This article looks at how home schooling students and their parents can put together a home study timetable, which can help to create a feeling of organised study as well as helping students to succeed at achieving good grades and exam results if studying for a qualification.
What are the Objectives of a Study Timetable?
A study timetable can help students to feel in control of his or her studies, especially when a full curriculum and a limited period of time (before, say, an exam date or a scheduled visit to an exhibition where material needs to be covered first) could potentially create a stressful studying environment. Study timetables can help students to make a plan for their education and to stay on track with those plans, as well as helping home schooled students and their families to make the most of their time, fitting in lots of other activities, be they extra-curricular, chores or socialising, into the day.
Drawing Up a Study Timetable
Some students like to buy academic diaries for this purpose. If so, these are usually readily available in high street stores around September time, the start of the year in mainstream schooling, and should be available online at other times too. Otherwise, students can create their own study timetable using a piece of plain paper, or using desk top processing tools on the computer.
Start by drawing a table with several columns, the exact number depending on the days and times you want to break your study timetable into. A five-day timetable would have five columns, for example. List the days, or hours, or weeks, whatever time period you’re using, at the top, then break the table down into rows for the smaller divide of each time period, e.g. hour time blocks. Most students leave small breaks in between a certain number of time blocks, as these may boost brain power – in any case, you can’t study for 24 hours a day.
Next the timetable should be completed by listing the activities and study periods that need to be fulfilled by the student. First, work out how many time periods you will need per activity – e.g. studying a chapter of a book might take one, but doing study followed by a test may take up two. It might help to write a list elsewhere of all the things you need to do each day, and how much time you require for each activity – remember to include time for socialising, relaxation, exercise and sleep – all key components to a successful education.
If the student has exam or assignment deadlines, it’s a good idea to factor the date of each exam or deadline into the study timetable. Include any family or personal dates so your timetable does not clash with other events, and remember to leave gaps in between subject blocks that will cover things like travel to a tutor or getting the necessary resources out for a new subject – getting behind a schedule can be stressful so make a fair prediction of how long specific subjects and events will take to carry out.