In an effort to teach your school-aged children how make responsible choices regarding their studies, it is important to establish good study habits in your home. While some children are eager to complete their homework and do so with little adult assistance, some children avoid their homework and must be monitored. How can you help your school-aged child develop good study habits?
Just as you will teach your children to be respectful from an early age, you should begin developing good study habits from an early age. In preschool aged children, establish a time each day in which you read stories, learn shapes and colors, and other age appropriate education activities. By the time these preschool children are in elementary school, they will be familiar with the set expectations, which will carry over to middle school and high school as well.
Designate Daily Homework Time
Develop a schedule for after school hours that includes a set time for homework, reading and other studying. Ensure the time that is designated as homework time is uninterrupted and able to be kept consistent. For some families, this time may be best done immediately after getting home from school. For others, it might work best to have scheduled homework time after dinner. To make sure your child is not being rushed to complete their homework, avoid scheduling homework time too close to bedtime.
Just as having a set time for homework is important; it is also important to make sure that you and your child are organized. If your child has to fumble through their backpack in search of their agenda or if your child has no agenda and tries to remember his daily homework assignments, you will both find homework time to be frustrating and stressful. Show your children how to use an agenda or homework planner and emphasize the importance of keeping an organized binder, folder and backpack.
Designate a Homework Area
Children are likely to be more successful at completing daily homework assignments if they are provided a quiet study area. Ensure that the chosen homework area is free of distractions, such as the TV, radio or curious siblings. Some parents find the kitchen table to be an adequate space while others provide their child with a desk, in their bedroom or den. Make sure that your child's homework area is organized and complete with necessary supplies such as pencils, erasers, glue, scissors, paper clips, stapler, ruler, a calculator and other needed items. Older children may need access to a computer for research and typed reports.
Reward Good Study Habits
Occasionally, and without warning, reward your children for their good study habits. Positive reinforcement works wonders in children and homework is no exception to that rule. When you notice your children doing their homework without being reminded or when report cards and progress reports reveal good grades, reward your children for their efforts.
To establish independence, it is wise to give your child time to complete their homework assignments on their own. However, when they are finished or have questions, make yourself available to review their assignments, providing help when needed.