School’s back in session, and the novelty of seeing old friends, a new classroom, and a new teacher has begun to fade, to be replaced by the hard work of studying. We’ve collected a few studying tips for kids to help keep them on top of their homework, reading, and test preparation.
Keep Them Organized
A planner is an excellent tool for tracking assignments, quizzes, and to-do lists, and teaches children the value of staying organized. For very young scholars, a whiteboard can be used instead of a planner, with the week’s important assignments and work displayed for you and the child to see.
Small Steps to Success
Homework can seem overwhelming to children. Help them get through it by breaking assignments down into small steps. A series of small, easily completed steps looks much less scary to a child than one big project.
Create a Quiet Space for Study
Children are easily distracted, so create a quiet, calm place for studying. The kitchen table, the dining room, or the child’s bedroom are all possible locations, although young children will need to be supervised in their bedrooms to keep them on task.
It’s common for studying tips for kids to recommend they don’t watch television, phones, or social media while testing, but remember this applies to those around the child as well. If an older brother is playing a video game right next to the student, or if someone is loudly talking on the phone, studying is being disrupted as surely as if the child was doing those things herself.
Keep Regular Study Hours
Despite how they sometimes act like agents of chaos, kids do better on schedules. Knowing when to expect dinner, television time, bathing, and bedtime helps children make sense of their day. Extend this regularity into their homework time. Knowing that a certain time of day is when they do homework helps kids focus on their studies.
Be positive when helping kids study. Help children identify their strengths (“you read really well, that’s going to help you finish this book report”), and offer suggestions for how to cope with any weaknesses (“I know you have trouble with addition. Let’s use these blocks to help you count”).
Watch for signs of frustration. No-one—child or adult—works well when they’re upset or angry. Sometimes one of the best studying tips for kids is knowing when to let them take a break for a while.
Help, But Don’t Do
There is nothing wrong with helping a child with homework, if you’re guiding the child. You can’t do her math homework for her, but you can show her how to do similar problems. Help by calling out spelling quiz vocabulary and using it in everyday speech. Ask leading questions to draw answers out of her to help her finish a history assignment. And read. Reading to children and getting them excited about reading is the best thing you can do to ensure they thrive in school.