Students will deny the possibility of having the words ‘fun’ and ‘studying’ in the same sentence. However, yes, it’s possible. Studying can be enjoyable!
Here are ways teachers or tutors can make studying more enjoyable for students:
When it comes to studying, the environment or space, in which the student is, is very important. Students might find that they study Math better in a library and write papers better in a coffee shop. The key is to switch up study locations! So, allow them to choose a fun space to study in and offer for them to study in different places from time to time so they don’t get bored of the same place.
Let the student choose a space which he enjoys, like a coffee shop or the outdoors.
Recommend your student new workspaces or study spots that you know of, such as coffee shops, libraries, outdoor areas, etc.
A change of scenery while studying can go a long way.
Having a specific study ritual to adopt when studying can make students view studying as a habit. If it’s lighting a candle, listening to music, or having a drink of their choice like a smoothie, Frappuccino, or juice with them, mixing fun things with what can be considered as ‘not fun’ can create positive associations within the student that would wire them to see studying as more enjoyable!
Turn studying into a game. Use Flashcards!
Testing or quizzing your students after a study session either using pre-made physical flashcards or using apps like Quizlet will create a gamified element to studying.
If your student is a visual learner, incorporate diagrams, mind maps, graphs, and tables, which make it easier for students to visualize and memorize facts.
If your student is an auditory learner (likes to learn by listening), give them YouTube videos, audiobooks, or podcasts to watch or listen to or let them record themselves and listen to themselves reading a text.
Mnemonics are a pattern of letters, ideas, or codes for letters.
For example, the mnemonic OCEAN stands for the Big Five Personality Traits: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.
Mnemonics help students memorize and retrieve information faster and more easily.
Create a Study Plan Together
Divide, organize, schedule, and plan the material your student has to study daily, weekly, or monthly.
For instance, suppose your student has to read a chapter of a textbook and is unmotivated to do it. If the chapter is 30 pages long, they could divide this into six sets of five pages each, and every time they read one set of five pages, they can allow themselves a small break or a reward.
The satisfaction of checking something off their to-do list will motivate learners to keep going and complete task after task.
Relate the study material of subjects to real-life events, things, places, situations, etc.
Show the student that studying is practical and beneficial for ‘real-life’ and can be used in their daily lives.
Feeling comfortable is a prerequisite to being focused.
Make sure your students have water and a snack nearby to nourish their brains. It’s very difficult for someone to focus on anything when hungry; so, advise your students to grab a bite before they start studying or not to study on an empty stomach. Also, make sure the study space has good lighting and ventilation and that they sit in a comfortable chair, as sitting for a long time at a desk necessitates being comfortable in a chair for good posture.
Allow your pupil to be themselves. Whether it’s moving around the house and role-playing a historic figure, or putting on a show, or making a song out of scientific terms that they need to remember, make your student feel free to be silly.
Creating an interpersonal connection with a student will make them feel more comfortable in being themselves, not ashamed to make mistakes, and seek help when they don’t understand something.
Rewards give students something to look forward to when they complete a task or spend a certain amount of time working on a subject. So, provide your student with positive feedback every time they make progress and allow them to do something they like or find fun.
There are many relaxing and focus-enhancing playlists out there: from Jazz and instrumental movie soundtracks to HipHop and R&B. Whatever is their jam, advise your students to curate their own study playlist.
Teach or encourage students to organize their notebooks, textbooks, and supplies on their desk space, for a cluttered desk space will make studying less enjoyable.
A clean and organized desk space will make the experience of learning all the more enjoyable. A decluttered desk can help declutter the mind, which will make studying easier and less frustrating.
Teach students to organize and color-code their notes and encourage them to buy and try to use stationary that they enjoy using while studying.
Highlighters, markers, colorful pens, planners- you name it! Recommend your student to use fun colors while studying to keep them engaged. Furthermore, highlighting while reading allows students to actively read.
Though it’s imperative that not all students like to study all subjects, try to pique or induce your student’s interest in a particular subject.
There will always be subjects which students don’t find interesting. Nevertheless, associating subjects with fun activities like bungee jumping when explaining the concept of Tension (of a cord) in Physics. Explaining the concept of Friction (or its lack thereof) could describe how the arcade game, air hockey, works.
Another way to make learning fun is by providing learners with meaningful opportunities to apply their knowledge. When teachers incorporate fun and engaging activities, students are more encouraged to participate. Enjoying the process of learning helps students retain information better because the process is more enjoyable and memorable.
Thus, the material will stick in their minds and they will have integrated the material they study with real life.
Lastly, remind your pupil that learning is the main goal of studying.
Breaks allow the mind to absorb the information and refresh before going back to studying.
Let the student decide how often to take breaks and for how long, depending on what makes them feel refreshed.
Moving around- whether it’s dancing in their rooms, going to the gym, playing any kind of sport, or exercising at home, will get their blood pumping and the endorphins running!
Physical activity is known to enhance well-being and help individuals manage stress.
Make your student feel like they can accomplish anything they set their minds to.
Encourage them to think and believe that they can overcome challenges and they have the power and control to change whatever they want to change; whether it’s going from failing in a subject to doing well in it or just wanting more understanding or comprehension of a subject, it’s possible to make these changes and to reach or meet their goals, granted they do their part of the work.
Having self-efficacy, which is believing in ones’ capabilities in doing or achieving something, would motivate students to study; thus, making it more enjoyable.
Encourage them to exercise positive self-talk by saying sentences like, “I can do it!”
Let them switch from “I’m either good at it or I’m not” to “I can learn anything, or from “failure means I can’t do it” to “failure gives me an opportunity to learn”, or from “I will only do what I know” to “I enjoy trying new things.”
Hence, adopting these tips can make studying not only more bearable but also enjoyable and fun!