam, you might suggest that the first night, they allocate half an hour to Maths and half an hour to English, followed by half an hour of verbal reasoning and half an hour of non-verbal reasoning the following night.
Using practice exam papers can also help develop your child’s time management skills, especially if they take them under timed conditions. By encouraging your child to do practice papers under exam conditions, they’ll be able to identify what types of questions take longer and therefore where to allocate more time on the day of the test.
Revision and Studying Skills
We have a whole section of our blog dedicated to helping your child develop their revision and studying skills but we thought we’d provide an overview of the most effective ways to improve these skills:
- Start studying early. The more time your child has to study, the more material they’ll be able to cover before the day of the exam.
- Revise little and often. It can be tempting to allocate large chunks of time to studying in the run up to an exam, but breaking down study time into smaller chunks will help your child retain information better.
- Record revision notes. Encouraging your child to read their written notes aloud into a voice recorder can help them remember important information. It also encourages them to take good notes in the first place, knowing that they’ll be referring to them again later.
- Use revision games. Exercises like Teacher Roleplay and quizzes can make learning that little bit more fun and help your child retain information in a more relaxed mindset.
- Do the hard stuff first. It’s natural for primary kids to procrastinate on difficult tasks but encouraging them to tackle the hard stuff first will make the rest of their studying more enjoyable.