It’s More Than Just Books
One of the hardest skills for me to teach our children was studying. They wanted to read something once and mysteriously take in the information as if it were a light fragrance in the air.
When it came to studying, we struggled. I wondered how could I best prepare my children for academic excellence as the educational material became more difficult and their work more independent.
We found the following things to be extremely helpful in finding “study time success”.
Set expectations. Develop a study plan with your child. Include weekly or monthly goals for things such as memorization or composition.
Ask what your child would like to accomplish academically and be sure to include steps to reach those goals in your plan. By breaking down the goals into easy to read instructions or a checklist, your child will be able to see their progress.
Create their own space. Atmosphere is very important to a child’s ability to focus on the task at hand but it’s important to remember that each child’s perfect atmosphere may look very different.
While some children work best in a calm, quiet setting, others may need the steady sound of Mozart playing in the distance. If your child is in constant motion, chances are they will need breaks while studying or may even do well sitting on an exercise ball.
Don’t be discouraged if your idea of a quiet study nook, carefully crafted from the pages of the Magnolia Journal doesn’t get your child’s creative juices flowing. As long as their grades reflect good study habits, let them make it their own!
Invite a friend. Good study habits are something that can be modeled and learned within a group setting. Sometimes having a buddy with whom you can review vocabulary words, math drills or study guide questions is a treasure.
Not only does your child have a peer to cheer them on, they can also glean from their friend’s mastery of the material. Learning basic science definitions, spelling and vocabulary words, math practice, and historical dates and figures are all good group study material.
Make it a family affair. Even as parents, we can benefit from time spent in study. Bible study, learning a foreign language, reading a good novel, working crossword puzzles are all activities that can easily be done while your child is studying.
By creating strong study habits during the crucial middle school years and even in to high school, you will help your child succeed both academically and well into his or her chosen career field.
Please don’t be disheartened if you’ve not established a good study routine. It’s never too late to begin building habits that will last a lifetime. Create a space, make a plan, be an example, and enjoy the rewards for years to come.