Good Study Habits
Good study habits are essential if students are to do well in demanding high school courses. Here are some tips to help you guide your teen in developing those skills.
- Set goals.
Help your teen to set goals and learn how to create a plan to achieve them. Regardless of your children’s ability and track in school, encourage them to set goals. For example, a student that struggled last year can set goals to achieve a certain grade in his or her hardest classes. A child that excels in school can strive to achieve all A’s and become a member of a team or club. Goals don’t have to be huge, the point is to teach your teen to set them and then develop a plan to achieve them. It is a skill that they will benefit from for the rest of their lives. They’ll gain confidence in themselves and their goals and dreams will grow.
- Make studying a priority.
By the time a student reaches high school they should realize how important studying is, but in many instances that just isn’t the case. You should still structure study/homework time into every day. Establish study time for kids, no matter their ages. High school students, in general, should expect to spend about two hours every day on homework.
Demonstrate that study hours are a priority by maintaining them despite interruptions or special circumstances and make it easy to stick to by providing a study location for your teen. This can be a bedroom or a kitchen table. Choose a location that will be relatively free of distractions, and if your children study in a secluded area, don’t feel badly about checking up on them to make sure they’re sticking to task.
- Be a homework detective.
Being a homework detective is a tricky job and it requires good communication between you, your teen, and your teen’s teachers. It means knowing what is required of your child each day. This knowledge enables you to make sure that he is allowing enough time to accomplish his required tasks and that he is developing good habits and study skills and is learning what he is required to learn.
- Consider alternatives.
Some learning challenges require alternative and creative solutions. Don’t dismiss a solution simply because you’ve never heard of it or because you’re uncomfortable with it. Always look for a fresh idea and encourage your children to do so. For example, if your teen struggles with math, consider what time math class is. Is the inability to focus due to an inadequate breakfast or too many snacks at lunch?
- Put the computer and television in a central location.
Placing the television and computer in a main room means that it is less likely that your child will waste time. Both can be great tools for learning but left to our own devices, they are easy places to get sidetracked. Additionally, by placing them in a main room, it enables you to monitor the appropriateness of the program, game, or web site.
I know you've heard this one since before your teen was born, but it’s that important! Reading comprehension is vital to success in every subject area. Enough said. :)
- Be involved.
Regardless of the age of your children, it is important to be involved in their education. It demonstrates to them that you care, it keeps you involved in and aware of what’s going on in their lives, and it keeps the education system on track.
- Teach teens to take risks.
This does not mean doing things that will endanger health or safety. This means encouraging your children to step out of comfortable habits and take on new adventures. This can mean something as small as trying a new food to learning a new skill or traveling to a foreign country. Taking risks expands your child’s mind and raises their self-confidence. Don’t forget to make it okay to fail. Your children will be more willing to take on challenges if they have the freedom to fail as well as the opportunity to succeed.
- Be a good role model.
Remember the phrase, do as I say and not as I do? Well, it doesn’t work. If you want your children to develop good habits, you have to demonstrate good habits. If you want them to be healthy, eat healthy. If you want them to exercise, then you must exercise. If you want them to have good manners, then show good manners. If you want them to be good students, then demonstrate what it means to be a good student. Your children look up to you. Be something that makes them proud and shows them all that they can be, and more!
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