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Family – How To Teach Your Child To Develop Good Study Skills

You can help your child develop good study skills by encouraging her to become better organized helping her to take better notes, and communicating with her teacher.
In order for children to excel in school, they must develop good study skills. Parents can do much to thankful kidsencourage their child to become more organized and more proficient in their academic work. If you help your child develop good study skills when they are young, those skills should help them through the rest of their academic career.

Parents should start instilling good study habits with their children as early as elementary school, and there are several things that you can do to help your child become a better student. One of the most important steps you can take is to help your child develop a good study schedule.

Some children like to come straight home, do their homework, and then play. Other children, especially those who are learning disabled, may need a break between their school day and homework. This is perfectly acceptable as long as you do not let them put off their school work until almost bedtime, when they will be tired and are likely to do lesser quality work.

Children who have attention deficit disorders may need to work on their homework in short increments of time. If your child has a learning disability, you may want to let her work on one assignment for about fifteen or twenty minutes, then let her move on to something else. She can come back and finish after a short break.

Be sure that you have a specific place set aside for your child to do her homework. It should be free from distractions such as the television, computer, video games, etc. Although your child may have a desk in her room, if she is younger, she may benefit more from working near you. If she is in the kitchen, dining room, or living room, you can easily check to see that she is remaining on task and give her help when she needs it.

Once you have established a routine and place for her to work, you need to help her get organized. Teachers will typically assign what type of notebook and other school supplies they want their students to have. It is very important that you initiate communication with your child’s teacher as soon as possible. Many teachers will willingly give their school e-mail address, and this is an excellent way for you to stay in contact.

If your teacher has not assigned a specific system of organization that she prefers, you will need to help your child develop one of her own. Make sure she has a notebook with pocket dividers. If she has several classes, she may want to have two or three notebooks that she can divide into classes. The pocket dividers will give her a place to put any handouts she may receive. Check her notebook periodically to see what work she is doing.

If your child is having trouble completing assignments, you can make a simple check sheet that lists such things as “homework assigned today”; “no homework today”; “study for test”, etc. Leave a line beside each notation, and ask your child’s teacher to check off anything that might pertain to your child for that day. Be sure and check the assignment sheet every day. If your child knows you will hold her accountable, she will learn to be more responsible.

Your child needs to develop good note-taking skills. Help her learn how to find the main point and supporting details of textbook chapters. Show her how to list the chapter and section names of her textbook, and then have her summarize each section in her own words. You can help her study by asking her to tell you key points from each section or from her study sheets. If she can’t answer it the first time, have her look over it again, and then quiz her.

Finally, encourage your child every step of the way. Not every student is an “A” student, but you should let your child know that you are proud of her if she is doing her best work.

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6 Test Taking Errors to Avoid

The questionnaire1. Misread Direction Errors

These errors occur when you skip directions or misunderstand directions but answer the question or do the problem anyway.

To avoid this type of error, read all the directions.

2. Careless Errors

Mistakes made which can be caught automatically upon reviewing the test.

To avoid this type of error, watch for simple mistakes carefully as you review the test.

3. Concept Errors

Mistakes made when you do not understand the properties or principles required to work the problem.

To avoid this type of error in the future, you must go back to your textbook or notes and learn why you missed the problems.

4. Application errors

Mistakes that you make when you know this concept but cannot apply it to the problem.

To reduce this type of error, you must, learn to predict the type of application problems that will be on the test.

5. Test Procedure Errors

Mistakes that you make because of the specific way you take tests, such as:

  1. Missing more questions in the 1st-third, 2nd-third or last third of a test. If you find that you miss more questions in a certain part of the test consistently, use your remaining test time to review that part of the test first.
  2. Not completing a problem to its last step.
    To avoid this mistake, review the last step of a test problem first, before doing an in-depth test review.
  3. Changing test answers from the correct ones to incorrect ones.
    If you are a bad answer changer, then write on your test “Don’t change answers.” Only change answers if you can prove to yourself or to the instructor that the changed answer is correct.
  4. Getting stuck on one problem and spending too much time.
    Set a time limit for each problem before moving to the next problem.
  5. Rushing through the easiest part of the test and making careless errors.
    If you do this often, after finishing the test review the easy problems first, then review the harder problems.
  6. Miscopying an answer from your scratch work to the test.
    To avoid this, systematically compare your last problem step on scratch paper with the answer on the test.
  7. Leaving answers blank
    Write down some information or try at least to do the first step.

6. Study Errors

Mistakes that occur when you study the wrong type of material or do not spend enough time studying pertinent material.

To avoid these errors in the future, take some time to track down why the errors occurred so that you can study more effectively the next time.

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Motivating Your Child to Do Homework and Study

children-are-made-readers

  • Is your child motivated to do homework and study or do you need to ‘strongly encourage’ your child to do the work?
  • Has homework time become a battleground?

I understand how difficult this can be for you once things get out of hand but DO NOT DESPAIR.  In my last article  Teaching Young Children To Study, I explained the importance of teaching even young children how to study so they can become independent learners at school. A key component of being an independent learner is motivation.

Here is the brief version:

STEP 1: FIND OUT WHAT THE BLOCKAGE IS

For you to be able to help your child overcome homework problems you first need to become a detective like Sherlock Holmes. The important thing to keep in mind is that there is no point forcing your child to do work that he/she is not able to do. All that will happen is that you will both get more emotional and will not be able to think clearly or work with each other effectively. There could be a variety of reasons why your child won’t get on with homework such as:

  • doesn’t understand the work
  • hasn’t or can’t read the instructions properly
  • doesn’t know where to start
  • lacks the basic skills to do the work
  • hasn’t got the materials needed to complete the task

STEP 2: Break the work that needs to be done into a series of SIMPLE STEPS

Thus get your child to DO ONE STEP A TIME.

STEP 3: HAVE PATIENCE

Rome was n0t built in a day. Your goal should be to help your child get a few more skills and a bit more confidence every day. Research shows that the best way to build up good habits is to take small but regular steps. Just do as much in a sitting as you can both manage without getting tense. In the early stages it is often much more effective to do three 10-minute sessions than one 30-minute session.

Remember, if your child is not doing her/his homework effectively at the moment, then small positive changes on a regular basis is far better than no change at all.

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Teaching Young Children To Study

every child can shineWHAT IS STUDY? – Study is the skill of learning something independently of a teacher.

Obviously I did not mean that a 5 year-old should be reading and studying textbooks at night after going to school!

Being an independent learner in Kindergarten means things like being able to FOCUS on what the teacher is saying so the child is be able to COMPREHEND what is being said and to FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS given.

Many children are not capable of concentrating enough to be able to do this effectively when they first arrive at school so they miss a lot of the teaching in class – it just goes straight over their heads. These children are dependent on the teacher instructing and monitoring them individually . . . meanwhile the independent children are getting on with their work and learning things. The independent learners will have been taught good listening and oral comprehension skills by their parents, and just as importantly, they will have been taught the social and emotional skills needed to operate successfully in a room full of people – many of whom will be disruptive of the group as they have not learned good social and emotional skills before coming to school.

By the time your child is 10 years-old, study means a lot more. By then your child will need much more developed written and oral communication skills to be able to make the most of his/her time in class, and be able to do homework with minimal supervision – a child who is not a fluent reader for example will not be able to become a very independent learner. By this age, it is also important that your child has developed the positive Growth Mindset.

On entering Middle School it is important that your child has learned how to take full responsibility for comprehension at all levels. Your child should:

  • KNOW WHAT SHE/HE KNOWS and
  • KNOW WHAT SHE/HE DOES NOT KNOW, know what to do about it, and ACTUALLY DO IT. That might mean independent research or seeking help from an appropriate person.

So you can see, study skills are important right through school. As a caring parent it is important that you monitor your child’s progress very closely, and teach your child good study skills at home – if possible, BEFORE they are needed at school.