How Do I Help My Child Study Better?

Would you like to help your child become a better student and, overall, a skilled learner in life? Keep reading to find out ways to improve your child's ability to study.

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Children often have trouble studying because they haven't developed good study habits. Teach your child study skills early in his or her educational career to give as much time as possible for these skills to become habits. The following tips can help your child study better.

Create a Positive Learning Space

To increase concentration, set up a workspace for your child. If possible, only use the space to complete homework. His or her desk should have as few distractions as possible and be well equipped with school supplies, like pencils, erasers, rulers, calculators, loose leaf paper and even a computer if your child is at a grade level where a computer is helpful or necessary. The environment should also be cheery and fun so that he or she has a good mental association with it.

Maintain a Reliable Schedule

Designate a time each evening for studying. If children get in the habit of always studying at the same time, they are less likely to waste time doing other things and will be able to focus naturally. Also, set up the study schedule so your child can take a brief break every hour or as needed. Most children have trouble focusing for more than an hour and encouraging your child to take a brief break can help him or her concentrate more deeply when it's time to do so.

Eliminate Distractions

Encourage your child to turn off his or her cell phone, video games and computer unless the computer is needed for the task at hand. These devices often distract children and can lead to wasting time. You should also be reasonably quiet and calm while your child is studying. Avoid noisy activities like talking loudly on the phone, vacuuming or watching television while your child studies.

Reinforcement

Reinforcement and consequences for your child's study behavior does not simply mean implementing a series of punishments. Although negative reinforcement may appear to work on the surface, it often fails to instill a real sense of self-worth and, therefore, an internalized system of self-motivation. Positive reinforcement can be far more effective than negative. Positive reinforcement is not simply a matter of rewarding good study habits or high test scores, but also acknowledging a child's progress no matter how small. A loving, caring and upbeat reaction will often be just the thing that your child needs to improve his or her study skills in meaningful ways that will actually stick.

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