Like so many of my blog posts, the question I’ve posted in the title doesn’t really have an answer… But, it is an extremely good question to ask nonetheless.
- Should your teen be studying as soon as the school year starts?
- Is this what straight-A students do?
- Or do they only need to study when exams are looming?
- When they do study – how much should they do at a time?
There’s no one answer for every student.
Everyone studies differently
So there can be no set rules that will tell you how much study your teen should be doing at one time, or throughout the year.
However, there is one thing I will say for sure.
I would STRONGLY recommend – actually no, I insist – that your teen makes the effort to do some study during semester time and not only during designated study periods for exams.
Our brains are amazing organs. It’s amazing how much information we can retain in our long-term memory.
But most of us forget what we learn almost instantly unless we go over it a second time.
Your teen would easily find themselves in a higher grade bracket if they spent just one hour a week going over what they’ve learned in class that week.
Over time, an hour a week really adds up.
Most students don’t look at what they’ve done in class (apart from homework) until exams are just around the corner. This means they haven’t given their amazing brain even a fighting chance of lodging any information in its long-term memory. These students are going to find studying a much more arduous task with much less satisfying results.
YOUR teen, on the other hand, can start stuffing their long-term memory NOW by doing just one hour of extra study a week.
By the time exams roll around, they’ll have already gone over their concepts/topics at least twice already.
Just to clarify, this extra hour of study is extra, it does not include homework. Your teen should complete all of their homework, always. That goes without saying. It’s this little bit of extra effort that’s going to push your teen’s grades towards an A-grade, and away from a D-grade.
If your teen wants to split this hour up over the week, that’s totally fine.
They could do 15 minutes Monday to Thursday, going over a different subject each day.
Or they could spend an hour over the weekend going over everything in one go.
It should be completely up to them.
As with most aspects of effective study, I’m not prepared to say “YOUR TEEN MUST DO THIS!”, because everyone studies most effectively in their own unique way.
Have a chat with your teen about how they think they might want to structure this, and then schedule it into their weekly timetable.
This will be very a small time investment on your teen’s behalf, but a HUGE investment overall.