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Middle School Study Skills Guide Index
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Middle School Study Skills Guide
The Study Skills guide was written by Shirley Burchill and Claire-Annie Fauré in 1995. It was revised by Barbara Ginsbach in 2003 and by Judith Stanwell in 2004. Although intended for Middle School students, we hope that many older students and parents from around the world will find the advice useful.
Nowadays most students are using a computer to complete their homework. Many of them may use a computer to take notes in their classes. The advice in the Study Skills Guide is also applicable for those students who use a computer. For example, the presentation of your homework is important whether you write on paper or use a keyboard!
The transition from primary school to secondary school can be difficult at first; students move from a relatively "homely" environment, in which they spend the majority of their day with one teacher, into the less closeted world of secondary education. Here students can find themselves changing both teacher and room every hour or so. Each student has to learn new skills, such as how to maintain his or her class notes, homework notebook and grade book, as well as organising their homework assignments and exam revision.
It is a mistake for parents to believe that their child can cope with this organisation on his or her own. Parents should make time to check what their child has to do for homework, whether the work has been completed and if the school bag, prepared the night before, has all that is necessary for the next day.
Planning your homework timetable
Middle School students should be working at home around six to eight hours each week. Ideally, these homework hours should be spread over six days - with the students working between one hour and one and a half hours each day.
However, most students take part in extra curricular activities that can prevent an even distribution of homework time. Extra curricular activities are extremely important to the students. It is necessary, therefore, that each student makes his or her personal homework timetable. Each student must:
There are six rules that each student should follow in order to have a successful year:
Note to parents:
Many students believe that, when they have completed all the written work required for the next day, they have finished their homework. This is not the case! Each lesson needs to be revised and learnt, even though this is not always noted down in their homework notebook. Language lessons are particularly important to learn before the next lesson. Some students try to complete their written homework in school so that they have "nothing to do" at home. It is essential that they realise that they must use all of their homework period. There is always something they can be doing. The Homework Procedure List (see left) will help with good organisation and work methods.
It is also important that younger students are supervised while they are working. This means that there should be an adult present to keep an eye on their progress but not to do the work for them! If parents cannot be at home when their children are doing their homework, it is strongly advised that these parents arrange for someone to be present to supervise their children's work.
Younger students need help preparing their school bag for the next day. Try to make sure that your child goes through the above list very carefully. Also, make sure that this is done in the evening rather than in the morning.
The school bags of younger students are always much heavier than those of the older students. This is because the older students have learnt to include only that which is essential. Younger students tend to bring everything, just in case!
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