Most parents and children now live in a fast paced world. More than ever, parents are signing their kids up for sports, clubs, music lessons, and other after school activities. In addition to having these added extras on the plate, more children now come from homes where both parents work full time jobs. In this mass of afternoon chaos, homework is often a rushed process to simply “get done”. The entire concept of assigning homework to allow parents the opportunity to sit down and have an educational moment with their child has been lost. Children no longer understand the concept of how to properly study. Most test preparation from home is carried out in the car when traveling from one location to another. However with a few extra moments and simple homework tips, you can help increase your child’s study skills.
The simplest of all study skills is importance. As soon as your child arrives home from school, ask about his or her homework. Do not wait until bedtime or even the next morning until bringing up the subject of homework. This delay of concern relays the message that studying is not important. You can actually save much time by setting aside fifteen to thirty minutes as soon as your child gets home from school to complete homework. Once this task is over, the rest of the afternoon is free for other activities.
It is also very important to make homework a positive experience. If your child continuous hears you complain about the time spent on homework, he too will reflect this negative attitude. Think of homework as one more opportunity to share part of your child’s life. Be activity in the homework process. Trade out reading pages of assignments with your child. Play games with terms to learn. Place spelling words secretly around the house for your child to see when he opens the refrigerator or goes to his bedroom. Create riddles or rhymes for memorizing facts for tests. Show your child that studying does not have to a chore.
One valuable lesson that all older children will appreciate in high school and college is a reinforcement of organization. When your child reaches the age that he has multiple teachers for specific subjects, organization is top priority for improving study skills. Provide your child with a calendar or organizing notebook. Help your child list all of the assignments and tests dates. Determine how much time should be spent on each assignment. Create a weekly plan for getting each assignment complete. Once assignments are complete, have specific locations for keeping each subject. After all, the responsibility of turning in the homework is equally as important as completing it.
When helping your child study or complete homework, it is important to keep in mind the age and expectation level of the child. Do not place expectations on your child that he or she cannot meet. When giving advice or correcting for your child for wrong answers, always be constructive with criticism. Never suggest to your child the idea that he or she cannot learn the material or that he or she is not intelligent. Remember that although the information may seem easy to you, the child’s thinking ability and comprehension is not on an adult level.
When your child is studying, make sure that you too are taking part in creating a good learning environment. Do not expect your child to work while you have a radio or television blasting at a high volume. It is also important to find quiet activities for younger siblings during this time also. Seating all of the children around the table is a good idea. Young children can work on coloring sheets or look at books. Turn the television off completely so that your child does not feel that he or she is missing out on something the rest of the family is enjoying. Remember, this is not a punishment time. It is a learning time.
If you place specific guidelines on your child, ensure that they are met or consequences are served. For example, if your child is given a specific time-line for getting work completed or studying for a test but chooses to do a non-educational activity instead, then stick to your guns and enforce a punishment. Letting your child slide will only suggest that the homework or studying was not as important as you had originally stated. In addition, if you have stipulations on extracurricular activities that are correlated to grades, always uphold them. For example, if you child is only allowed to play a sport if grades remain good, then take action when a low grade comes in on a progress report or report card. This is the only way to relay the message of how important study skills and grades are for the child’s future.
Over the years homework and tests have been given a very bad reputation by students and parents alike. However, this image does not have to be true of either of them. Completing homework and studying for test does not have to be a monotonous chore that a family dreads each night. Changing the attitude that your child has about studying and homework must begin with the parents. When you make studying a priority in your family, then your child will too make it a priority. With a few simple adjustments and tips you can greatly improve your child’s study skills in no time.