In today’s grand academic arena, children are exposed to a different kind of competition—one where the child needs to know just a little bit more than the subjects being discussed. That’s why at this stage it is crucial that you nurture your child’s study habits. Starting him early on these habits would help him pass his school requirements with vibrant flying colors! It also encourages efficiency and excellent time management on his part, as he would be learning how to balance his time between schoolwork and play.
As a mom, it is important that your child sees you as his champion and number one cheerleader. A positive and cultivating attitude toward study habits would set the groundwork for a consistent study routine. Remember, your attitude rubs off on your child! So don’t forget to always project an air of optimism towards studying. With your attitude in check, the fun begins! Below are some practical tips that you can use to help develop strong study habits for your child.
Developing your child’s study habits are easy if your child has a study routine. To establish one, consider the following steps:
Have a specific time
Ask your child for his preferred study time. Is it immediately after school or after dinner? If you and your child agreed on 7pm for example) as his study time, make sure he sticks to it.
Teach your child the habit of making to-do lists. Buy him a separate notebook and encourage him to write his projects, assignments and things-to- bring- to-school requirements.
He can do this after classes, just before coming home. By doing so, you are encouraging him to be more organized. When he arrives from school, you can both check the notebook so you would also have an idea what are currently on his plate.
Encourage him to do advance reading and answer mock-up quizzes
There will be occasions when your child will tell you that he doesn’t have any assignments. When these happen, it is advisable that you use his study period o make advance readings on his other subjects or work on puzzles instead.
The important thing here is to develop a study routine. Hopefully in a few months, he won’t need anymore prompting from you, as he would automatically switch his study button on at the appointed time.
Encourage your child to have fun with homework! Rather than seeing homework as a nuisance, teach your child to see that homework is an avenue for his innate talent to shine. Here are some ideas on how to boost your child’s self-esteem during study period.
Lead him to discover his natural talents.
For example, if your child is able to learn by heart a long piece for English, you can tell him that by accomplishing such a feat it demonstrates his keen sense of memory. Or that he is analytical if he is able to solve a difficult math problem. The key here is not to box homework as a burden but rather as a tool for your child to realize what he is made of.
Shower your child with hugs and kisses.
Every time he gives you the right answers or he is able to understand the lessons you’ve discussed, don’t hesitate to express your delight through cuddles and kisses. These actions help motivate your child to continue to do his best. Your reactions toward his work affirms his belief in himself.
Let him do his own thing.
Remember, you are there as the helper and not the doer of his assignments. So, it is advisable that from time to time you let him attack his homework the way he wants it to – like when he solves a certain math problem, for example.
If he has a system of doing it that is not the same as yours, let him be. As long as he gets the right answers and is correct in principle, the manner by which he solved it isn’t as important.
Consequently, doing homework together fosters genuine closeness between the two of you. There’s nothing like conquering a difficult math problem together! Your child will feel that he has someone he can run to for help —and that happens to be you, his homework buddy! Your support and presence during homework time would surely make him feel loved and valued.
Make sure that you have a room or an area conducive enough for studying. Bear in mind that your child needs to focus on his schoolwork, so it won’t help if there are things, like television, inside the room that may compete for his attention. Here are a few suggestions on how to make a study room:
Paint the walls.
Make the room look appealing to your kid by decorating it with colors that are favorable for studying, like green, which connotes calmness, and yellow, which conveys happiness
Set-up a blackboard/whiteboard.
This will come in handy when you have to solve math and science problems. The blackboard can also be used when you and your child are brainstorming for school project ideas.
Fill the room with supplies that he’ll need.
Treat his study room as a mini version of his classroom by filling it up with things he might need, like scratch papers, notepad, art supplies, etc.
Bring in comfortable furniture.
Find a desk with plenty of drawers for storage. Next, purchase a study chair that will go with your child’s study desk. Make sure that your child’s chair is comfortable. Finally, add a lamp for adequate lighting.
Helping your child with his homework provides opportunities for you to be supportive. Below are some suggestions on how you can show your support towards your child.
Refrain from getting impatient and angry.
Maybe you have heard of horror stories wherein an adult as a child was traumatized by his mother’s terrible tutorial skills—one that involves frequent harsh words and reprimands. Sadly, an experience like that creates a huge blow on the child’s self-esteem. And more often than not, he’ll carry such feelings of inadequacy and insecurity to his adult life. So make sure you practice self-control! Keep your temper in-check by remembering that you are there to help and that he needs you to stay calm.
Choose words that encourage
Make sure to use words that would encourage and not tear him down. Examples of words that are sweet in his ears are: “way to go!”, “great idea!”, “let’s try together”, “congratulations!”, “great listening skills”, and “good observation!”.
Praise the effort
It is vital that when you encourage, you praise not just his “intelligence”, but also the process and commitment he went through. For example, he got a perfect score from your mock-up quiz. Instead of just saying, “A perfect score? Wow, you’re smart!” why not say something like “Wow, that’s a great score, but can you show me how you came up with it?” In doing so, you let your child see that you also value his progress, effort and resilience–things that he will carry with him until he grows up.
There will always be a time when you will find your child frustrated over his work. It’s important that you understand where he is coming from. Here are a few ideas that can help you deal with your frustrated child.
Let him vent out.
If you find your child frustrated over a subject, let him vent it out. If he needs time to relax, give him a short break. After he has calmed down, patiently guide him through the lesson one-step at a time. Continue to use words of encouragement while you go through the lesson. You can say phrases like “Now, you’re getting it!” or “That’s good! You’re getting there!”
As much as possible do not spoon feed the answers but rather draw out the answer from him. For example, he is having a difficult time remembering the answer to 9×9. Instead of supplying him with the answer immediately, why not give him a memory device, like giving 9×9= 81 a sing-songy tune? By so doing, he will be able to remember the answer quicker.
When he finally gets the whole lesson, pepper him with compliments for a job well done. Shower him with phrases like “Good job!” or “That’s good, now you’re getting it!” Not only are you boosting his self-worth but subtly you’re also encouraging him not to hate school in the process.
All these tips will work perfectly if you will continuously season it with much love! After all, even studying can be one of the many bonding experiences you can share and enjoy with your child. So what are you waiting for, let the studying begin!