Study Break Tips: How To Take A Study Break That Works
How To Take A Study Break That Actually Works
Reviewing class lessons, finishing homework assignments, and studying for tests takes a lot of time, effort, and dedication from students. With all this hard work happening outside of class time, it’s important to make sure students take proper study breaks. These breaks help maintain top study performance and can actually increase focus, reduce stress, and help students better retain information they learn.
However, many students (and their parents) aren’t quite sure how to take an effective study break and find themselves asking:
“How do I take a study break?”
“What should I do during a study break?”
“How long should a study break be?”
So, how can you make sure your child is taking study breaks that are contributing to the learning process? We’ve come up with a number of study break tips, ideas, and activities that will help make studying easier and more effective for students.
Find out some of the biggest study break mistakes students make, and what you should be doing instead.
Study Break Tips: What Not To Do… And What To Do Instead
1. Taking Breaks
What Not To Do: Take long breaks.
Let’s face it — it can sometimes be tough to get your child to do his or her homework. This can make it even more difficult to get your child back into study mode after a long break. Of course, It’s important to make sure your child is taking breaks if needed, but breaks longer than 10-15 minutes should be avoided.
What to do Instead: Take regular, short study breaks.
Set an alarm for every 20-30 minutes and have your child take a short 5-10 minute break. Shorter study breaks will give your child just enough time to breathe, stretch and re-focus before he or she gets back to the homework.
2. Get Moving
What Not To Do: Sit for long periods of time without moving.
Studying can be physically hard on the body and children especially can find it difficult to sit still for long periods at a time. It’s important that your child takes breaks to move around and stretch to work off that extra energy.
What to Do Instead: Take regular breaks to stretch.
Getting up and moving around can help re-energize the body, clear the mind, and help reduce any stress that your child might be experiencing. Encourage your child get up, stretch, or take a short walk around the house or outside when he or she is taking a break.
3. Fuel The Body & Mind
What Not To Do: Study on an empty stomach.
Studying while hungry or dehydrated can make it much more difficult for students to focus and process all the information they are learning.
What to Do Instead: Have a nutritious snack and drink water.
Eating a nutritious snack before studying can help your child stay more focused, and provide the energy he or she needs for a successful study session. Staying hydrated also helps with the ability to focus, so keep water glasses topped up.
4. Timing Is Everything
What Not To Do: Study late in the evening.
Starting a study session or homework assignments too late in the evening means your child may not have the energy to stay focused. This can lead to delayed bedtimes and incomplete assignments — neither of which is a good way to start off the next school day.
What to Do Instead: Create a homework or study routine.
Whether it’s right after school, or right after dinner, setting time aside earlier in the evening helps your child be more alert and ready to learn. Ensure your child also gets enough sleep every night so he or she is well rested and ready to learn the following day.
5. TV-Free Zone
What Not To Do: Turn on the TV.
It can be tempting to break up the quiet studying time with a favourite television program, but it can make it very difficult to get your child back to doing his or her homework.
What to Do Instead: Put on some music.
Instead of turning on the TV, have your child put on a favourite song to dance or sing to. Music increases energy levels and can also help reduce any anxiety so he or she can get back to the books with a clearer head.
6. Stay Off Social Media
What Not To Do: Surf the Internet.
It’s easy to get lost in the online world, where a 5 minute break can quickly become 55. If your child is constantly checking Facebook updates, he or she isn’t going to be properly focused on studying.
What to Do Instead: Log out of social media accounts and turn off the cellphone.
Instead, encourage your child to use his or her study break activities to do something that gets his or her blood flowing, like taking a quick walk outside or around the house.
7. Try, Try Again
What Not to Do: Give up.
If your child is feeling stuck on a certain concept, it can be easy for him or her to become frustrated and to give up completely.
What to Do Instead: Move on to a new question or topic.
If your child is having trouble with a particular question or section, let him or her move on and come back to it later. You can also try making flashcards with your child to help with organizing and remembering information. These cards are also great to use when studying for quizzes or tests.
8. Keep it Organized
What Not to Do: Study in a messy or noisy area.
An untidy or loud workspace, like a noisy home or a messy room, can be a huge source of distraction and take the mind off the actual task at hand: studying.
What to Do Instead: Keep the study area tidy and quiet.
If your child’s desk or study space is messy, make sure it is organized first so it doesn’t distract from studying. Clear the dining table after a meal if this is the regular study space. Plan a regular quiet time in the house with no television or loud activities in order to help your child get his or her homework or studying done.
9. Remember to Recharge
What Not to Do: Forget to take a break.
Taking a break from studying is just as important as studying itself. It might seem like a good idea to try to power through all the homework or studying your child has to do at once, but not taking breaks can quickly lead to stress and frustration. Make sure your child has enough time for studying as well as breaks to help him or her stay fresh and focused.
What to do Instead: Set up a reward system.
Help your child break down the task into smaller checkpoints and reward him or her when they reach a homework checkpoint. Whether it’s a favourite treat or a fun study break activity, little rewards can help children reach their study goals.
10. Plan Your Time
What Not to Do: Cram.
Putting off homework assignments and studying until the last minute will make it harder and more tiring. Make sure your child doesn’t leave everything until the last minute and try to cram it all into one night.
What to do Instead: Plan ahead.
Ensure your child gives him or herself lots of time to study as well as time to take study breaks. Have your child review what he or she learned in class each day, set up regular homework routines, and plan out study sessions in advance for older children. Creating a family study routine will make homework and study sessions more effective and enjoyable.
Study Breaks Make All The Difference
Studying can be a challenging experience for student and parents alike, but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing how to refresh your mind and body during study breaks is helpful for ensuring students are getting an effective and positive studying experience. Planning ahead, staying hydrated and nourished, moving regularly, and setting goals with study break rewards will all help make studying easier and more enjoyable for your child.
If your child needs help developing better study habits, Oxford Learning’s Study Skills Program can teach them the skills they need, including note-taking, creating effective study notes, time management and more. Contact us today!
Do you have any study tips of your own? Share them with us and other parents on our Facebook page!