How to study at home for secondary students? In these uncertain times of coronavirus, with schools partially closed and families and young people self-isolating, this is the big question. At first, the prospect of an indefinite school holiday might sound exciting and just ‘what you’ve always dreamed of’, but the reality will undoubtedly be very different.
Normally when students are on study leave, in the run up to summer exams, they will usually have a nice quiet house to work in with other members of the family out at work or at school. If they fancy a break, they might leave the house to meet their friends in a local coffee shop or play a game of football in the park. This study leave is very different in that Mum and Dad, as well as your siblings, might also be working from home or confined to the house. The local coffee shops are closed and it isn’t advised to meet up with your friends. So…how to study at home?
Follow your School’s Programme
Many schools are in a good position to let their students study at home and most have systems in place for remote learning. Schools are either setting up sophisticated virtual classrooms on packages like Google Classroom (classroom.google.com) and Microsoft Teams or emailing work home and suggesting online apps, websites and programmes to go to for help. It is important that students follow their school’s guidelines and lessons as closely as possible, because their teachers are setting the work, and expecting their students to complete it. In this indefinite period of school closure for many children, it is vital that students keep skilled and knowledgeable in their subjects, as they will be returning to school at some point and will not want to fall behind their classmates who have kept up.
Tips to get you into good habits on how to study at home
- Have a routine and stick to it. The easiest routine to follow is your normal school timetable. It has worked for you since September and will continue working for you until you return to school. It will also help you vary the subjects and have breaks between lessons. Following your school timetable will prevent you from getting into bad habits like working late at night and sleeping all day.
- A space to work. Although, not always easy, aim to have a space to work where you can keep your books and equipment. This might be your bedroom, or it might be a table or desk in another part of your house.
- Work in chunks of time. As with your school timetable, vary the subjects and incorporate breaks.
- Avoid Distractions. Try your best to keep your phone to break times. As with school, stay in touch with your friends during break times, using your phone.
- Fresh air and exercise. In your breaks and after you have finished studying, go outside and get some fresh air. You could take the dog for a walk if you have one, or kick a ball, throw a basketball or walk in the park. It is important to keep fit and healthy.
Tips on how to study at home more effectively
- ‘Go to’ Resources. In the absence of teachers explaining the content and being on hand to help, build up a bank of resources where you can go to for a better understanding. This might be internet sites, apps, text books or a knowledgeable friend or family member. BBC Bitesize (www.bbc.co.uk) has a range of excellent resources for all ages.
- YouTube. You might not have access to your teachers in school, but there are many teachers who have uploaded their lessons and there will be a teacher who suits you.
- Testing. When you are in school, your learning is tested constantly. This might be in a recap at the start of each lesson or in an end of unit test. Testing over time commits content to long term memory. Test what you are studying at home. This might be with flashcards, with a friend, or practising exam style questions.
- Talking and discussing. Talking about your work is a very effective way of consolidating your learning. Get in a group chat with your friends or discuss what you are learning about with your family. Make it a regular part of your routine.
- Be creative and imaginative. This is your chance to make your learning enjoyable. Create, make, build, sing, paint, talk and explore your learning. Have fun.
Here at www.studentnavigator.co.uk we offer bespoke mentoring for secondary and primary students as well as academic coaching to help and support you to study at home. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.