This year my oldest is in middle school. We took a leap of faith and put her in an online class through the local school system. This has been a huge learning experience for her and I have loved watching her bloom. That said, when she first started I realized there were certain study skills middle schoolers need. I’m going to share a few of them with you as well as how I have been working with her to help her study.
Middle School Study Skills
This may be different based on your schooling choice but most of these seem like a good foundation to start now in preparation for high school and college courses.
Note Taking Skills
There are many different ways to take notes. However, the importance is on finding a note taking method that will help your child to remember the information. The video below highlights a few different great methods. I showed this video to my daughter and challenged her to find a method that would work best for her. She uses a combination of a few of the methods.
As your child starts to get older it is important for them to learn to work with deadlines and a schedule. Provide your child with a calendar or daily planner to help them keep up with what they need to accomplish each day. Then step back and let them start to manage their schedule. You can help where needed but the goal is to get them building out their own schedules. We really like Google Calendar for this because it will e-mail her a reminder before a project is due.
Know where to find information
As your child gets older, everything won’t have to come to you. This is a great age to work on online research skills. Teach your child to safely use Google and other search tools. It’s also important to point out resources like the library and make sure they know that they can ask for help if needed. Another hugely helpful tool is YouTube if you spend some time working on what content can and can not be used. We love Ted Ed for many topics. Here is an example of a Ted Ed video:
Not only is it important for your middle schooler to know how to maintain a schedule it is important for them to have the ability to organize their things and keep them in order. This may mean having a set folder for certain subjects, having a box for assignments, or having specified folders on the computer. This skill will be helpful as they get older. This is how we have our homeschool organized to help my oldest succeed.
Many homeschool families I talk to get overwhelmed keeping up with everything for their kids. This is your time to start transferring that responsibility to your child.
Your child is going to be reading more complex text and listening to more lectures as they move towards middle and high school. While active listening can be a concept you work on at a younger age, it becomes more important as children get older. This means teaching your child to be engaged with the material being presented, taking quality notes, and asking questions where appropriate. Who’s Who and Who’s New has a great close reading exercise using Oreos that might be fun to use to reinforce the importance of looking deeper into what you are reading.
What are you doing to prepare your middle schooler for success? Leave a comment. I would love to hear your ideas.
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