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The school year is almost over. Help the students in your life finish on a high note with this Limited Time Offer: Save up to $200 on select test prep packages at Varsity Tutors! Plus, here are some ways you can help them excel at home.
How to Make a Stellar Study Space at Home for Your Student
Students do a lot of learning in their home environment, which makes it important to have a good study space. As a parent, you may not think much about the study environment, but for students, it can make all the difference.
Study spaces can take on a lot of different forms, so finding one that works for your space and your student is crucial. Here are some key steps you can take to create a stellar study space:
Evaluate the noise
A study space should be quiet and free from distraction, both audibly and visibly. Find an area of your home that doesn’t have a lot of foot traffic or distracting items (like your TV, video games, etc.). Make sure it doesn’t serve as another living area either; while kitchen tables can provide good work space, they’re not ideal if there’s a lot of commotion in the kitchen.
You may also want to consider eliminating all or some electronics in a study space. While music can be helpful to the study process, social media accounts may not be. Limit screen time that doesn’t directly relate to studying.
Comfort is key
A good study space is one in which your student feels comfortable. Depending on his or her specific needs, you might opt for a table, desk, TV tray, or whiteboard as workspace. Throw in some comfortable seating, a pair of earphones, and a supply of office essentials, and you’re all set.
Make sure that your student has a say in the setup—if he or she helps to build the space, your child may be more likely to spend productive time studying in it. And you never know how invested your child might get! He or she may want to hang photographs or inspirational quotes, stock some favorite snacks, or leave a few books nearby.
A good study space is typically organized in some way, and helping your student keep everything in line in this space may help him or her keep everything in line regarding school work.
Make sure there’s an agenda or calendar in the space, as well as a whiteboard or large pad of paper. Sticky notes are great for reminders and placeholders, and they’re great for flashcards as well.
Beyond the space
While a great study space certainly contributes to student success, what happens there is the real determinate. Teach good study habits, offer support, and model studious behavior to help ensure that your student’s study habits transcend the space.
Tips to Help Your Child Finish the School Year on a Strong Note
Toward the end of the year, both parents and children start to fatigue. It can be difficult to maintain momentum, let alone give the school year the final push it deserves. If you are struggling to help your child end the school year with a bang, know that you are not alone.
The end of the school year gets chaotic for students—which means it gets chaotic for parents, too! Make sure that you model good behavior by keeping yourself organized. Help your student make a schedule containing everything required of him or her in those final weeks—and help your child stick to it. Declutter workspaces like desks and lockers to be sure your student doesn’t miss anything.
Look at the short term
A great way to finish the year strong is to focus on the tasks right in front of you. You can do this by setting weekly or even daily goals with your student. Acing a spelling test or ending the semester with a 3.8 GPA can be great motivation to keep putting in the work.
Keep summer on the mind
Solely reminding your child that a break is approaching may stifle their drive to work, but focusing on specific things that are scheduled to happen can remind them that this final push is somewhat temporary (and the only obstacle left to complete!). You may even note particular activities your family usually does in the summer as a bit of motivation, such as group bike rides or trips to the beach. These things aren’t far away!
While we want our children to finish the year with the same enthusiasm with which they started, that’s likely not going to happen. If motivation is running low, help your child prioritize the work he or she has left. Your guidance may re-engage your student, or at the very least, it can help funnel your student’s energy into the most important tasks.
Remind your child everything he or she is working toward
As you push to wrap up the semester, don’t forget all the work your student has put in during the rest of the school year. Remind your child that he or she has maintained a high GPA for two consecutive years, or has gotten above an 80% on every math test this year. It would be a shame to ruin these track records now!
The bottom line
The end of the school year will be tough for you and your student, but there’s a very clear end-date. If you organize yourselves, set goals, visualize the summer, direct your efforts and energy, and remember the goals you have achieved and those you’ve yet to achieve, you’ll get through it. A few months of rest and relaxation depends on it!