Embarking on the journey of independent learning requires more than just textbooks and notes. A robust study plan is a compass guiding students through the labyrinth of academic challenges, helping them achieve success in a manner tailored to their unique learning styles. In this exploration, we unravel the essence of a smart study plan, how to craft one effectively, and why doing so with our innovative one-to-one learning model can elevate the educational experience for middle and high school students.
What is a Study Plan?
A study plan is a roadmap to academic success, a strategic approach to learning that involves organized schedules, targeted objectives, and effective study techniques. A study plan is useful for all students, but independent learners will benefit from one to a much higher degree due to the fact that they run their own learning. The more that they can wrap some structure and scaffold around that, the better.
A study plan is not just a to-do list; rather, it’s a comprehensive strategy designed to optimize learning, ensuring that students cover all necessary material thoroughly.
How to Make a Study Plan
Crafting an effective study plan requires a systematic approach. Here’s how it might look for an independent learner:
Think about your week. Begin with the easy stuff like the classes that you have to attend. Put all these on a calendar.
Next, add any appointments or other commitments to the calendar so that you have a clear view of all the non-scheduled or “free” time that you have in the week. This is the canvas on which you’ll paint your study plan.
Next, make a list of all the work that you have to do, and try to score it with an amount of time. Be conservative. It’s better to estimate that an assignment will take you an hour when in fact it may only take you 45 minutes. Lay all these out as “time boxes” on your calendar. You can check out this video in which a Cicero student talks about how she does this.
You’re not done. Consider peak focus periods. When are you most energetic and have the best focus? Move your time boxes around so that your biggest or most challenging work happens then. Next, integrate breaks to avoid burnout. Actually schedule them.
Finally, be adaptable, adjusting the plan as needed.
Why is Making an AP Test Study Plan Important?
Advanced Placement (AP) tests demand a meticulous approach to preparation, and homeschoolers who are taking AP courses, should build a robust plan. Crafting a study plan for AP exams is crucial due to the comprehensive nature of these tests. Cicero’s AP classes not only cover the required material thoroughly but also offer personalized study plans tailored to the specific demands of AP testing, ensuring students are well-prepared for success.
The importance of personalized study plans extends beyond traditional test preparation. It’s about cultivating a mindset of mastery and understanding, which is critical for homeschoolers and other independent learners who don’t necessarily always have someone checking up on them. An excellent study plan can empower them with the skills and knowledge that transcend the exam room.
What Are Good Study Habits?
Good study habits are the foundation of an effective study plan. They include consistent time management, active engagement with the material, and the use of varied learning techniques. Cicero emphasizes and reinforces these habits through one-to-one interactions, fostering an environment where good study habits become second nature.
Poor Habits to Avoid
Identifying and avoiding poor study habits is equally important. These can include procrastination, lack of focus, and inadequate preparation. Email and social media are huge distractors. A good habit to practice with these is batching, where you set aside 30-60 minutes two or three times each day to check email and check Instagram. But, that’s it. Try to avoid the “I can’t think of my next sentence in this essay, I better check TikTok” habit.
At Cicero, we help students work on these habits in our Wellness and Executive Function for Teenagers course.
Where is a Good Place to Study?
Creating an ideal study environment is key. It’s hard to work with a lot of distractions around. The great thing about Cicero is that you can take us with you. Each week we have students dialing in from a cafe, from their bedrooms, from their grandma’s kitchens…. Wherever you feel your most productive is a good spot.
Cicero Helps Independent Learners Make the Best Study Plans
For independent learners having a strong study plan is key. We are all different and learn in different ways. At Cicero, we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all approaches to learning. This is the benefit of having a teacher dedicated to you, building a course around your interests and needs. Our personalized approach goes beyond traditional study plans, providing students with curated courses and lessons that align with their individual learning styles. Cicero’s educators collaborate closely with students, guiding them in crafting study plans that optimize comprehension and retention. One-to-one interaction also allows for flexibility in learning paths, accommodating individual progress and preferences. Cicero’s educators adapt study plans based on real-time feedback, ensuring that each student receives the support needed to succeed.
In conclusion, a smart study plan is the linchpin of independent learning. It begins today.