Study Skills and Homework

study skills

I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.

~ Lily Tomlin

But homework and studying also become the wellsprings for building greater mental effort capacity in all kids. Schools teach kids how to learn, and parents should teach them how to work by establishing work rules and a work ethic at home.

~ Mel Levine, A Mind at a Time, 2002

  1. Parents need to respect differences in their children’s learning styles and study habits. For instance, let’s look at noise issues when doing homework. Some children need complete silence while others need to hear what is going on around the house for a sense of comfort or safety. Other children thrive with soft music in the background. Believe it or not, a small number of children complete homework assignments quickly while watching television or listening to loud “hard rock” music.
  2. Make sure the child has good lighting while studying, not too bright or too dim. Usually a 75 watt bulb works best.
  3. Encourage the child to work at a desk with a straight, firm chair. Discourage children from studying on their beds. If they get too comfortable they may drift off to sleep.
  4. Make sure the room is not too warm. They may work quicker in a cooler setting.
  5. Limit distractions. Keep siblings separated. Tell the child to turn off his cell phone.
  6. Make sure the child’s study area has plenty of supplies. This will save time by keeping the children from having to search for pencils, paper, and other necessary items.
  7. Some children may need separate area for studying. Instead of doing homework in their rooms, they may need to work at the kitchen table.
  8. Suggest to the child to get a list of classmates’ telephone numbers in case she needs to call one for homework information.
  9. Some children may need to keep a separate set of books at home to cut down on the “Oh, I forgot my books,” excuses.
  10. Make it a house rule that even if the child doesn’t have homework, she must spend a certain amount of time studying or reading.
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