Many parents have asked me through the years, “What is the best time of day to get my kid to do his homework?” or “When and how often should my daughter study for your class?”
Wish I could state the “perfect time” of day to study or “how much time” is needed for a given subject, but I can’t. The truth is, study timing and amount is completely an individual choice and varies with each individual. Personality, resources, time, sleep cycles, and other demands (jobs, school, family, friends, etc.) can dictate the time of day a person can and should study, so let your teen determine his/her own studying time schedule as long as the results are positive.
Encourage teens (in fact, encourage any learner, no matter the age) to experiment with the time of day he/she studies and see when they are most productive. Some students need to do their homework and study right after school while they are still in the school mode. Others need a break first. Some are morning people and will be half asleep by 8:00 pm if they try to study then. Others experience the opposite effect. Time of day can also correlate with the subject matter (typically the harder the subject, the earlier in the evening one should tackle the content). Same concepts apply to the amount of time needed to master a subject … experiment and see what works.
As a teacher, I would also remind students that typically a person’s capacity to make decisions deteriorates over the course of a day. (Evident in most 7th period classes and decisions made by adults late at night! – LOL) Therefore, I encouraged my students to try and do more cognitive or practice-based studying earlier in the day to enhance the outcome. Rote memorization doesn’t involve decisions, so that can be better suited for the evening. Facts I shared with parents too and now I’ve shared with you, my blog readers.
Make the most of your day!