Parent Involvement: Creating Success With Study Skills

We know that teaching any type of skill takes practice, monitoring, and feedback (see our prior article “Teaching a Skill”, click HERE.).  We also know that this type of “coaching” takes time and attention and this can be a challenge for teachers.

Parent Helping Child

Teachers can’t do it alone. Ask parents for help.

How can you possibly give students the type of individual attention I’m suggesting? Especially considering that a full-time teacher has anywhere from 25 to more than 100 students!

The short answer is you can’t do this alone.  But, you can ask for help.

First, ask parents for help.  Start with a letter or email sent home explaining the skills you’re teaching and why you need assistance (the fact that the implementation of these skills need to be monitored and you can’t do it alone).  In the letter, request a response with a check mark next to one of the following:

___ Yes, I can help my child by monitoring their SOAR® Binder System and the use of their planner.

___ Yes, we have a tutor or mentor (adult) that can assist with this task of monitoring the SOAR® Binder and planner.

___ No, I’m sorry, this is something that I cannot help with, but truly appreciate your help as my son/daughter’s teacher.

Getting a check mark from the first two options is huge win and will provide some relief to you with the monitoring process.  As for the responses with the bottom check mark or no response at all, these students are prime candidates for assigning accountability buddies.

The concept of accountability buddies is pairing students together for the purpose of coaching each other and checking each others’ binders and planners.  (I recommend you, as the teacher, do the pairing versus students selecting their friends.) This is your opportunity to pair weaker students with stronger students that may be getting additional adult support (i.e. parents/tutors) outside of school.  This process works best if you can model for students first.

The last straw is working either directly with students one-on-one or in small groups.  It’s definitely time consuming but if you can make it work, the benefits are great.

Is It Worth It?

“Study skills” are often misinterpreted or thought of as a set of tips and tricks to perform better on tests or to earn better grades, but in reality they are the most essential skills for success in life.  Regardless of your career path, if you keep yourself organized, manage your time, process and learn new information, and communicate effectively with others, you will succeed in whatever path you pursue.

Just like my soccer coach intuitively knew our “perfect execution” (See our previous article “Teaching a Skill,” click HERE.)  would someday be the difference between victory and defeat.  We can say the same thing about our students mastering study skills.

In fact, in 2009 Ohio State University conducted a study on the effectiveness of teaching study skills.  Their conclusions:

45% = the increased likelihood that “struggling” high school students will graduate from college if they take a study skills class.

600% = the increased likelihood that “average” high school students will graduate from college if they take a study skills class.

With these kinds of results, we need to make time to practice, monitor, provide feedback, and then practice again.  Remember, “perfect practice makes perfect.”

Go ahead, call me biased, but I dare say that study skills are the most essential thing we can teach in school (and at home).  They are proven, time and time again, to improve academic performance and lead to workplace success.

Frankly, I’m disappointed that our educational system in the United States often misses the important connection between taking time to teach study skills and the benefits of doing so. 

We’re still focused on a vast amount of “content knowledge” benchmarks. 

The good news is, if your school is not recognizing the importance of teaching study skills, you don’t have to sit by idly.

Take Action!

Parents: If you’re a parent, arm your child with these skills at home.  We’ve made it easy with our interactive, SOAR® Learning & Soft Skills App.  To learn more about how this self-directed, online course can help your child, and to watch a short preview video, click HERE.

Teachers: You entered this profession to make a difference, and to affect change.  Here is your opportunity.  The following is a plan of action to lead you to the tools to make that lifelong impact in your students:

  1. Learn more about our study skills curriculum by clicking HERE.
  2. Learn about our new app that makes learning study skills more self-directed than ever, giving you the time to monitor and provide high-quality feedback to your students by clicking HERE.
  3. Use our quote calculator to conveniently calculate a quote for the curriculum you need by clicking HERE.
  4. Request a free digital review copy of the curriculum in the black box on the right hand side of any “educator” page of the website.
  5. Request an Administrator Review Packet and educate your administration about the importance of study skills and the potential results your students are missing by clicking HERE.
  6. If you have remaining questions, visit our Contact Us page and let us know how we can help by clicking HERE.

Join the 3,700+ schools across the United States that are seeing the improved academic results of  “perfect practice makes perfect” with study skills.




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