Help and make your child study well

Keep some snacks in your child's room. Often children feel hungry and nip intothe kitchen for something to eat. They wander around the kitchen for a few minutes and bring out something to nibble on. On the way back from the kitchenthey run into someone watching television, and sit down to catch the end of the program. "I'm taking a break," they tell you, although they know they have not studied enough to warrant a break. By the time they get back to their books, an hour has passed, and before long they feel the urge to munch again.

If you keep snacks in your child's room, your child will not feel the need to get up and wander into the kitchen every now and then. Make sure he has a bottle of water as well.

Provide your child with a clean desk in his room, on which he can study. A computer occupies 13-year-old Rohan's desk, so he studies on the dining table or on the bed. This leads to poor quality of concentration. You must get your child a desk with ample space for him to keep his books, and study on. Make sure it is clean; a cluttered desk is indicative of a tense mind. Your child needs to be relaxed, only then will he be able to concentrate. If things around him are in disarray, your child will find it hard to concentrate.

Certain children don't like sitting alone in a room to study. They would rather sit in the hall or in the family room, so they are with the rest of the family. If this is the case with your child, and if you see her constantly coming out with textbook in hand to sit with you, offer to sit in her room while she is studying. Lie down on her bed, read a book, go to sleep or do yoga. Your child will feel less isolated knowing that you are around. On the other hand, some children want to be left totally alone when studying, so respect their wishes.

Phone calls can be very distracting. Take down messages and state that your child will call them back. You could say that your child is not at home, so friends don't request to speak "Just for a minute, aunty!" Give your child messages during study break - don't pop in with the message when your child is studying.

  • take notes as he's reading a chapter
  • learn to skim material
  • learn to study tables and charts
  • learn to summarize what he has read in his own words
  • learn to make his own flashcards for quick review of dates, formulas, spelling words, et cetera

Note-taking is a critical skill and should be developed. Many students don't know how to take notes in those classes that require them. Some feel they have to write down every word the teacher says. Others have wisely realized the value of an outline form of note-taking. Well prepared teachers present their material in a format that lends itself to outline form note taking..

Should notes ever be rewritten? In some cases, they should be, particularly if a lot of material was covered, and the youngster had to write quickly but lacks speed and organization. Rewriting notes takes time, but it can be an excellent review of the subject matter. However, rewriting notes isn't worth the time unless they are used for review and recall of important information.

A home dictionary is essential, but if it is kept on a shelf to gather dust, it won't do anyone any good. Keep it in an accessible place and let your child see you refer to it from time to time. If the family dictionary is kept in the living room and the child studies in his room, get him an inexpensive dictionary for his exclusive use.

Good dictionary, encyclopedia and organizational skills depend on the ability to alphabetize. See if your child's teacher practices alphabetizing in class. Try alphabetizing spelling words, family members' names or a few favorite toys at home as a way of practicing.

Help your child to feel confident for tests. Taking tests can be a traumatic experience for some students. Explain to your child that burning the midnight oil (cramming) the night before a test is not productive. Better to get a good night's sleep. Students also need reminding that when taking a test, they should thoroughly and carefully read the directions before they haphazardly start to mark their test papers. They should be advised to skip over questions for which they don't know the answers. They can always return to those if there's time. Good advice for any student before taking a test: take a deep breath, relax, and dive in. Always bring an extra pencil just in case.

During a homework session, watch for signs of frustration. No learning can take place and little can be accomplished if the child is angry or upset over an assignment that is too long or too difficult. At such times the parent may have to step in and simply halt the homework for that night, offering to write a note to the teacher explaining the situation and perhaps requesting a conference to discuss the quality and length of homework assignments.

Should parents help with homework? Yes-if it is clearly productive to do so, such as calling out spelling words or checking a math problem that won't prove. No-if it is something the child can clearly handle himself and learn from the process. And help and support should always be calmly and cheerfully given. Grudging help is worse than no help at all!

Read directions, or check over math problems after your child has completed the work. Remember to make positive comments - you don't want your child to associate homework with fights at home.

Model research skills by involving your child in planning a family trip. Help your child locate your destination on a map or atlas. Use traditional encyclopedia or a CD-ROM to find information about the place you will visit; try the Internet or books in the library.

How best to handle report cards? To save shocks and upsets, gently discuss from time to time "how things are going at school- with your child. Something casual, such as "How did the math test go?" "How did you do on the history report?" "How's your science project coming along? Need any help?" are questions that aren't "third degree" but indicate interest. Find out if it is a policy at your child's school to send out "warning notices" when work isn't going well. Generally, such notices require the parent's signature to verify that the parent has, indeed, been alerted. This is the time to contact the teacher of the course, along with your child, to learn what the difficulty may be. If such notices aren't sent, then grades on projects and reports and from tests may be the sole source of information short of what your child wishes to share. Be tuned in to statements such as "He's an awful teacher," "She goes too fast," etc. This may be the child's way of indicating frustration in understanding content or lack of study time with the subject. However, be cautious in contacting teachers without your child's approval or interest. It may disrupt good feelings between you and make you seem to be interfering and spying

Always make sure homework and studying is of the highest priority.

Make homework time fun. It should be associated with affection, freedom, love and self-control.

Teach your child learning and organization skills during homework time.

Set reasonable expectations and reasonable consequence if your child doesn't meet those expectations. Follow through.

Make Homework a Positive Experience

As a parent it is imperative to make homework time a positive experience. Here are some tips:

Always support, praise and reward your child for completing his homework.

If you child needs help, give it in a non-critical way.

Encourage your child to complete all assignments and projects in such a way that he will be proud of his efforts. This allows him to have control over his level of competence and learning.

Help your child make subjects that he dislikes more fun and less frustrating. Suggest he complete five questions and then take a break to exercise or stretch. Allow him to play with a favorite toy or participate in a favorite hobby for a few minutes before completing his homework.

Encourage study groups with peers. Research has proven that group study is much more effective than studying alone.

When homework is complete, allow your child to play with a friend, play a favorite game, watch a favorite TV show or engage in a favorite hobby.

Always take time to listen to your child's concerns and help him to come up with a positive solution.

Quiz your child for tests and exams. An excellent time to do this is while driving to an extracurricular activity or driving home from school or shopping.

Encourage your child to think of himself as an excellent scholar and then help him make his vision become a reality.

Organizational Skills

Children will find it much easier to study if they possess good organizational skills.

Buy your child an assignment book. He should note assignments daily and check them off when they're completed.

Teach your child how to break long-term assignments down into smaller projects. This makes it easier to complete.

Teach your child how to estimate the length of time it will take him to complete assignments and projects so he can make a realistic schedule.

Teach your child to study for tests and begin assignments well in advance. Leaving them to the last minute will leave him frustrated and often last minute projects get low scores.

Teach your child to lengthen his concentration. This will allow him to complete homework assignments in a shorter length of time and his scores will be higher. Elementary students should take a break every 10 to 15 minutes; middle school students every 20 to 30 minutes and high school students every 40 to 50 minutes.

Teach your child to review and correct notes and to highlight important information.

Encourage your child to improve his reading skills to make assignments and projects easier to complete.

Encourage your child to improve his vocabulary by using a dictionary and thesaurus.

Study Techniques

Teach your child to study using these techniques:

Look over the material and his notes to gain orientation.

Write down questions before he begins to read the material thoroughly.

Read through his notes, make a list of points and answer the questions that he has written down.

Review notes several times before you quiz him.

Review notes daily before a test and write down and answer questions or ask you to quiz him.

Ensure your child understands the material in notes and textbooks.

Encourage your child to write drafts before a final written assignment.

Teach your child how to proofread and revise his notes.

Teach your child that tests and exams are a time to show off his knowledge.
Children usually stay focused longer on things that truly interest them, so you will want to pick activities that appeal to your child to improve his concentration.

If you haven't been playing board and card games with your son, start now. Begin with games that are easy to play before moving on to those with more complicated rules. Not only do games require concentration, but they're also fun.

Read to your son. Start asking him questions before you read to focus his attention on a story. Then have him let you know when you read the answer to the question. What you are doing is helping your son become an active listener.

Does your son play any computer games? Have him avoid those that just require mindless responses. Also, cut his TV viewing time. While it may appear that he is concentrating on a program, television does not require children to focus for more than a few seconds on an image.

Other activities that build concentration include: doing puzzles, drawing pictures, making models, learning karate, and helping with family chores. Your child's teacher will have even more suggestions.

Find out from your son's teacher whether his problems with timed assignments are due to not focusing on the work or not having the necessary skills. Since most timed assignments are math problems, your son may need to learn the basic facts better.
Hope it may help you.