MANY parents know that good grades and success in school are highly dependent on their children’s study habits.
Below are nine of the most important tips parents can use to help their children develop good study habits:
1. Create a study area. Put your child in surroundings that will help him concentrate, and encourage a ready-to-study attitude. His study area should have good lighting, and be comfortable. In addition, make sure he has all of the necessary supplies, study aids, and reference material readily available.
2. Establish the best study conditions. Determine the best setting for your child to study. Does he study better alone, or with friends? Is it helpful for him to study with music, or does he need a quiet setting?
3. Remove distractions. Make sure his study place is not in a high-traffic area where there are frequent interruptions from people passing through. If it is, then you will need to identify another place. In addition, make sure that the TV is turned off since it is the biggest distracter.
4. Schedule study time. Create a routine time of day for studying, and have your child study at that time every day. He may want to study right after school, or he may want to schedule his study time after dinner, or later in the evening. He will also need to study for a specific length of time (an hour or two) everyday. The important thing is for him to adhere to his plan on a daily basis.
5. Study as if having a test the next day. Each day, have your child go over his notes and homework as if he were having a quiz the following day. This routine will help to condition his mind, and increase his memory retention.
6. Schedule breaks. Teach your child to study for 40 to 50 minutes at a time, and then take a 10-minute break. Most students retain more information by studying for shorter periods of time with breaks in between.
7. Study right before going to sleep. Teach your child to do rote memory tasks, and review facts just before he goes to sleep. Studies have shown that people remember more information when they study right before going to sleep.
8. Prioritize. Each day, have your child make a list of the things he needs to study. Then have him prioritize the list, and execute his plan. In addition, you and your child will need to decide on the length of time he will need to study for each subject area. Make sure the length of time is reasonable.
9. Review notes and outline chapters. Teach your child to be prepared for class by reviewing class notes and outlining textbook chapters. This will help him distinguish the most important facts and points, and develop a good understanding of the subject matter. Also, teach him to jot down keywords, important sentences, and ideas his teacher explains in class.
The tips above do not take a lot of time to implement but have a great impact on your child’s academic success. So, try one or two suggestions a week, and watch your child’s academic performance improve.
Elizabeth Hamilton, M.Ed, MA, is a teacher with 23 years of professional experience. You can write to her at successfullearner[at]yahoo.com with your questions or comments.