5 Good Study Habits to Teach Your Child

Parents need to instill solid study habits and routines from as early as when their children start Grade 1. It is always advisable to have a comfortable naturally lit area for study and homework. This homework area should not be near a source of distraction such as a television set. If you are lucky enough to have a designated study in your home, then an extra Kindergarten table for your child added to this work area would be good idea.

If your child is going to study in her bedroom, then a designated table and chair needs to be available. It is a good idea to have a comfortable arm chair near a standing lamp for reading activities. Teach your child to be organized in his work area. Make sure that all study and homework resources are on hand for use. You could use a desk tidy for pencils and rulers and use the desk drawers for glue, scissors and so on. Alternatively a small bookshelf placed on the work table would serve as a storage unit for stationery and paper.

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You can start teaching your child organizational skills by color coding files and the like according to learning areas or subjects. Teach your child how to turn the pages of a book and take care of books from when he or she is a toddler. Keep all school books and textbooks covered in a thick plastic or contact to preserve and extend their lifespan. Respect for books is one of the cornerstones of long-term academic success.

Once you have organized the study area and resources needed; move on to study habits. Let your child see you ticking off homework items in his homework diary and start modeling an essential organizational and planning routine from day one. Slowly start to encourage your child to physically cross out or tick homework as it has been completed. A whiteboard and a non-permanent marker work well too for to do lists.

Help your child to establish sound study techniques from as early as possible. Create mind- maps on the whiteboard or on A3 paper once your child is able to read. From as early as Grade 3, mind-maps will prove to be an invaluable summary making and memorization tool. Buy colored markers and get your child creating his own headings and content for revision purposes.

Help your child to learn how to learn through teaching bearing in mind that “the best way to learn is to teach” Encourage your child to study and then explain the work to you, pretending you have never been taught the work before. The aim of the exercise is to get your child to simplify concepts for you which will be an indication of how well he has understood the work himself. If you are too busy to be taught new work every day you could set up a classroom of teddy bears or other stuffed toys to play the role of the class members your child is teaching. Little brothers and sisters are a great help as stand -in class members too.

Teach your child to revise work previously covered before moving on to a new section of work. Daily revision of work covered in class is a powerful tool to ensure academic success in the long run. Once your child is able to write proficiently, summarized notes are the way to go. Encourage your child to make these notes visually appealing and to narrow down the summary until a one mind map results for quick revision before the test.

The most fatal study skills error any child can make is to sit passively reading from a textbook or other resource such as a handout and to claim that he. Ensure that your child engages in active study techniques such as note making from as young as possible. If he is learning for a spelling test for example, help him to break the words into syllables (more manageable chunks) and write these down a number of times before you test him on the words. You can check whether your child has understood the words by asking him to verbally or physically(write) use the words in a sentence.

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