An important skill for college preparation is good study habits. It is recommended that a college student spend three hours in study and preparation for each hour spent in the classroom. An average college course is three hours, which means that student must spend nine hours a week in study for one course. In classes that your student takes in high school today, the teacher follows along in a textbook and at the beginning of each new day picks up where he left off. In college, a professor may or may not lecture on the material in the book, but it is expected that students have read the material to be covered. Thus at any given time, a student is expected to be reading two to three chapters ahead in addition to completing the assigned homework. If your student does not acquire good study habits in high school, it is highly unlikely that these skills will develop in college.
The best way to achieve good study skills is to practice. It is imperative that as parent you know the amount of time your child is spending on homework. If your son completes his math homework during a fifteen minute bus ride to school, he either isn’t being challenged enough or he has no comprehension of the material. A sheet of math problems should take 30 minutes at a minimum. If your daughter sits through seven classes a day, at least four of those classes should give homework. As a parent, you must monitor and check the flow homework, and make requests to see graded homework. Reviewing graded homework allows you to analyze whether the study skills are producing results.
How to Study
Your student should study in a way that targets their strengths and weakness. If a short attention span is an issue, the student should cover one or two concepts in a subject and then move on to another subject until all concepts in each subject have been complete. In general, it is best to tackle the more detailed oriented subjects first, such as science and math and then move on to history and English. Reading can cause mental fatigue which can make it difficult to switch gears to higher concepts.
Communal studying is another concern when preparing your student for college. Communal studying occurs when students get together to complete homework and projects. There are benefits to such arrangements such as peer-to-peer mentoring, but it’s more socially oriented and can involve cheating. With juniors and seniors, it’s important to limit communal studying because your student may develop a dependency and the “community” cannot be recreated at college.