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Learning Skills Every Student Needs for Success
Learning comes naturally to children. They absorb information without even realizing it, especially when they’re engaged with a subject they love, like dinosaurs, sports, or drawing pictures. Kids learn and progress with incredible ease and speed. It’s okay to envy them that.
There are skills, however, that allow children to learn even more and even faster. These are skills that will prove immeasurably beneficial, in and outside of the classroom, now and for the rest of their lives. After all, you never stop learning, so you might as well get started on the right foot.
Learning skills involve mindset, motivation, curiosity, and habit. They can mean the difference between studying a subject and mastering it, between good grades and perfect ones.
There is a smorgasbord of study skills, and you can spend a lifetime developing them. The main study skills for students include:
Writing and reading strategies
In this article, we will explore these skills in detail, and provide tips as to how you can help your kids develop them.
Revision skills refer to skills required to revise work that you’ve already started.
This can mean reading over an essay you’ve written and rearranging sentences and polishing up syntax and grammar. It can mean going over your math calculations and double-checking whether you’ve made any missteps. It can mean reading over an exam before time’s up, or playing piano scales again and again, until you don’t make a single mistake.
Some days are better than others, of course. Sometimes your mind is focused, other times you can’t stop daydreaming or wishing you were doing something else. Revising requires a certain mindset. You don’t need to be a perfectionist, but you do need to want to make your work better.
It’s much easier to revise the work you’ve done for a subject you enjoy, rather than a subject you don’t. You might need to force yourself to revise. But so be it. What matters is that you revise, and then revise some more!
Revision skills demand patience, discipline, and the ability to be honest with yourself. Practically speaking, they typically involve sitting at a desk, which is why the company of a home tutor makes revision easier and more productive.
Home tutors can motivate students to sit at a desk. Home tutors also offer the gift of a second pair of eyes. They can teach the best methods of revision (reading over an essay aloud, for instance, is often more helpful than reading it over silently), and can lead by example.
Dedicating a certain amount of time each week to work with a tutor can help students develop strong revision habits that will serve them well, now and in the long run.
Organizational skills refer to skills required to stay organized and on top of school work.
Tutors can help your child develop skills they will need in school to focus, work efficiently, and not get too overwhelmed.
The first step in getting organized is finding a suitable place to study, where you can easily access the resources and tools you need, and feel comfortable.
Given the pandemic, finding a place to study nowadays often means finding a place to study at home. This can be difficult, especially for those who don’t have access to a quiet room. Finding a place to study can mean finding a place at the kitchen table where you won’t be distracted and won’t need to get up to find a book or a pen.
To organize effectively, you’ll need to understand what type of setting is most conducive to you. Do you require an uncluttered surface? Quiet? A comfy chair? Do you prefer to study alone or with others? Knowing what method of studying works for you requires a degree of self-knowledge.
A tutor can help students figure out what setting is most conducive to them getting organized. There are concrete organizational skills that students often don’t figure out on their own, like how to organize their notebooks according to subject matter, or how to create helpful to-do lists. Tutors can pass along these skills directly to their students, providing a practical education as well as an intellectual one.
Organizational skills also involve figuring out a time to study, while maintaining a healthy work/life balance. A tutor could help with this too by establishing a routine that eventually becomes second nature. Do you know how to fill out a calendar or agenda? Chances are you learned that forever helpful skill from someone years ago.
Writing and Reading Skills
To be a good writer you need to be a good reader, and to be a good reader you need to have the right reading skills.
Reading well is an active, not passive, activity, which involves conscious efforts to ask questions, dissect arguments, and make connections.
The right attitude is the first step to solid reading skills. If kids learn how to have a curious attitude toward reading, and how to persevere through difficult texts, they’ll learn how to read critically and creatively, and interpret what they read in compelling ways.
These skills are necessary in both post-secondary education and in the workforce. Starting with the right attitude toward reading opens up all sorts of possibilities and a certified tutor can help cultivate the right attitude in your child.
Good readers make good writers, and good writing means writing that communicates clearly and effectively, in a way that’s stimulating and illuminating for others to read. Beyond mastering the basics of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and syntax, then, writing skills include remembering your audience, keeping in mind the genre of your piece and the (in)formality of your style, the coherence of your structure, your persona, and much, much more.
Good tutors understand the importance of writing, and they work with a child to develop the right attitude and skills for writing well and with confidence. A good tutor helps kids work self-consciously at building these skills, and can teach short cuts that will help make these skills second-nature.
If you want to help your kids become better at revision, organization, and active reading, consider getting in touch with a local tutoring service today.
About the Author
Carly Dougherty holds a master’s degree in Child Psychology. She began tutoring while still a university student and, noticing that there was a huge demand for effective tutors, founded Prep Academy Tutors to held school children improve their experience and meet their academic goals.