Back to school season is upon us, and while you are stocking up on folders, pencils, and backpacks, you might be wondering what else you can do to help your child prepare for a successful school year. Sometimes, the resources your child needs the most can’t be purchased in store, it is something that comes from you! When it comes to buckling down and developing effective study habits, you can be the most influential as far as how your child approaches studying and how successful they are at it.
Developing effective study habits is a way for your child to feel success in their schooling, and so below you will find 10 ways to encourage healthy study habits. You will see that you don’t need to be an educator or invest in any fancy tools in order to teach your child healthy study habits. You just have to be consistent in following these tried and true tips. Take a look!
10 Ways to Encourage Healthy Study Habits:
1. Create an exclusive study space.
Your child needs a quiet and organized space that is for studying and homework only. This can be a quiet corner of the house, set up with a small desk and chair or even a t.v. tray and chair if that is all you have space for. Nothing else should happen in this space, so that it is associated only with learning.
2. Have materials organized.
Study time can be quickly disrupted if your child does not have the supplies she needs and needs to run around looking for them. A simple shoe box filled with markers, highlighters, a calculator, sharpened pencils, and scrap paper is all you need. This way, they don’t need to leave the space to find materials. Encourage the organization and maintenance of these materials to be your child’s responsibility.
3. Set a scheduled study time.
Set a time each day in your home that is just for study and homework. This can be the hour you get home from school after the children have had a snack, or perhaps the hour after dinner. Children will enjoy the consistent routine and know that during that hour, learning only is taking place.
4. Shut off distractions.
Your child will not be able to become absorbed in their work if there are televisions and music blaring. Make study time a quiet time. Turn off all cell phones, televisions, and video games. Ask other members of the family to respect this time as well by observing a quiet time.
5. Provide gentle stimulation.
While blaring noises are bad, soft stimulation is good for the brain and can promote learning as well as relaxation. Soft classical or instrumental music is great, or you can turn on a small, trickling tabletop fountain. These soft sounds will promote a relaxed but effective learning environment your child will love. You can find a small table top fountain for as low as $10.00.
6. Make yourself available.
During study time, keep yourself close. You don’t have to hover, but children should know it is ok to ask for help or guidance if they need it. Encourage your child to work independently but let them know you are in the next room should they need you.
7. Demonstrate how to make study aids.
Children need to be shown how to make flash cards and charts for themselves that can help keep important information organized. Give them the materials and model how flash cards and bullet point charts can be helpful. Model how to use a highlighter to highlight important information as well. You can find reusable dry erase boards perfect for this as low as $2 $2 especially during back to school sales.
8. Encourage open communication with the teacher.
If your child does not understand an assignment, he needs to know how to ask for clarification. Encourage open communication and even role play how this can be done so your child can be comfortable doing this on their own.
9. Create a task chart.
It may be easiest to have a dry erase task chart that your child can write nightly or weekly assignments on and erase or check off as they are completed. This way both of you know what is done and what needs to be done. I have found these as low as $3 that is both child friendly and colorful! I recently purchased a Melissa & Doug organizational calendar and task board for $3 at Goodwill. If you are familiar with Melissa & Doug products, you know this was a great deal!
10. Provide positive reinforcement.
There should be plenty of verbal praise for a job well done. Use encouraging and supportive language to keep kids motivated and feeling successful. Encourage them to pat their own back so to speak when they finish a task or their hard work pays off. Maybe even treat them to an outing, such as a trip to a museum or a historical landmark. Not only is this something the entire family can enjoy, many of these places offer discounted or even free days. As an added bonus your child may learn something while exploring with you, turning this outing into an educational one as well!
As you can see, these tips make encouraging healthy study habits a cinch. Give them a try and see how easy it is to raise lifelong learners. You may just be surprised how well your child will respond to these very basic tips. So give them a try and enjoy the results!