Education: How to Encourage Study Habits in Young Kids
It is never too soon to start encouraging good study habits. Even five- and six-year-old children can benefit from learning how to study. What many people do not understand is that studying is an activity like any other. While some people seem to have an innate knack for it, almost everyone can improve if they practice. There is more than one way to study, and if you are interested in helping your kindergartner excel in this area, there are a few things to do.
How to Encourage Your Child to Study
A Proper Time and Place
Kids are creatures of habit, and if they associate a certain time and place with their homework and their studying, they are going to be much more inclined to get it done. Create a study space for your child. Make sure they have a comfortable place to sit in a location that is free of noise and distractions. Ideally, this is a place which is quiet enough for them to work but enough a part of the main house that you can peek in from time to time. Having a space set apart just for them and just for a certain activity delights most children.
Make a Routine
Be diligent about enforcing study time. The sooner you create a routine for your child, the better. If a child can establish a great study routine, you will find they will be much more likely to do it on a regular basis. The younger a child is, the more inclined they are to gravitate towards routines and the more effective this will be.
Short Study Sessions
Even adults learn best when information is presented in 20-minute chunks, so think about what it must be like for children who have significantly shortened attention spans. Allow your child to study in 15 to 20 minute chunks and give them a five minute break in between. During this five minute break, encourage them to get up, to get a drink of water and to stretch their legs. The rule, however, is that if they have work to do, they need to go back. This helps them cement the place that studying needs to have in their minds they will understand that they need to return to it if they are not done.
Too many children think that the point of studying is to study. Especially when they are young, children often resent studying because they do not know why they should sit and read books or take notes. Give your child an edge by explaining to them that studying is the means to an end. Because children who are only five or six think in very concrete terms, give them concrete goals. For example, tell them that they are studying their social studies to learn about how a particular ancient civilization works or that they are studying math to understand basic addition. Giving them firm goals to work with gives them a sense of accomplishment and an understanding of what needs to be done.
Praise Their Hard Work
After your kindergartener finishes their studying, praise them for their hard work. Some parents praise their children for being smart, but the result of this compliment ends up with children who feel that they are smart, but who will give up if they are challenged. They believe that if they were smart, it should all be easy. Instead, praise your child for the hard work that they have put in. If they hear that they are hardworking, they are more inclined to stick with problems until they are solved.
Consider how your kindergartener is studying, and make sure that you encourage them in ways that will help them improve!
What are you doing to help your child with their study habits?
Photo Courtesy of Flickr
Supplied by Joe Shervell for www.yorknotes.com
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