7 Steps Toward Effective Student Study Habits

Most students forget a good portion of what they learn during the school year, particularly good study habits. As a parent, there are steps you can take now to help your child retain effective student study habits over the summer which will carry over into the next school year and through the rest of their lives. Here are some suggestions:

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1. Institute a Regular Schedule - Use a calendar to fill in recurring tasks, commitments and activities and the amount of time needed for each.

2. Incorporate Study Time - Using your same calendar, block off remaining blank time slots for studying. Try to make this at approximately the same time every day. A good rule of thumb is 10 minutes per grade level per day. For example, a student in third grade should be studying approximately 30 minutes per day. This can be broken down into smaller segments of time to accommodate your calendar, if needed. Review the study time schedule with your child.

3. Post the Schedule - Find a convenient location for both parent and student to reference the schedule.

4. Stick to the Schedule - Reinforce the concept that study time is a priority just like the other activities on your calendar. Study time should be used whether or not specific homework has been assigned for the summer. If there are no assignments, time should be spent reviewing the year’s subject area class notes, reviewing learned vocabulary words, learning new vocabulary words, or reading a book on a topic of interest to your child and discussing the book.

5. Get organized - Find a good workplace for your child. There should be adequate light, seating and a writing surface. Try to find a place where the least amount of distractions may occur. Keep the workplace well stocked with supplies such as paper, pencils, rulers, books, assignments, etc.

6. Guide your child, but let him do the work - Ascertain that he understands the instructions, but let him do the work. You can scan the assignment first to make sure you can answer any questions that arise, but it is essential he enjoy the sense of achievement once the assignment is complete.

7. Praise - It is important that you focus on effort, rather than the correctness of the work. You want to build your child’s self-confidence. A few encouraging words throughout study time and at the completion will go a long way to helping your child know he can do it on his own.

By following these simple steps your child will be able to learn and retain effective student study habits that they can implement this summer, this upcoming school year and for the rest of their lives.

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