Having an established study habit is one of the most important things you can do to help your child be successful in school. However, trying to insist on this when your child is 16 or even 12 is virtually impossible. It is much easier to middle school science fair projects create this before your child starts school. Then, studying becomes a natural part of attending school.
5 Study Habits To Develop Before Your Child Starts School:
1. Create a study area in your home. This should be away from distractions, like TV or computer, and it should NOT be in their bedroom. If you haven’t been working with your child in a set location or your work area has been in their bedroom, then 4 – 6 months before school starts, switch to working at the “school station” or whatever you want to call it.
The reason for not working in the child’s bedroom is that as your child gets older, that room gains toys, TVs, computers, etc. It just provides too many distractions.
2. Create a set study habit with a set time and structure. For now, the time can be whenever you want, but stick to that time to work with your child. Choose a couple of topics you want to work on–or let your child choose. These topics do not need to be about math. Your child will eventually have homework in everything. Practice whatever you decided on for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then take a short break for the bathroom, getting a drink of water or juice, or doing a little exercise. (Exercise is good for the brain. Incorporating exercise into study sessions is a very good idea.)
Initially, you should probably just do 2 study sessions early and then maybe 2 more later in the day. Once your child starts school, homework will govern how many sessions are needed to complete the homework and review. Extend the sessions to 15 to 20 minutes with a short break in between. The length of the session will increase as your child gets older. That break may become for phone calls or texting when your child is older, but maintain your schedule. No two-hour phone breaks.
3. Start teaching your child how to study, although you have hopefully been doing this all along. Have your child read out loud to make these things both auditory and visual. Start using the word “review.” “Let’s review our…” Pick something you haven’t done for a while. Reviewing past material needs to become an automatic and expected part of studying. As your child has homework, your child should read it out loud and explain any reasoning needed to figure the answer.
4. Check over the work. If he/she has written anything out, have him explain something to you. “Tell me how you did this one.” Right now you want your child to be able to give you verbal explanations of what he did and/or why. You are also checking to make sure there are NO mistakes what have been duplicated. IMPORTANT! If you find any, point them out to your child and then do several practice problems of the same type, but keep returning to the mistake several times until you are sure the mistake is corrected.