Developing Good Study Habits for Middle Schoolers

Let’s take a closer look at a few ways to help your middle schooler develop better study habits that will help stay organized, productive, and ultimately excel in middle school and beyond.

As parents of a middle schooler, you might notice an increase of being disinterested in school or having a hard time staying focused and engaged. 

When it comes to learning how to study efficiently, the problem is that school curriculums spend more time on actual material instead of investing resources into helping students learn how to study to work for them and get results.

Developing great study habits during middle school years is essential for laying the foundational work that will set your child up for success in high school, college, and more than likely, the job market and workplace.

Let’s take a closer look at a few ways to help your middle schooler develop better study habits that will help stay organized, productive, and ultimately excel in middle school and beyond.

Reading is Fundamental

The NCBLA (National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance) asserts that 64% of 8th graders read below grade level. The same source reports that 14% of adults in the United States cannot read. If the national average reading level for your child’s age bracket concerns you, there’s a lot you can do to help, and there’s a lot your child can do to distinguish themself.

In middle school your child learns increasingly complicated material, whether it has to do with science, mathematics, as well as humanities. Reading is a practice that needs to be cultivated, and it takes discipline to sit down, read, and, most importantly, think critically about the material.

Have your child read for school and also encourage them to read something in their downtime. Make sure that your child is reading books for pleasure as well as education — this will help build vocabulary and set up a lifelong habit in the process.

Retaining Information

Leading scientists are suggesting that reading a piece of material then hitting pause on the reading and studying to think about what you’ve read is incredibly beneficial toward reading retention, which is hugely important in any educational setting. Handling five to ten pages of material then reviewing and reflecting the reading can help your child retain the material.

There have been more than a few studies that have looked at what the internet does to our brains, especially when it comes to memory and reading retention. With technology being at your child’s fingertips and many things they’re reading online are designed to be “swiped and scrolled”, this means that your child will face a higher challenge than previous generations.

Giving your child flashcards can help them build memorization skills. Get flashcards in a variety of colors that you can separate by subject. Flashcards will help your child memorize material better than simply reading the passages of a textbook over and over again — it might seem a little old-fashioned, but it works!

Focus, Focus, Focus

The act of studying requires patience, focus, and limiting any distractions, which is most effective in a controlled setting. A middle schooler should study in the same place at home — unless they get better results changing scenery more often.

Invest in a desk and a decent computer or laptop that they can use explicitly for school work. Instead of getting them a comfy chair to lounge in, get a chair that is more designed to work in, maybe something that is ergonomic.

The ability to focus is something that has to be cultivated in your child and middle school is the perfect time to start laying the groundwork. Crossword puzzles, sudoku, and chess are all activities that will help your child focus in a more beneficial way. 

Eating healthily is also hugely important. Keep plenty of clean, whole foods on hand that will fuel your child’s studies instead of hinder them. Conversely, junk food can actually have a detrimental effect on your child’s ability to focus and ultimately learn whatever material they are working on.

Get Organized

Staying organized is also key when it comes to building excellent study habits.

Keeping a physical calendar on hand will help you write important due dates in order to make sure your middle schooler turns in their assignments in time and is ready for all quizzes and exams. While just about every smartphone under the sun has calendar-keeping capabilities, that doesn’t mean that your child is actively updating their calendar.

Final Thoughts

In the end, it’s important to build all of the foundational skills that will help your middle schooler excel at studying and academia. Staying organized, building focus, and building a reliable study practice in a balanced setting will help set any middle schooler up for success in the classroom and beyond!


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