Creating Study Habits at Every Age

August 18, 2015

We all dream of seeing our children grow up to be independent, self-motivated, and successful. Developing good study habits from an early age goes a long way in making that dream a reality. You can help your children develop a life-long love of learning by teaching them to value education and hard work. If you’re not facing constant battles about homework, it will make your life and your child’s much less stressful. Below are some ways you can encourage good study habits at different stages in your child’s life.

Start early. Introduce your child to learning activities as early as 2 years old. Read books, learn a few words in a foreign language, play an instrument, and draw pictures together. Just be sure you are spending that time with your child. They love to have your company and it shows them you value learning, too.

Stick to a schedule. Once your child begins to receive homework, it’s important you teach them to set aside time to do it. Whether the rule is to finish their homework in the first hour after they get home from school or to allow one hour for a snack and free time before starting, the important thing is to establish a regularly scheduled “homework time” and to hold them to it. 

Develop independence. Fifth- to seventh-grade children begin to have homework for multiple classes with various due dates. Remind them to start their homework after school, but let them decide how they choose to complete it. Don’t micromanage the process. Discourage them from waiting until the evening before starting assignments that are due later. You may want to continue to check their work and due dates to ensure they are completing the work. 

Teach them study strategies. As they are exposed to more and more difficult material, children need to know how to deal with the workload. Teach your children to make to-do lists, use assignment calendars to manage homework and project due dates, divide studying into units, and find classmates for study groups.

Let them spread their wings. By eighth grade or high school, reduce your reminders and see how your children respond. If they show initiative in completing their work, let them know they have earned your trust and reward them by backing off. 

Check in. Even when your child is in high school, check in on due dates and upcoming exams and ask them about their plan to be prepared. Continue to show them that you care about their academic success.

Get this school year started off right! Remember, the habits and attitudes toward learning that are formed in early years set the mood for future learning.

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