Summer passes so quickly and now that it’s back to school, it’s
time to help your kids get into good study habits. Here are five tips from
Daniel Billman, MD, of
St. Luke’s Pediatric Associates.
Good sleeping habits
Keeping to a good sleep schedule is important to ensure children are well
rested for school. “Often there are distractions in a child’s
bedroom that parents don’t realize are detrimental, such as TVs,
phones and music,” says Dr. Billman. “Often when there are
sleep issues, it’s related to that.” Removing the electronics
from the bedrooms make a big difference, and so can making sure there
is some wind-down time between studying and sleep. “If a school
project isn’t going well, a child is going to go to bed very stressed
and worried and may have trouble falling asleep,” he says. With
evening activities, it may be hard to find wind-down time, but it’s
an important transition to allow for good, restful sleep.
Designate a study area
Having a central place to study where parents can monitor activity is
a worthwhile idea. “It’s good to be away from the TV and other
distractions,” Dr. Billman says. Being in a central place also lets
parents or older siblings be available for help if the child needs it.
And make sure the area has good lighting and room to spread out. Some
kids like to change it up, studying on the floor in the living room one
day and in their bedroom the next. WebMD has a
FitMove Handbook that suggests taking short movement breaks and changing study areas can
be helpful for concentration.
Establish a study routine
Finding a routine that works for your child is helpful. Find out when
projects are due, and help your child plan ahead so they aren’t
rushing to finish at the last minute. Children thrive on routine, so if
you can establish a study routine that is comfortable for them, you’re
ahead of the game.
Healthychildren.org, the website of the American Academy of Pediatrics, has some tips that
can help you support your child’s study routine.
Let your child own their study time
Study time can be more successful if your child takes some ownership of
when they want to study. If they help set up the area, they can arrange
it to their liking. Let them come up with the study plan, which parents
can then approve and support. “Then the parent isn’t the dictator
and the child doesn’t buck against it so hard,” says Dr. Billman.
Respect your child’s personality
“Some children like to study right after school to get it over with,
and some like to get outside and play first,” he says. Respect your
child’s personality; let them choose which to do first. Sometimes
guidelines, such as no video games until homework is done, work better
than hard-and-fast rules.