A home schooled child can and should develop good study habits. One of your end goals for home schooling should be to teach your child to teach himself. You can start by teaching them how to study. Here's how you do it:
Schedule Independent Study Time
Part of the home school day should be independent study time, where your child reviews materials for quizzes or presentations and works on short term and long term assignments. You should avoid teaching during that time as much as possible. If your child needs help, show him how to find the answers he needs. For example, you should try not to define what a word means. Ask your child how he will find out the word meaning, and tell him to do it. Plan things for your younger children to study, based on the lesson they completed that day or will complete the next day.
Give Material to Highlight or Underline
If your child primarily does home school on the computer or online, you should get books and other material that you child can highlight or underline with a pencil in order to teach him good study habits. You want to teach him how to highlight important points and keywords in the passages he reads. You can still print material from the Internet, but it's also good for them to practice in actual books. You can ask them to narrate or review what they learned by referring to their highlights.
Mix Subjects while Studying
Rather than assign one subject for your child to study on his own, mix it up by assigning a couple of subjects. You'll teach your child multi-tasking and time management skills at the same time as he's working on good study habits. For example, you can schedule a science and vocabulary test on the same day so that your child has to prepare for both on the days before the tests. Handling multiple subjects at once is more realistic for what your child will face as he advances in his studies, and you can better prepare him if you take this approach.
Assign Long Term Projects
In addition to short term assignments, you should assign long term projects. Teach your children to set milestones for studying and completing those projects on their own. If you always assign intermediate deadlines, your child won't learn good study habits. For example, pick a novel for your child to read, and give him three to four weeks to read it; set one day when he has to turn in a book report and take oral and written tests. Ask him to come up with milestones for completing his project and studying for the tests on his own, and to turn that in within a couple of days of you assigning the novel.
When your child is equipped with good study habits, he is more motivated to learn beyond what you assign and explore new materials on his own. That's exactly what you should want to see happen.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.