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Help Your Child Develop Healthy Study Habits

Help Your Child Develop Healthy Study Habits

Getting young kids to study at home has always been challenging. It’s tough to get your child to prepare for a test when they’ve already decided that playing video games is infinitely more fun than leafing through their textbooks at home. This could be a problem as kids grow older and their school requirements get more complex.

Whether your child studies in a local school or an international elementary school in Singapore, they may be exposed to diverse approaches and pedagogies designed to make learning fun and effective, especially with peers. However, it’s a different world at home. Even if your child likes going to school, retaining lessons once they’re outside of the classroom can be challenging. If you were to make a comparison, consider how, even as adults,  it can be a challenge for people to think about responsibilities when they’re already relaxing in bed. Needless to say, it takes support and commitment as a parent to help your child develop a strategy for studying at home. Here are a few tips to help you out.

Assess the Situation

Before setting up the structure of your child’s study strategy, make sure to identify the potential roadblocks that your child may face. Talk to them and assess their strengths and weaknesses with them. If they’re good at remembering details, tell them how this would be useful in school requirements like book reports. If they have trouble sitting still for a long time, work with your child to identify solutions like taking short breaks to walk around. 

You should also check if your child’s current health-related habits are a detriment to their studies. Lack of sleep in school-age children, for example, causes a variety of issues such as decreased attention, slower thought processing, impaired memory, and reduced creativity. Help your child stay healthy by setting a consistent bedtime schedule and encouraging them to do fun exercises like bike rides or a walk around the park.

Designate a Study Space

Designing a study environment that is conducive to learning goes a long way. Set up a workspace that is quiet, comfortable, and far from distractions, and make sure that your child’s study area is well-lit, has good airflow, and has all the essential school supplies. Encourage your child to decorate the “study nook” to take ownership of the area. Having greenery around will also help relax your child’s mind while they are studying.

Identify and Eliminate Distractions

It’s always been tough to get kids to focus, but some children have more trouble concentrating than others. Seeing or hearing their siblings or pets playing within their vicinity could cause them to abandon studying altogether. However, these days, the most common sources of distraction are mobile devices. While it’s impossible to totally eliminate the use of gadgets at a time of digital learning, it’s crucial that you set some boundaries. For example, you could get a mobile device that will only be used for educational purposes. Set up a time when your child can watch instructional content or play with learning-related games, and make sure that they don’t browse social media sites when it’s time to study.

Plan Your Child’s Study Schedule

If your child has a lot of activities, especially after school, study time might take a backseat once they’re at home. Work out a schedule with your child that balances out all their activities while still making time for study and homework. Create a timetable of your child’s tasks in order of priority and the ideal amount of time for each task. Make sure that the tasks are clear and achievable like “read pages 24-27” instead of something vague like “read Science textbook.” Using productivity apps could also help instill the importance of time management in your child. 

Nevertheless, it’s also important to schedule downtime. Encourage your child to take short breaks for stretching, grabbing a snack, or taking a walk to refresh their mind. Try teaching them productivity techniques like the Pomodoro method, which entails allotting 25 minutes for tasks and 5 minutes for breaks.

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Encourage Self-Motivation

Instead of forcing your child to do schoolwork, motivate them to finish studying so they can have time for the things they like. This “when you’ve finished X, then you can do Y” strategy will help your child learn self-motivation. However, this must be done sparingly. Your child must still be able to work on things even without the promise of short-term rewards. Remember, kids must see the value of accomplishment when they do something on their own. Encourage them to keep studying by recognizing your child’s efforts and emphasizing how this has helped them become better at what they do. 

Help them develop effective learning strategies such as revisiting lessons every three days and explaining concepts in their own words. A good tip is helping your child apply what they’ve learned to everyday tasks such as grocery shopping and planning dinner. If you have younger kids, you could also help them learn on their own through alternative learning methods such as flash cards and interactive games. This will teach them that schoolwork doesn’t always have to be a chore.

Developing good study habits is a team effort between you and your child. Make sure to follow through on your routine⁠ and don’t turn it into a one-time thing once your child gets good results in school. There will be times when your child will not get the results they want, so it’s important to keep encouraging them to do better. Be constructive and help them embrace failure, shake it off, and get back on the horse. Developing good habits is a process, and it will be rewarding by the time your child embarks on more journeys in life.

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