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Karen Ridings

Study skills and the successful student

Children who develop study skills and habits have a greater chance of being successful in school than children who do not get into the habit of studying. Often parents and kids confuse homework and studying. Homework may or may not be assigned to children, especially younger children. It is often given by teachers to help children practice the concepts taught in school, but it is only part of a good study routine. It is important for children to review subject material even when they are not given homework.

Children learn new concepts at school on a daily basis. These concepts may be in math, science, English or social studies, etc. Children have a better chance of learning new information if they have an opportunity to interact with it in different ways and many times. Studying or reviewing subject material at home provides your child with another opportunity to understand new subject matter. This material may be in the form of notes taken at school by your child, a chapter in a textbook, and/or homework. A student is less likely to have to "cram" for an exam if he is reviewing the subject periodically. A study chart may be helpful to children to organize their study schedules.

DAY READING/ MATH/SCIENCE/Other
Monday ...............................................
Tuesday ...............................................
Wednesday............................................
Thursday ...............................................
Friday ....................................................
Saturday ...............................................

Some other tips to support good study habits are:

1) Communicate expectations about studying and homework.
2) Help your child set up a routine. Decide upon a schedule together.
3) Don't overbook your children in extra-curricular activities - provide enough time to study.
4) Provide a quiet space that is comfortable for your child and the necessary books and supplies.
5) Check on your child's progress.
6) Periodically provide support such as calling out spelling words or use flash cards for vocabulary. Never do your children's homework for them.
7) Shut off the family TV, I-Pods, and cell phones during "study time."

If your child is having difficulty understanding a subject, contact his/her teacher to discuss ways to help your child. Remember, school is a teacher-parent partnership.

Helping your children develop effective study habits will help them be successful throughout their school careers.



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