As my time as a tutor passes I continue to realize the importance of organization and good study skills for academic success. While it is true there are many things out there to distract students from the often unenjoyable, but completely necessary task, of doing homework on time and correctly, I have found that students who can put these life issues in their proper ratio and perspective have the most success. Being organized and studying a little bit each day, maybe 20-30 mins of review after homework is done, pays huge dividends with classroom success. It is so much easier to spend that little bit of extra review than the massive prefinal panic when you find out you have forgotten most of what was taught at the beginning of the school year. So, watch one less episode of your favorite TV show, spend a little less time at the mall and listen to a little less music while putting a little more time into math and science review and life will be so much nicer.
As I continue tutoring the themes of preparation, study skills, and effective time management continue to come to the forefront of all tutoring sessions. This is especially true with the math and sciences. As students advance to higher math and science skills it becomes even more important to have effective homework habits. I reemphasize note taking and 5-10 mins of note review for each subject at the end of each school day, even before home work begins. Also, study in a place conducive to studying that is not around diversions like TV, music, video games, and friend texting. When doing homework, concentrate on homework. This little habit will pay big dividends in college in the future and help the student avoid a lot of academic pain in the immediacy.
It is interesting to note how many school subject difficulties could be avoided with better management and basic study skills. Items such as 5 minute after each class, matching notes with the text, doing the review as soon as school is over instead of watching TV, listening to music, or computer games. When school is over your brain is still in the learning mode, so take advantage of that time and do your studying while "your head in still in the game". A little review each day will save hours of panic cramming at the end of a semester. Just as any coach wants their athletes to "get their head in the game" do the same with studying and lesson review and do it while its fresh. It may look "uncool" to be studying on the bus on the way home from school, but a lot of these "uncool" types are now doctors and engineers.