Saturday, February 2, 2008

How to Encourage Good Study Habits in a Child

As with any habit (good or bad), the sooner good study habits are developed, the better they will stick. It's never too early to introduce your child to positive study habits, which will reward his or her efforts throughout school and life.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You'll Need
Desk Chairs
Desk Lamps
Desk Set
Personal Organizers


Step One

Be a good role model. If you sometimes bring work home with you or you're taking a course yourself, your child will learn your habits. Make 'em good!

Step Two

Help your child organize things. For example, the protractor and compass belong in the math binder, sheet music in the violin case.

Step Three

Help him or her organize space. The kitchen table is for eating; your child's desk is for studying.

Step Four
Help your child organize time. Establish a routine for completing schoolwork. It doesn't have to be the minute your child walks in the door; just agree on a set time and stick to it.

Step Five
Minimize distractions. Thirteen-year-old wisdom notwithstanding, geometric proofs are not better retained when learned concurrently with loud music, "South Park" and a telephone receiver at one ear.

Step Six

Check your child's work. Every night is unnecessary, but check it often enough that he or she knows you might - and that you care.

Step Seven

Insist that sloppy or careless work be redone, but don't correct errors; teachers need to know what students don't know.

Step Eight

Give praise whenever possible and appropriate. A sincere expression of pride in your child's academic accomplishments can go a long way toward making studying a habit.

Tips & Warnings

Don't wait until report card time or parents' night to address concerns about your child's study habits. If you believe he or she needs help, offer it now.

See what the school offers in the way of study skills training. Particularly in middle school and high school, helpful classes are becoming more readily available.

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