Consistency is a must when introducing good study habits to your child. It involves planning a daily study routine that is maintained and well prepared for both parent and child. There are several contributing factors to consider when designing a plan that can lead to a lifetime of successful study habits.
Routine is all about performing the same task at the same time in the same place. Setting up a comfortable, quiet place where your child can concentrate and feel relaxed while completing school work will help them unwind after a day at school. Some children require time to relax after school and require a snack before starting their studies, (I prefer this option) while others are ready to get to it as soon as they return home. No matter what method is chosen, excuses for not doing the school work should be quelled from the very start of this plan. It could take three days or three weeks, but if you stand your ground every time, they will eventually back off and get the message that they are fighting a loosing battle.
Helping your child is greatly encouraged, but be careful not to be too accessible so that they can learn how to trust their own conclusions. When they finish an assignment, check over it with them to make sure they understand the material. As time goes on you may be surprised to find that they won’t express the need to have you around for reassurance. Independence builds confidence and trains them to be self sufficient.
I strongly support praise and understanding 110%. The more encouragement and positive feedback they receive outside of school the more enthusiasm toward their studying they will become.
Setting up a weekly homework chart is a great way for children to keep track of completed work and reinforce motivation. Each completed daily assignment can be marked with a sticker and according to what the “winning” criteria is, give a small reward at the end of the week like stickers or an occasional trip to get ice cream. Make the rules very clear from the beginning to prevent any meltdowns (for you and them!). Just a note; keeping track of an entire week of work can be daunting for some small children. In this case, follow a day by day completion and work up to a week.
If you feel you need more resources, start with your child’s teacher. Encourage parents to introduce questions regarding study habits and how to initiate them into homework time. Teachers want the same outcome that you do; to do whatever it takes for your child to succeed in achieving their goals. With early planning and commitment a triumphant study plan can develop and become an important tool in helping your child live a more productive life.