Instilling good study habits early on
When it comes to studying for exams, good study habits often have to be learnt. No matter what age your child is, or at what stage of school they are at, it’s never too late to start getting into good study habits. Then when the important exams come around, it will be second nature to them. My teenager took 24 exams last summer, so it was important for us to ensure he had good study habits.
In school no one teaches you how to revise, just told to do what is best for you and your learning style. But as a teenager, how do you know? And if the first time you’ve sat down to study is a few weeks before an exam, then it leaves you little time to experiment with what works.
Studying isn’t just a matter of sitting down to review notes, it also involves knowing what you need to study in each subject. You can help your child keep track of assignments and tests, by creating weekly and daily plans. Also, you could implement rewards for each task they accomplish, as this can help your child study more effectively.
From a young age, it is a good idea to do small things that your child will become familiar with. For example, create a large wall calendar which shows your child how to keep track of all their homework, activities and appointments. Once they get older, your child can switch to using an online calendar.
Breaking down the calendar into weekly and daily checklists, means that your child can keep track of weekly and daily to-do lists. This gets them in good habits to complete things as and when they are needed, rather than letting tasks pile up and putting them off.
Once your child has developed good habits, when it comes to the actual studying part, you can start a few years earlier, and help them to learn what works for them. Does your child study better at school, at the library or at home? Wherever it is, make sure they have all the materials they need to hand, so no time is wasted searching for a calculator or pen.
Have a look at what extra materials could help them, for example, websites such as Cazoom Maths are good for getting maths worksheets, and on the internet, you’ll easily be able to find something for every subject.
Set up a reward system with your child. It could be that each chapter they read earns them 10 minutes on the computer. Work together to work out suitable rewards, and eventually your child may even reward themselves without you getting involved.
Finally, it might sound a bit lame as your child gets older, but keeping a worry pad can be useful during times of stress. Instead of your child trying to deal with all the distracting things that keep popping into their head, they can write them down on the pad. Then, when the studying time is over, they can deal with the things that distracted them.