Sure, there’s only so much you can do as a parent, but establishing good habits in your students when they are in grades 1-3 will help to instill good study techniques. These will stand them in good stead throughout their long and (hopefully) illustrious academic careers. Teachers have enough on their plates controlling the class and getting through the syllabus and few have time to teach effective study methods. Think about your own education; did anyone ever really teach you how to study effectively? You can help your students to form good study habits that will make their lives (and yours!) a whole lot easier.
Create a routine
Kids benefit from stability. Knowing what is expected of them and what they are supposed to be doing makes them feel secure and reduces anxiety. Creating a routine with set homework and study times will make it less likely that they put off studying until the last minute. Teach them how to make a study schedule and how to properly manage their time. These are great life skills to have!
Create the perfect conditions for success
Have a homework and study space that is free of distractions. This space should be comfortable and well-lit. When someone is in the study area, other family members must respect them by limiting noise and interruptions. Leave your child to work alone. Learning to work by themselves is the only way they learn self-discipline. This does not apply when your student needs help with their homework.
Encourage constant curiosity
Foster your student’s curiosity, encourage questioning and always try to answer every question. This can be a tough job when you are tired and your students keep asking questions, but turn the tables by getting them to look up the answers on the internet. Discuss their findings to reinforce the value of research. Allow your students to pursue their own interests in their free time and always praise independent study above and beyond the scope of their schoolwork.
Give credit where it’s due
Praise and rewards are the best way to reinforce positive study habits. If your student does their homework without being asked or gets a better grade on a test, make sure you offer words of praise or create a reward system so that they have concrete proof that hard work pays off. In the first few grades, getting good marks will not be enough of a reward; students need your positive reinforcement.
Get a tutor
It’s never too early for a tutor. Learning requires solid foundations and you want your student to keep up. Falling behind or feeling inept will create negative attitudes that will plague their academic careers. Tutors help students to get great foundations, and build confidence. Tutors are also experts at study methods and can assess the learning style of your student and then create effective learning methods for them to follow.