Successful School-year Strategies 4: Good Study Habits

developing good study habits

We conclude our September Monday Morning Series: Successful School-year Strategies with a look at good study habits.  This is key to a successful year and goes so much further than that to help groom successful adults.  Please feel free to comment or send additional tips.

School teaches our kids lots of things. Unfortunately, very few of them learn about good studying habits in school. Much of this, then, comes from parents (much like eating habits). Part of this will be directly taught, but a much larger part will be learned based on your example.

Because our kids won’t see most of us in an educational setting, they will use other examples to guide their behavior. Do you procrastinate? Do you “cram” on a project to get it done just under the deadline?

It is no mystery that good study habits are important to overall academic success. The earlier you start with your kids, the better. Often times for younger kids there is no “homework”. At our house, that time is usually filled in with reading.

Reluctance is natural. But if you state your case plainly and stay consistent with your message, you will have provided immeasurable worth. Even though they don’t know it, kids need boundaries and structure. By getting involved with your kids and their studies you will not only have a better chance at producing good students, but you will also show that you care about what is going on with them.

savourhonor roll

Things to consider:

  • Read ahead. If your child has already read/skimmed the upcoming chapter it will seem more like review when it is covered in class.
  • Absolutely no TV during study time. Television is too much of a distraction. There is some debate, however, on music during study. Many believe that it can help if kept at a low listening level (more as background noise).
  • Stop cramming. If your child studies the material weeks in advance, it won’t be completely foreign the night before exams.
  • Use a planner or calendar. This is a tricky one. It is critical for future success in school and beyond that, your child have a good handle on the use of a personal calendar/planner.
  • Behave as if you will always have a quiz. Teach your student as a part of a nightly study to review briefly everything they learned in school for the day. This doesn’t need to take long, but will serve as a reminder and can help in long term retention.
  • Set aside a specific place for study. This should be a place with no distractions. A desk or table area would be best so that there is plenty of room to spread out papers and books.

Studying vs. Homework

Your child should understand that these two are not the same. Homework must be completed, of course, but studying involves other skills that will help with the retention of information like:

  • Taking notes
  • Skimming material for pertinent information
  • Summarizing what you’ve learned in your own words
  • Making note/flashcards for future use
  • Knowing how to study charts and graphs


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