Do you remember learning how to ride a bike? Someone most likely helped you, gave you tips and suggestions, and then you practiced a lot. You can learn how to study in a similar way. You learn new study skills, practice them, and figure out which ones work best for you. Having good study skills can help your kids learn better and do well in class. Learning new and effective study skills is especially important this year as most children are taking part in online learning. The distractions at home are far bigger than the distractions at traditional school!
We compiled a list of some homework and study habits that will hopefully make life easier on your kids when it comes to studying and organization.
TURN OFF THE TV
It’s best not to have the TV on when your kids are doing homework, as TV is one of the biggest distractions. Sometimes we find it nice and even less distracting to do some homework outside.
DESIGNATE SPECIFIC AREAS FOR HOMEWORK AND STUDYING
Options can include the kitchen, living/dining room, or your child’s bedroom. Again, eliminate as much distraction as possible. So perhaps the dining room table is where they do their homework, and their bedroom is where they relax and play. If you are able, set up a “homeschool corner” in one of your rooms where your child engages in online learning or homeschooling each day. A designated area, free of distractions, can really help set the stage for great learning!
WHAT ABOUT MUSIC?
Besides the TV, cell phones can be another big distraction. Too many times have we heard “beep beep” from our kids getting social media alerts and text messages. However, sometimes music helps children work and concentrate better. Find out what works best for your child. We actually put together a special homework/study playlist on Spotify, so we use our phones only to play these certain songs during homework time.
CREATE A FUN BULLETIN/WHITE BOARD FOR MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS/DUE DATES
You can roughly outline the week or even month ahead, with dates for projects due, test/quizzes, reading assignments, field trips, etc. We love something like this magnetic dry erase calendar,whiteboard weekly calendar, or this set of 3 magnetic calendars for monthly, weekly and daily scheduling! Make it more fun by using certain colors for different things, such as orange for projects and green for tests.
KEEP GENERAL SUPPLIES ON HAND
Have a little storage box or container for school supplies and keep it handy where your designated homework space is. Have it stashed with pencils, pens, erasers, notebooks, glue sticks, crayons, colored pencils, scissors, measuring rulers, tape, flashcards, etc.
TEACH YOUR CHILD THAT STUDYING IS MORE THAN JUST FINISHING HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS
Encourage your children to do things such as:
- take notes as they are reading a chapter
- learn to skim material
- learn to study tables and charts
- learn to summarize what they have read in their own words
- learn to make their own flashcards for a quick review of dates, formulas, spelling words, etc.
HELP YOUR CHILD FEEL CONFIDENT ABOUT TAKING TESTS
First, help your child plan ahead to spread out the studying. Cramming everything in the night before is no good. It leads to frustration and tiredness and they also won’t be able to absorb all of the information as well. Utilize good studying techniques such as note-taking and flashcards. Second, remind your child that when they actually take the test, they should thoroughly and carefully read the directions before they haphazardly start to mark their papers and write out their answers. Also, advise them to skip over questions that they don’t know the answers, for they can always return to them if they still have time.
Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep! Refer to our previous blog post about the importance of sleep for our kids and how sleep is critical for learning and memory.
Written by Gelsey Plaza