Helping kids and teens with homework and study habits


Turn off the TV set. Make a house rule, depending on the location of the set, that when it is study time it is no TV time. A television set that is on will draw youngsters like bees to honey. Designate specific areas for homework’s and studying. Eliminate as much distractions as possible, a table that allows for all necessary supplies such as pencils, pens, papers, books and other essentials works extremely well. Keeping general supplies on hand is important.

Check with your child about his needs. In fact, make it his responsibility to be well supplied well supplied with paper, pencils, notepads, notebook paper, etc Regularity is a key factor in academic success. Try to organize the household so that supper is served at a standard time, and once it, family discussions and Ishaai prayer are over, it’s time to crack the books. If the student doesn’t have other commitments and gets home reasonably early from school, some homework can be done before supper.

Consider your child’s developmental level when setting the amount of time for homework. While secondary school students can focus for over an hour, primary pupil’s are unlikely to last more than 15 minutes on a single task. Allow your child to take breaks, perhaps as a reward for finishing a section of the work. Teach your child that studying is more than just doing homework assignments. One of the most misunderstood aspects of schoolwork is the difference between studying and doing homework assignments. Encourage your child to do things like: * take notes as hes reading a chapter * learn to skim material * learn to study tables and charts * learn to summarize what he has read in his own words * learn to make his own flashcards for quick review of dates, formulas, spelling words, et cetera Note-taking is a critical skill and should be developed. Many students don’t know how to take notes in those classes that require them. Some feel they have to write down every word the teacher says. Others have wisely realized the value of an outline form of note-taking. Should notes ever be rewritten? In some cases, they should be, particularly if a lot of material was covered, and the youngster had to write quickly but lacks speed and organization. Rewriting notes takes time, but it can be an excellent review of the subject matter, rewriting notes isn’t worth the time unless they are used for review and recall of important information.

A home dictionary is essential, but if it is kept on a shelf to gather dust, it won’t do anyone any good. Keep it in an accessible place and let your child see you refer to it from time to time. If the family dictionary is kept in the living room and the child studies in his room, get him an inexpensive dictionary for his exclusive use. Help your child to feel confident for tests. Taking tests can be a traumatic experience for some students. Explain to your child that burning the midnight oil (cramming) the night before a test is not productive. Better to get a good night’s sleep. Good advice for any student before taking a test: take a deep breath, relax, and dive in.

Always bring an extra pencil just in case during a homework session, watch for signs of frustration. No learning can take place and little can be accomplished if the child is angry or upset over an assignment that is too long or too difficult. At such times the parent may have to step in and simply halt the homework for that night. Should parents help with homework? Yes-if it is clearly productive to do so, such as calling out spelling words or checking a math problem that won’t prove. No-if it is something the child can clearly handle himself and learn from the process. How best to handle report cards? To save shocks and upsets, gently discuss from time to time "how things are going at school- with your child something casual such as "How did the math test go?" "How did you do on the history assignment?" "How’s your science project coming along? Need any help? "are questions that aren’t "third degree" but indicate interest.


This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited


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