As your child moves through middle school and beyond, he will find that studying the book will never be enough. In fact, some teachers test heavily on the notes they give and very little on textbooks.

To take good notes, your child needs to look closely. Whatever a teacher writes on the board while talking is probably something your child should write down too.

Your child also needs to listen closely. This is especially important. It’s easier to see written words than it is to pick up on all the hints a teacher gives with her voice. Your child should listen for certain words and phrases. “The main idea.” “An important point.” “Something to keep in mind.” These words probably mean that this information is key and will appear on tests. Write these concepts down.

Sometimes a teacher will say something several times. This is also a way to communicate, that the information is very important. Your child should write it down.

Nobody will catch everything a teacher says. If your child isn’t sure what was said, encourage him to raise his hand. The teacher will not mind explaining. Or they can talk after class.

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