In this month’s blog, we look at study skills in home schooling and share our tips for dyslexic students of all ages.
What are Study Skills?
Study Skills are a range of strategies for learning and studying effectively. Dyslexic and other SpLD students, who are entering Higher Education (university) are known to benefit significantly from developing their Study Skills.
Key Study Skills usually include:
- Managing time, to study and complete assignments (written tasks)
- Remembering information, to revise for tests and examinations
- Making notes, whilst reading, viewing video presentations or perhaps listening to lectures
- Planning and writing essays.
Why are Study Skills so important?
At Higher Education level, students are expected to study with a greater level of independence than they may have experienced previously.
By developing effective approaches to their studies, students will improve their grades and examination scores.
Looking ahead, Study Skills are highly transferable life skills. This set of skills will be useful throughout a student’s subsequent career.
Study Skills for younger dyslexic students from Key Stage 2
Through starting the practice of Study Skills in KS2, dyslexic students will improve their grades and attainment test scores.
As a result, a dyslexic student’s confidence, self-esteem and learning resilience can improve.
Importantly, and in a time when students are accessing their school learning from home, Study Skills will develop a dyslexic student’s independence and responsibility for learning. This will prepare them more readily for the next stage of their education.
Start Now! Here is the No. 1 Study Skill for a young dyslexic learner at home.
Time and Organisation: Seven Tips
Guide your young dyslexic learner through the process of designing a Weekly Timetable. Include all aspects of school and homework, hobbies, main meals and ‘down time’ across the seven days of the week.
Encourage co-editing rather than imposing a ready-made timetable on a learner. This will promote more ‘ownership’ and thus responsibility by the learner. Through creating the Weekly Timetable collaboratively, the student learner will need to be involved and to find out about their lessons and homework.
Better still, for many dyslexic students, each aspect of the timetable can be colour coded. Some students find it helpful to colour-code a subject lesson to match that subject’s exercise book colour.
They can choose to design their timetable as a Word document or choose to hand-draw and colour it, with guidance. It will be useful to keep a blank Master copy, to make photocopies, for when the timetable alters.
Encourage the learner to reflect on their best time for learning, when they are most alert and energetic. If that happens to be during late morning, then they can plan to include a learning activity on a Saturday or Sunday morning.
Most importantly, timetables should be displayed and followed!
One copy of the timetable should be displayed in the student’s bedroom or study area and another can be displayed, for example, in a shared family space such as on the side of the ‘fridge.
The student can then be asked what is on their timetable, and that they are doing at a given time. This is different to saying “It’s 4pm so time for you to sit down and start for a (given) subject homework”, though this approach may also be needed at times.
Reminders to use the timetable will always be needed, alongside checking up that homework has been completed and ticked off. Nevertheless, regularly practising this Study Skill will be most valuable to the student.