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Why create a study plan?

Written by Nicole Krempasky on Thursday, 24 September 2020. Posted in For Parents, Helpful Tips, Traditional Students

Weekly planner.

Even the most responsible kids can sometimes need a little help getting organized. When your child is completing their schoolwork at home and on their own schedule, maintaining structure becomes even more important. Study plans can put (and keep) them on the right path for success. A study plan will not only ensure that the work gets done, but also make your child’s leisure time more enjoyable because they won’t be worrying that they’ve forgotten to do something important.

Study plans can help set the stage for success in college and later in life, too. They can teach organization and time management skills, as well as discipline, which will translate over into their personal and professional lives.

How to Create a Study Plan

  • Assessment. The first step in creating a study plan should be to assess what habits your child already has and what is working, as well as what’s not working. Does he or she do better going over everything at once, in long stretches, or do they work better in small bursts? If your child gets bored easily, blocking off two consecutive hours for studying will likely cause them distress, making learning more difficult. They might benefit more from frequent, shorter study sessions. Similarly, maybe your child prefers to pour over work in long stretches. Having five, dispersed half-hour sessions per subject might not give them enough time to absorb the material thoroughly.
  • Scheduling. What is your child’s current schedule like? Does he or she have a job or extra-curricular activities like sports or dance? You want to make sure study time doesn’t overlap with other scheduled responsibilities. A good schedule will leave enough time between studying and these extracurriculars or work commitments to make sure he or she doesn’t feel overburdened or rushed.
  • Timing. You also want to make sure your child has enough time scheduled to study each subject. While a traditional school day accommodates a specific, set number of hours, online schooling means you don’t have to follow a one-size-fits-all method. While you should dedicate enough time to each subject, the same amount perhaps isn’t needed for each. Maybe your child is a math whiz who picks it up easily but struggles with writing. You’ll want to build in more time to go over English and writing, while not spending extra time on work they’ve already mastered in math.
  • Setting Goals. They can be big or small, once a week or once a month, but setting goals is a great way to motivate your child. Breaking schoolwork up into smaller benchmarks can be less daunting, motivating your child while not overwhelming them. It will add to their structure and self-discipline while providing a confidence boost once achieved. That confidence will then help them tackle the next task, making academic success seem more attainable.

Get Started with James Madison

Just like study plans, James Madison High School can accommodate learners of all types. Our affordable, accredited online courses are self-paced, allowing you and your child to develop a schedule and study plan that works best for how they learn. Call our admissions team for more information at or enroll online today.

About the Author

Nicole Krempasky

Nicole Krempasky

Nicole Krempasky earned a BA in Communications with a minor in Art History from Arcadia University. Just finishing her MA in International Journalism from Edinburgh Napier University, she is putting her writing and research skills to use as Penn Foster’s Marketing Coordinator. Nicole enjoys baking, traveling, and British TV.