If you're concerned with how your kids are doing in school, it helps to check out their regular study habits to see how they approach homework and class projects. Getting kids into good study routines will help them out the rest of their lives. There are some common kinds of bad study habits that parents look out for when they're trying to help shape their kid's academic future. Here are some study habits that suggest your child could use a little help.
1. Studying with Loud Music
It might be "more fun," but music can be a complete distraction from
the material on the page. Set limits for studying with music in order to
help your child's study time be more productive.
2. Group Studying
Studying in groups is okay once in awhile, but if it's the norm, it
deprives your child of the discipline of focusing on schoolwork alone,
and often, group study sessions can end up just being "hang time." Make
sure your kid is getting quality study time alone, without distractions.
3. Too Many Breaks
If your child acts like a hummingbird when it's time to do homework,
consistently getting up from his desk and going to get water or snacks,
use the bathroom or otherwise dally, he might be exhibiting some form of
the general ADD or attention deficit diagnosis that modern people use
to describe what is often a natural impulse: a short attention span.
But, encouraging your kids to sit down and tackle tough homework will
help them slowly build up better focusing skills.
4. Filling in Random Answers
If you look at your child's completed homework and it consists of
random answers, this can be a sign that he either feels overwhelmed,
doesn't care, or doesn't want to take the time to study the material
correctly. Ditto for book chapters that are "read" in several minutes,
or math problems that mysteriously get solved just in time for the
favorite TV shows. Looking at your child's study time frame will show
whether he's taking his homework seriously, or just getting it out of
5. Sarcastic Answers
Once in awhile, your young students might end up providing obviously
sarcastic answers to word problems or crafting a completely
tongue-in-cheek essay. It sometimes falls to the parents to explain why
it might not be a good idea to pick a fight with a teacher this way,
even if that teacher is "totally unfair."
6. Just Getting By
Your child might be doing okay in school, but with only the minimum of study time. It might be that he doesn't feel challenged and just studies enough to skate by. It might help to have a talk about the long term value of doing one's best at school, even when the material seems "below your level" - or, in some cases, you may be able to get your gifted kid into a top-tier program that will provide more of an academic challenge.
All of the above might help when it comes to setting the critical standards for homework and helping your kids avoid some bad study habits that can eventually lead to poor performance in school.