Study skills: how to support your child

Study skills: how to support your child
Kelly Hargreaves-Cox

Kelly Hargreaves-Cox is a Success Coach with Pearson Online Academy UK Global. She ran a recent session to our students’ mentors on “Setting Up for Success”, and here shares the key takeaways with all. 


What are study skills?  

Study skills are essential learning skills that are key to success in school. They might include aspects of time management and organisation such as: 

  • Prioritising 

  • Note-taking 

  • Balancing work with rest and relaxation  

  • Having a “to-do” list system 

Strong study skills help students manage their learning effectively and are increasingly important not just for success in school but also at university, work and in life. At Pearson Online Academy we believe it’s never too early to cultivate these skills, and that for some young people they can be hard to grasp. That’s why explicit teaching of these skills with additional practice in a real-life context is an important part of our Personal Development Curriculum and school ethos. 


How can I support my child with their study skills? 

Study skills don’t always come naturally to students. It’s important not to expect that all students will have the same study skills that we as adults do. We learned ours by trial and error over the course of many years. It’s easy to forget how difficult mastering these skills can be once you’ve acquired them.  

We believe with support from both home and school, a student will really begin to make progress and find what works for them. Here are a couple of ways you can support your child: 

  • Time management and organisation: We encourage mentors to support timetable organising at the beginning of our programme. This might be the first time a student has had to do this for themselves and that can be daunting.  

  • Self-Advocacy: Mentors can enable self-advocacy (guiding the child to know when to ask for help) by scheduling time with their young person to reflect on what is going well and what needs some extra attention. At Pearson Online Academy, the mentor platform gives an overview of these areas to help the conversation. Students can book in for extra support with teachers where needed to become better aware of their own learning needs. 


Signs to look out for with a student who may be struggling (and what to do next) 

These eleven signs might indicate a student is struggling in school: 

  1. Changes in normal behaviour 

  1. Becoming disengaged 

  1. Mood changes / becoming more irritable 

  1. Drop in grades / completion of work 

  1. Experiencing low self esteem 

  1. Lack of motivation 

  1. No longer enjoying the things they used to enjoy 

  1. Change in eating habits 

  1. Trouble sleeping 

  1. Physical symptoms (headache, stomach-ache)  

  1. Change in attention span 

Together or in isolation these behaviours could be a cause for concern and it’s best to let your young person know that you're there for them and you are on their side. Even if this behaviour is worrying or upsetting for you as a mentor or parent, it’s best to respond to them in a kind, patient and calm way.  

At Pearson Online Academy we are proud of our pastoral support system, so if you do notice anything we encourage you to let us know so we can work together to overcome any challenges. 


Mental health – how to ensure wellbeing whilst studying from home  

Increasingly, wellbeing and good study skills go hand in hand to form the basis of a successful school career. We believe that these are nine habits that students should form early in their learning journey with Pearson Online Academy in order to be successful: 

  1. A morning and evening routine 

  1. Regular wellbeing catch-ups 

  1. Getting exercise before or after school 

  1. Having a lunch away from the workspace 

  1. A tidy desk space 

  1. Switching off 

  1. Timetables with plenty of space for rest and relaxation 

  1. Regular stretches or standing up every 30 minutes 

  1. To-Do list organisation 

It's widely acknowledged that a balance between work, rest and relaxation is important for personal wellbeing. It's important to switch off and create boundaries between study and non-study times. We promote these self-care routines and advocate for a balanced lifestyle that allows students to thrive. 



Find out more about Pearson Online Academy: book a call with our friendly admissions team.