As your children hit middle school and move into the upper grades it is important to teach them how to take notes and how to study. If they have their own study guide, it makes things much easier. The best part of note taking is that students can share notes during study sessions. You can use our free study guide and note taking template with many different grade levels.
How To Improve Study Skills
Teaching our children how to study can be difficult, especially if we weren’t great students ourselves. There is much opportunity to start young, even with elementary students. Their study material could be for a science test, for example. Sometimes kids are allowed to use their notes for test or a final exam – that’s always a great motivator to take good notes on important information.
Use a study guide template is a great way to improve study skills. But, let’s explore other ways you can improve your student’s study skills.
Best Studying Practices
The best time to study is of course before an exam or test, but as a homeschooled student, your child may not even take tests – so is it even necessary?
There are plenty of study techniques that we can teach our children that will help them stay organized with any academic subject. A great way to get in the habit of studying is to do a little each day. We do a lot of notebooking, so my daughters notebooking pages turn themselves into study sheets.
Sometimes it’s difficult for students to know what to write, that’s where using a study guide template can come in handy. It can aid in notetaking by providing specific sections and outlines for main ideas for a particular topic of a subject area.
Study Guide Template
Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post so you can download our free study guide template. This free pdf download will aid your students in taking notes and creating a study guide for any subject.
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Good Notetaking Strategies
As you can imagine, using a blank study guide template has several foundational benefits, beginning with long-term information retention. In most cases, students are taking notes to remember important concepts, big ideas, tips, or information about an academic subject.
These study notes are then used to write reports, research papers, or to study for taking tests. Need to improve test results and exam scores? No problem – grab your notes!
Notetaking Improves Comprehension
The purpose of notetaking also extends to working on comprehension skills. Students are given opportunities to study material they have learned and in a way that makes sense. What they are learning will most likely be built upon by something else.
Notetaking Improves Handwriting
Last but not least, notetaking also helps students fashion their handwriting skills. The more they write, the better they will become at it. So it’s a win-win situation! Even if your student decides to skip college, being able to take notes on a particular topic is still beneficial.
Using a Study Tool Such as a Template
The biggest benefit to using a study tool is that it take less time than fishing through tons of notes on notebook pages. Rather than spend much time trying to get everything organized, it’s already in one place.
Effective Methods for Good Notetaking
To help make notetaking fun and beneficial for your homeschooling kiddos, here are a few strategies to consider.
Teach Your Child the Best Ways to Take Notes and Study
As with any academic subject, notetaking also has its steps to learn in order to do it properly. To keep it simple, here’s an effective way you can teach your child, whether they are in middle school or you have a high school student:
- Choose a method that resonates with their learning style (we’ll discuss those next).
- Write down important points, concepts, and information from the topic of study.
- Incorporate plenty of study techniques such as: use flashcards, underlining, highlighting, circling, and the like.
- Connect thoughts from the notes taken.
- Summarize and reflect different topics
Be sure to grab our free study guide template that we have for you at the bottom of this post.
Use the Best Study Methods
There are several different types of notetaking methods, with the Cornell method being one of the most popular. This method is the most go-to because it doesn’t include elaborate copying. It does help students be organized by using boxed notetaking areas. This is popular among college students. The outlining method is the second most used and typically provides the most organization. Students can use a bullet, dash, and/or alphanumeric format.
The mapping method is commonly used when wanting to see thoughts and information laid out in a relational way. These are known as mind maps, especially when it comes to brainstorming main concepts for writing a story.
Last but not least is the charting method. This uses a series of columns and boxes in a distinct way and is best when taking notes about a matter chronologically.
Provide Opportunities for Notetaking
Another strategy involves giving your students the ability to learn how to take notes. This can be using the notebooking method with practically any subject or source material. You don’t even need textbooks to begin teaching the notetaking method.
Instead, grab a notebook and make it your study planner and jot down some things that interest your student. If you prefer, you can use a study guide template instead of a blank notebook page (free download at the bottom of this post.)
Recommended Resource: Study Skills Guide
This resource contains actionable strategies and methods to help your students study less, yet understand more. Perfect for middle school and high school students.
Use Good Notetaking Resources
Whether your student uses plain-lined paper or pre-made notetaking templates (like the free study guide template we have for you below), you’ll want to make sure your student has some good resources.
Our free notetaking pack comes with the Cornell method, columns and boxes, and plain-lined templates. They give your student a variety of ways to take notes and can accommodate any learning style. Encourage your student to take notes in a way that best suits their needs.
Study Guide Template PDF
This study guide template is a clean and simple graphic organizer that helps to separate notes, summaries and any other important information. This is great for a student that wants to go to college. There are lots of different printables for taking notes in meetings and more.
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DOWNLOAD: Notetaking Templates Pack
Notetaking is a valuable skill to have. From comprehension and studying, to enhancing handwriting practice, you can’t go wrong with using this method in your homeschool!
Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate)! She is a an eclectic, Charlotte Mason style homeschooler that has been homeschooling for almost 20 years.. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!