What Is Study Skills?

Imagine a scenario: Your child is entering high school, a brand new 9th grader. They’re coming from a smaller, familiar middle school, where they were comfortable with all the teachers, schedule, and layout of the building. But on the first day of high school, they come home upset. They couldn’t find one of their classes, a teacher already assigned homework, they had no friends in some of their classes.


You rush to assure them all will soon be well, they’ll figure it out, make new friends, then you get them going on the assignment.


But by week two or three, that one homework assignment has snowballed to seven, and though your child now knows the physical location of their classes, they don’t yet have a peer to call when they’re stuck. Assignments start going missing, maybe you’ve gotten an email or phone call from a concerned teacher.


You decide to step in, to help your child get organized. When they go to open their school bag, you’re shocked: crumpled papers, ripped folders, a binder that seems to have all their classes mixed together. Not only does your child not know how to do the assignment, they don’t even know where the assignment is, or when it’s due.


This situation plays out every year as 9th graders sometimes struggle to adjust to the requirements and expectations of high school academics. That’s where a Study Skills program can help.


What does Study Skills involve?


Study Skills covers both physical organization- notebooks, binders, and planners- as well as the softer academic skills- time management, communicating with teachers and peers, and the fundamentals of how to study and conduct research. Some students need only a few tools to help them on their way, others benefit from regular oversight from an experienced tutor.


Every parent has had the miserable experience of trying to help a child with homework, only to be told “that’s not how my teacher did it!” These conversations can lead to unnecessary stress and conflict. Having a neutral third party work through these issues with your child can free you up as a parent to focus on the social-emotional well-being of your whole family.


What does Study Skills at Silver Oak look like?


A Silver Oak Study Skills tutor will work to develop a rapport with your child, motivating them on an individual level, focusing on their unique goals and strengths. If your child has a learning challenge, either diagnosed or otherwise, your tutor can provide the one-on-one support that isn’t always possible in a classroom setting.


Study Skills tutoring doesn’t replace classroom learning: it helps your child take advantage of and be present for that learning, giving them the building blocks for a successful academic career. At Silver Oak, our Study Skills curriculum is customized to meet your child’s needs, and usually incorporates general skills for standardized testing, such as SAT and ACT, that will come up in their future.


My child isn’t struggling: can Study Skills benefit us?


Even if your child isn’t behind in school, Study Skills support can help bring grades up, improve GPA, and increase student self-confidence. With all of today’s students’ extracurricular activities and interests, even highly motivated students and families can benefit from Study Skills support at Silver Oak. Study Skills programs run year-round. In the summer, an individual’s program might include skills refreshers for the upcoming school year, setting up a personalized schedule for the school year, as well as assistance with any summer-reading assignments.


By high school, teachers are focused almost entirely on content; at Silver Oak, our Study Skills program teaches students how to become lifelong learners, ready to take on any academic or professional challenge and succeed!