If you’re the parent of school-aged children, then you probably already know the drama and hassle of homework time. Some children are eager and excited about homework, and get it done themselves as soon as they get home from school, but others drag their feet and need a little encouragement from parents. Either way, it’s important to help your child develop good study habits early, but how? I can help! Here are my top seven ways to encourage good study habits…
1. Set Aside Time
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Children develop good study habits the same way they develop all other good habits — with practice and routine. Part of establishing a study routine is setting aside a specific time for homework and reading, and sticking to it. Make it the rule that homework and studying is done every night after dinner, or right after school, and soon, that rule will gradually become a habit.
2. Reward Good Behavior
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When your child sticks to their homework and study routine without having to be reminded, or when their studying pays off with good exam or report card grades, then it’s a great idea to reinforce their positive behavior with a reward. It can be something your child wanted and was working towards, or a surprise that you choose for them. It doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant, just something to let them know their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.
3. Listen to Teacher
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Usually, the first person to notice a need for, or a change in, your child’s study habits is their teacher at school. If your child’s teacher has feedback to provide, pay attention, and work with them to help your child modify their study habits. Teachers love to see their students succeed, and they have many more tools at their disposal than parents alone.
4. Make a Space
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Together with creating a time for studying and homework, it’s also important to have a quiet, tidy place for your child to study. Make sure the room is free of distractions, like noisy younger siblings, the TV, and radio, and make sure it’s well-lit with all of the supplies your child will need.
5. Provide the Tools
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When I was a child, essays were hand-written on notebook paper. Now, most homework is typed on the computer and printed at home. If you don’t have a computer or a printer at home, you need to invest in one, for two reasons. First, it saves a lot of hassle, trying to print your child’s homework and essays at the last minute somewhere away from home. Second, your child will see how important their studies are when they see you invest in them.
6. Spend Your Own Time!
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It’s also a good idea to set aside some of your own time each day, or at least each week, to help your children with their homework and studying. Spending your own time will also reinforce to your child how important their schoolwork is, and it will also help you stay informed.
7. Set a Good Example
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If you have work to do, let your children learn from your example — make time for it, and get it done without complaining! If your children see you practicing what you preach, they’ll be much more likely to follow their own study routines.
If you follow these simple rules, with help from your child’s teacher, you’re sure to help your children develop good study habits, not just for elementary or middle school, but through high school, university, and beyond! I still follow many of these rules myself, for my own studies! Have any of these tips worked for you? Or do you have another tip for encouraging good study habits? Please let me know!
Top Photo Credit: Stella Brazil