Building Afternoon Study Habits
Ten out of ten, top marks, that makes a good student, right?
Parents like to hear that their children are doing well at school. However, it is not just the results achieved that represent a good student. Study habits are a vital life skill used to achieve good marks.
Aristotle said: ‘Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.’
Ten simple suggestions could help to motivate good study habits.
See how you score on the scale of one to ten.
- Daily schedule/routine:
Good study habits start with a routine study time. Decide on the best time for your family dynamics and stick to that time. If you are a working parent this is more challenging but with routine comes responsibility and it can be done.
- Pick the right spot:
Set out a study area with few distractions. A desk or table offers the right place to sit and encourages good posture and writing habits.
- Provide support but don’t do the work:
Help with understanding the task, memorising words or listening to study notes. Seek advice from the teacher if your child needs extra help. Always be supportive of the school in front of your child.
- Put other distractions aside:
Make it a habit to turn off visual distractions. Encourage the rest of the family to be part of the study. Younger siblings could do puzzles or read books. When the work is done the distractions can return.
Remember ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ Reward good habits with some incentives. Parents get a chance to be involved in the recreational part of growing up. The promise of an outing or family fun is a great incentive to reward a week’s work.
- Snack and rewind time:
The need for an opportune break depends on the age of the child and the amount of work to be done. A short snack break and positive return to work is a healthy habit.
- Observe work habits:
Try to observe your child’s attitude to study time. Make it a habit to discuss frustrations, distractions and difficulties. Work on strategies together. Let afternoon homework become a team effort.
- Get organised, use a planner/work diary
Start the habit of planning from an early age. Have a school diary or planner chart to observe homework schedules, sports dates, and social dates. Make it a habit to write up events and check them off.
- Encourage reading:
Reading is the key to everything, encourage good reading habits. Help learn keywords, play word games, encourage reading skills. “Readers are leaders!”
- Praise effort rather than intelligence:
Praise goes a long way to encourage good habits. Let your children know that good work habits are a valuable life skill.
How did you score? Not quite ten out of ten. Praise your effort not your score. Forming a good habit makes the difference. Stephen Covey, author of books about good habits says:
‘Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny.’