10 January 2011 09:50 AM

Study Buddies Make Learning Easier

by Dr. Rick

Regular readers of the Dr. Rick Blog know the value I place on study buddies, friends and classmates who help each other to keep up, study for tests, make homework smoother, and challenge each other to do their best.


I always encourage my students to pair up with one or two study buddies, call or text each other at homework time to make sure they understand the assignments and due dates, clear up pesky questions, work on long-range projects together to eliminate day-before rushing, and provide each other with support.  Before important tests, I encourage study get-togethers, complete with pizza, to prepare for the Big Day.


I’ve written about study buddies in many, many blogs, but here, in one place, is a list of reasons why kids – grades four and above – should have study buddies.

  1. Study buddies eliminate lots of homework challenges.  Kids should have a regular homework time and routine, free of distractions and organized for quick completion.  If part of that routine is a short call/email/text to a study buddy to clarify the assignment, to ascertain its due date, or to clear up questions, he’s off to a good start.

  2. Study buddies provide support.  Every kid can use support, especially when homework and projects can seem overwhelming.  Having someone to study with, to organize with, and to jolly along can be a real benefit. 

  3. Study buddies help learning.  Kids with talent in one area but not another can benefit from study buddies with complementary talents.  I’ve seen right-brained “word nerds” help left-brained “number nerds” on more occasions than I can count.  Then I smile to see the favor reciprocated.  The best way to learn something is to teach it, after all.  Everyone wins.

  4. Study buddies are social.  There’s no reason why learning can’t be fun.  Kids enjoy the social aspects of learning – being together, helping each other, injecting some fun into the work of learning.  Bringing together a group of kids to study for mid-terms, to prepare for the SAT, or to memorize lines for the school play not only gets the job done, it builds friendships.  We adults need to monitor to make sure the socializing is secondary to the learning, but that’s our job, right?

  5. Study buddies are non-threatening.  Sometimes it’s difficult to ask questions in class.  There may not be enough time, a kid doesn’t think of it until long after the bell rings, or she’s shy.  Asking a study buddy to explain, in kid language, just might make that light bulb go off overhead.

  6. Study buddies teach good habits.  Just as athletes pick up good tips from each other, as musicians learn from jamming with friends, and as craftspeople get inspiration from other creative types, so students recognize and adopt the helpful behaviors of their friends.  “If that study routine works for Bill, there’s no reason why it can’t work for me.”

  7. Study buddies build respect.  It’s good for kids to have role models in their own circle of friends.  Kids know who the best students, athletes, artists, writers, and techies are in their school.  It’s good to give them an opportunity to share individual talents and learn from each other.  Everyone has a talent.  Everyone has a need.

  8.  Study buddies are particularly helpful for older kids.  Grade four is about right to start thinking about study buddies.  Kids in earlier grades are still learning the fundamentals – learning to read, rather than reading to learn, for example – and they don’t have the same tests and assignments as their older schoolmates.  Fourth graders can begin studying together for, say, weekly spelling tests.  That’s a good place to start.

  9. Study buddies compete.  A little friendly competition is good.  When students compete for the most original science fair project, the best-researched social studies term paper, the most creative art portfolio, or a really original creative writing piece, they begin to recognize and respect each other’s talents as well as their own.

  10. Study buddies celebrate.  What a good feeling when they succeed on tests, raise their grades, feel some pride in a job well done, and you see their confidence rising.  Study buddies can help each other celebrate successes and focus on further improvements.





2/14/2011 9:35:54 AM

Quiz Your Kids

Quiz Your Kids

Dr. Rick's Blog

2/18/2013 10:32:51 AM

Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Study for a Test

Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Study for a Test

Dr. Rick's Blog

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