Study Habits

Studying is one of the most important responsibilities children have during school and maintaing good study habits will help them stay motivated and willing to study and do homework.

 

If a child does not have good study habits, he or she is likely to under-perform at school and have trouble keeping up with assignments and preparation for test.  So the key thing is to get organised and develop good study habits from early.

 

Let us look at how we can start with good study habits.

Getting Organised

Start with a homework and assignment planner which can be used to write down assignments, projects and due dates, as well as test dates.  This prevents the child from forgetting and failing to study for a test. In addition, being organised reduces the anxiety associated with schoolwork. If you know what you need to do for the next school day, you won't worry as much.

 

Creating A Good Study Environment

A good study environment is the place that you choose to study and it is a highly individualized matter. What is right for one child may not be right for another.

As much as possible, designate a special place to study. that is uncluttered with few distractions (no cell phones, tablets or television) to allow for maximum concentration. Needless to say, some study tasks, must be done elsewhere, but having a regular "home base" that you associate with studying helps to reinforce your self-discipline.

You may also want to keep some healthy snacks 
such as apples and granola bars near your study area.
 

Set A Time To Study
Set a time to study everynight and dedicate an appropriate amount of time to studying.  The age of the child is going to determine how much time you should set aside for home work or to review what was done at school during the day.

Primary school children up to the age of 8 should not have to spend more than 30 minutes in homework or studying at night.  Children preparing for Common Entrance might need to spend as much as an hour of studying every night and this increases as the child goes into secondary school.

 

Find a healthy balance

Homework and stuying is important, but it should not take away from your child’s other interests, like athletics, music, art or community service.

Children and teenagers need unstructured time with their friends in order to develop important social skills and it is important to find a balance between homework and all of the other things that will allow them to grow into happy, healthy, well-rounded adults.

More Tips for Studying

 

Nutrition is important.  Every child needs a well balanced diet starting with a healthy breakfast every day.  Please visit our section on Child Nutrition.

 

Paying attention in class at school  by listening to the teacher and asking questions is very important and this should be encouraged.

 

Every child is different and some children might be able to study for longer periods than others.  If  the child needs to take a break, allow him or her to do so.

 

 

Teach your child that studying is more than just doing homework assignments. One of the most misunderstood aspects of schoolwork is the difference between studying and doing homework assignments. Encourage your child to do things such as:

 

  • take notes as he’s/she’s reading a chapter

  • learn to skim material

  • learn to study tables and charts

  • learn to summarize what he/she has read in his/her own words

  • learn to make his/her own flashcards for a quick review of dates, formulas, spelling words, etc.

 

Help your child to feel confident about taking tests.  Explain to your child that burning the midnight oil (cramming) the night before a test isn’t productive. It is always better to get a good night’s sleep.

 

This means that they cannot wait until the last minute to start to study.  

 

So, start the good habit of studying right.

There are a number of things that influence studying and some are listed here:

Learning style

We all have different ways in which we learn best.  I might need an area with absolutely no noise, while you might study best with music playing in the background.  Consider the following:

 

Hearing: 

What level and what kind of noise can you tolerate? Do you work best in total silence or with a low to moderate noise level? You may be able to concentrate rather well with a jack hammer right outside your window, but a leaky faucet may be intolerable! As a general rule, quieter is better, but listen and decide for yourself.

 

Sight: 

Adequate lighting is a must, and the direction and intensity of the lighting are important factors. Poor lighting is a chief cause of eyestrain and headaches among students, and improper lighting also leads to fatigue. Coverage of study materials should be even with no shadows or glare. Shielded full-spectrum fluorescents may cause you to be calmer, steadier, and less easily distracted.  Another "sight" consideration is the level of movement in your study area. Studying where everyone is passing may be a distraction.

 

Touch: 

Your environment should be comfortable but not too comfortable. Slight amounts of muscular tension have been found to increase efficiency and accuracy in mental work. A chair which promotes good posture is a better choice than a recliner.  Taste and Smell: Beware of appealing aromas (such as the smell of food coming from a nearby kitchen) in the immediate vicinity of your study environment. Such distractions, though pleasant, may interfere with concentration. A move to another area might allow for more efficient use of time.

 

Learning Resources: 

Accumulate the necessary resources—texts, notebooks, pens, etc. before you begin to study. Plan ahead if an assignment requires the use of a book or tool that you do not have or if you have.

 

Speaking of resources, do you find yourself with junk food on hand when studying? Constant nibbling is not only bad for your waistline but also distracts you from studying. Furthermore, a "sugar fix" creates a temporary high, but sugar metabolizes rapidly and you soon "crash" and become drowsy. Try having fresh fruits and vegetables, handy, but save munching time for a study break. Reward yourself with a nutritious snack for your hard work.

 

In summary, remember that there is no one best study environment. Determine your best place by being aware of your learning style, the learning tasks, and the required learning resources. Have one regular place to study which offers minimum of distractions.

 

Goals

To succeed during any level of school, developing clear goals is a necessity.  When you have goals, it is easier to focus on your school work because you know what you are working toward.

 

The effectiveness of an education program can often be improved when appropriate goals are set in place by students. There are a multitude of benefits that exist for students when specific learning goals are set.  Every student should set his/her own goals.   Think about what you want to achieve during the term and set your goals at the beginning of the term.   Think about and write down how you plan to achieve your goals and pin it up in a place where you see it often.

 

Time Management

It is also helpful to learn time management skills. These skills will help you to meet the educational goals you have set for yourself.   By managing your time effectively, you will be able to study when you need to, complete your homework by its due date, and prepare for exams.

 

Children who do extra curricular activities usually learn time management skills.  Time Management is extremely important in succeeding at school and children need to learn how to utilise their time for their best performance.

 

Some things children can think about is using time at school when there is no class to study or using time while having to wait on a pick up to do some extra reading.  Some times school gets cancel or get out earlier than usual and this is a great opportunity to finish a project or go over an area of weakness.

 

Time management is not just beneficial to children at school, but it is a skill that they would carry through life.

 

Motivation

One of the best ways to ensure that you succeed in school is to find sources of motivation. There are two main types of motivation: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.

 

Intrinsic motivation involves internal motivators, such as the desire to do well for your own pleasure and this is the best motivation.  Get your child to want to do well for him or herself and help them to understand what doing well means for their future.

 

This is sometimes the best motivator for poor children.  Let them focus on getting out of poverty or their hardship by sacrificing now and studying hard.

 

Extrinsic motivation involves external motivators, such as rewards for good grades. Students can benefit from both types of motivation, but students with intrinsic motivation tend to perform better than students who rely on only extrinsic motivation.