Successful Study Groups: Tips for Organizing a Kids' Study Group

Study groups can help children better understand and explain concepts. These sessions may include subjects like language arts and social studies, as well as math and history. Below are some tips for organizing a study session for your child so that they can be productive and sustainable.

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1 - Talk to a Teacher

Some schools may have instituted after school study groups or sessions for kids. If so, teachers may be able to offer valuable advice on things like setting up the proper environment for a study group. Teachers may also be able to provide you with class topics and notes.

2 - Speak with Local Parents

Finding a group of local and supportive parents may be the key to organizing a sustainable, reoccurring study group. Some ideas to discuss may be where to hold the sessions, how long each session should last and transportation to and from each meeting. Additionally, you may want to consider asking parents to ensure that their children have completed the proper work before coming to the session so that they can actively participate.

3 - Find a Meeting Place

Study groups work better in some places than in others. For example, a quiet living room where kids can study is preferable to a noisy kitchen or busy home office. Additionally, try and find a place that has less traffic since that may become a distraction. Lastly, find a place that can be used repeatedly for study sessions so that students can always have somewhere to go.

Group Study Session

4 - Reduce Distractions

While on the topic of noise and distraction, it's also important to decide what tools the group should be allowed to use. For example, a laptop may be a good tool for playing math or reading games, but could easily become a distraction. Similarly, if your house receives numerous phone calls, consider lowering the volume of the phone or unplugging phones in areas close to the study session.

5 - Designate Study Topics

You may also want to review study topics with your child. During the review, help them to create an outline of the most important concepts. Additionally, a study group only works if everyone understands the material, so you may consider having your child pass out the outline to other members of the group so that they can be better prepared.

6 - Organize Study Breaks

Most children have a threshold for how long they can focus before their minds begin to wander and the time for studying is done - or they at least need a break. Based on your child's educational level, you may be able to find out how long they can stay productive. For example, while elementary school kids may only be able to study for a half an hour before losing focus, middle school kids may be able to study for an hour. Based on this information, you can schedule study breaks.

7 - Snack Time!

Making some small snacks for the study session or break time may help to a promote fun and productive session. Additionally, some foods like celery and peanut butter may promote more stable moods and good study habits than others like potato chips, which are loaded with fats and sugars. You may also want to consider beverage choices - and stay away from those that are high in caffeine.

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