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  • Writer's pictureTrey Adams

5 ways to encourage studying in groups

Updated: Jun 20, 2022

While we don't know what the world will look like when your child graduates college, high school, or even kindergarten, we are confident in one fact. They will have to work with other people. Collaboration is a 21st century skill and one that is increasingly prized by both colleges and future employers. Studying in groups lays the foundation for collaboration.

  1. Start with play dates. There is a misconception that "studying" doesn't begin until preparation for that first big test. Collaborative skills develop even earlier, beginning in early childhood. Tremendous lessons are learned from early interactions in sharing toys or taking turns. Schedule play dates to encourage collaborative skills outside of the academic day. As the student grows, the conversion of playing together to working together will be natural.

  2. Teamwork makes the dream work. Organized sports are excellent ways for children to discover how to work in groups. Each player on a team has a position, title and role. Together, the positions collaborate to achieve goals, points, and score. A wise defender will recognize when a team is anchored by a single gifted player, but the most successful teams have a variety of talents across their roster.

  3. Make beautiful music together. Church children's choirs are underrated ways for children to learn how to collaborate and work together. The sound of the choir is dependent on the union of voices. Four-part harmonies demonstrate how working together for a common goal produces beautiful results. In a similar way, theater arts can also be a fantastic way to encourage collaboration, especially in multi-actor ensembles and musicals.

  4. Project work synthesizes knowledge. Seek out schools and educational experiences that utilize project-based learning as a vessel for knowledge acquisition. Project teams guide students to roles that fit their talents and celebrate each individual student for their own creative contribution to the whole. The more students work in teams on projects, the more comfortable they become in group work.

  5. Network to get work. Socializing has evolved significantly in the 21st century. Social media, communication devices, and online identities have reduced the art of communication to a series of images/letters, memes, or videos. Socializing IRL (or in-person) with one another is a foundational element of group study. We often discover who the best (or perhaps not-so-great) study partners are from our friendship groups.

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