Thank you for visiting the website and welcome to the first of many blog posts! In this edition, we will discuss studying at home. In recent times, this skill has become increasingly important. It can be challenging to be in charge of your own education without any formal structure from your school or teachers and I know from hearing from students that motivation is wearing thin and exam students are getting increasingly stressed. Take a break for a while, make yourself a hot drink, relax on the sofa and read this blog for tips on how to study from home.
1. Get into a routine
When you aren’t in school, it is easy to sleep in late and put off study by distracting yourself with other tasks that may be less important. You should set a morning alarm Monday to Friday to get yourself into “school” mode. The space you choose to study in will also be important. Ensure you have a decent size table, big enough for your books and stationary and with adequate light. Make sure you have a comfortable, upright chair. Don’t study in your bed! You want your brain to be able to distinguish between study and sleep.
There is no point in setting an alarm and getting to work without a plan in place. Organise your learning by writing down the tasks you are assigned by teachers, the study you want to do and between what times you will do this at. Be sure to factor in time for study breaks to refuel. Planning also means that you should factor in rest days to give yourself a well-deserved break now and again. This will help you keep focused. I don’t know about you, but I also personally also love the feeling of ticking something off a list when I have completed it! Scroll to the bottom for a Free Downloadable Study Plan Template!
3. Study methods
It should be mentioned at this point that everybody learns and studies differently and there is no “one fit” model for learning. I recommend completing the VARK Questionnaire to see for yourself what works for you. In this questionnaire, you answer questions about how you like to learn and at the end you will be told what kind of learner (Visual, Aural, Read/Write or Kinesthetic) you are and what techniques work for this learning type. Below I have listed some methods that should appeal to each learner type.
Visual: Pictures, diagrams, mind maps, graphs, charts and flashcards are good tools for you. Be sure to include lots of colour, different fonts, underlining, highlighting and different sized writing to help your notes stick in your head.
Aural: You should discuss topics with your friends or even better teach one of them. Record yourself speaking and play it back. Podcasts should work for you also.
Read/Write: Make lists, notes and flashcards with bullet points and numbering. Read your textbooks and handouts, summarise them and supplement with additional materials where you can.
Kinesthetic: Move around when you are studying and make actions, watch videos, apply what you are learning to real-life examples and work through trial and error by regularly quizzing yourself.
You may also be Multimodal, which means that a combination of the above techniques will work for you. Unfortunately, you will have to find out for yourself what works!
4. Stay focused
As already mentioned, a plan will help you with focus. (Keep reading further to get to the Free Downloadable Study Plan Template!) It is also important that you stay away from social media, mobile phones etc. when learning to ensure your full attention is on the work at hand, especially where you are in the comfort of your home.
5. Take regular breaks
It is estimated that your brain can concrete on a task for around 45 minutes, after which a break of about 15 minutes should be taken. It is therefore important that you don’t wear yourself out and you take breaks to ensure your hours of learning aren’t being wasted. During this time, you should unwind by making yourself a drink or snack, checking your phone or by talking to somebody. Be sure to take larger breaks and get some exercise in too. You will feel refreshed after a walk or cycle!
6. Talk to friends and family
If you are feeling particularly stressed, it is a good idea to talk to friends and family. That being said, constantly checking up on what other people are doing and comparing yourself to this will do you no good. You are you, you are doing what works for you and you will do great!
7. Recap on what you’ve learnt
Be sure to assess how well your learning is going (and if you might need to change your strategy) by recapping on what you’ve learnt regularly. Quizzing yourself by saying out loud or by jotting down what you’ve learnt (without your notes), answering a past exam question or doing an online test will help you with this. It’s important to reflect on your learning and see if what you are doing is working for you.
These tips are only a few strategies on how to study, but they have been proven to work. That being said, if you find something new that works for you, great, and if you have, be sure to let us know!
As always, please get in touch if there is anything concerning you. We are here to help!
Viel Erfolg beim Lernen!
Ihr Deutsch Online Team