Study Skills on an IEP
Teaching students how to study independently is a very important skill for success in school and college. If your child has an Individual Education Program (IEP) you can have study skills goals written directly on the IEP. This can help ensure that your son or daughter is directly taught how to study. Study skills is a broad term that often includes organizational skills, learning strategies, time management, and notetaking.
If your child has an IEP, consider each of the following questions.
Does my child’s IEP have specific goals for teaching study skills?
If you are unsure, check your copy of the IEP and look in the section called ‘annual goals.’ Sometimes these are called ‘benchmarks.’ If your child’s IEP does not have any goals related to study skills, give the teacher a written request to hold a meeting to revise the IEP.
Which study skills instructional programs are specified on the IEP?
The quality of study skills programs varies. Check the IEP to determine if a specific program or series is used. The benefit of having instruction with a program is that it tends to be more systematic and sequential as compared to a haphazard approach. You want a study skills program that is shown to be effective. The program should have guided instruction that provides a lot of instruction and practice in the beginning. The study skills program should gradually transfer more responsibility to the student. This ensures they become proficient at using the study skills independently.
Some examples of study skills programs include Anita Archer’s Study Skills for School Success, the University of Kansas Strategic Interventions Model (SIM), and the Mangrum-Strichart Study Skills program.
How frequently does your child receive study skills instruction?
You can examine your child’s IEP to determine how frequently the study skills are taught. It should say in the section that is usually called ‘intensity and duration’ or ‘supplementary aids and services.’ If you can not find anything on the IEP that specifies frequency, schedule a meeting to review your child’s IEP. If you are writing your child’s first IEP, make sure they receive instruction daily or at minimum, twice a week.
Are there opportunities for occasional study skills review sessions?
Some students do not learn to independently study even though they have been instructed. This can occur when the teacher provides study skills instruction but not ongoing support. Like most people, if we don’t use it, we lose it. Our kids need regular review sessions and feedback from the teacher to keep their study skill fresh. If your child seems to forget the study skills, consider having a teacher meeting to find out if they provide regular review sessions.
By advocating for your child and having study skills goals on the IEP, your child’s IEP will guarantee they are taught the necessary study skills for school success.