Every student (and parent) knows it can sometimes be hard to sit down to tackle schoolwork, whether it’s completing a homework assignment or studying for the next big test—especially when the weekend rolls around.
Completing homework and staying on top of upcoming assignments is just as important on the weekend as it is during the week. It’s never a fun experience for anyone when it’s Sunday night and school assignments still haven’t been completed!
Sticking to a study schedule can keep your child on track and avoid homework meltdowns. But when planning this schedule, many parents wonder “when is the best time to study for my child?”
HOW TIME OF DAY AFFECTS STUDENTS’ BRAINS
Students’ brains tend to be sharpest in the morning, after a refreshing night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast. This makes it a good time to open a textbook to learn something new, or review notes from the previous day. With a more alert brain, students have a better ability to recall details like names, places, dates and facts.
In the afternoon, students’ brains are good at integrating new information with what they already know. During this time of day, students are able to create connections and make the information they have learned more meaningful.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF DAY TO STUDY?
There is no one “best” time of day to study. We each have our most productive time of the day, when we have the most energy. Some people are morning people, who wake up with lots of energy. Others are night owls, and have more energy in the evening hours.
Just like each student has a unique learning style, different students may learn better at different times of the day. For some students, focusing on schoolwork is easier during the morning hours of the day, while others may find that studying at night works better for them.
THE DAY STUDIER
For students who have more energy earlier in the day, studying in the morning may work best, when the brain is better able to focus.
Students who study during the day benefit from a refreshed and energized mind after a good night’s sleep. This energy makes it easier to focus on what is being learned, and absorb the information more effectively.
Benefits of studying during the day:
- The brain is refreshed from a good sleep and can absorb more information
- Natural light good for your eyes and keeps you alert
- Doesn’t disrupt sleep schedule
- Easier to create a study group with classmates
THE NIGHT STUDIER
For students who have more energy later in the day, evening or nighttime can be a more effective time to study. With fewer distractions and peace and quiet, studying at night can help improve a student’s concentration and focus.
If your student is an evening or night studier, it’s important to make sure he or she is still getting enough sleep each night. Kids need an average of 8-9 hours of sleep each night—if homework or studying is delaying bedtime, get into the habit of starting a bit earlier and sticking to a nightly schedule.
Benefits of studying during the evening/night:
- More peace and quiet
- Fewer distractions
- A clearer mind for creative thinking
- Sleeping after studying can consolidate information and improve recall