You have noticed that your child’s grades have begun to decline. Nothing in the home has really changed and there doesn’t seem to be any emotional issues involved. Could it be poor study skills causing the decline? Have you noticed your child is distracted when studying? How much time and effort do you put into helping your child study? It is time to review their current study habits and help them improve their study skills.
Location of study is very important. The area must be quiet to alleviate any distractions. The younger the child is, the easier it is to distract them. Basically, the younger your child is, the more isolated they need to be during study hours. Things like television, the computer, music, toys, and friends can interrupt any study session. Explain to your child that after they study for an appropriate amount of time, that they can do whatever else they want to do. Do not allow friends over until study time has completed to your satisfaction. Your child must understand that until you feel he has put effort into studying that he will not be allowed to do anything else.
Keep an appropriate time expectation. For example, one hour of studying is too long for a five to seven year old child. They will lose interest very quickly and will not be able to process the information they are studying. The older a child is, the more studying time they can handle. Use fifteen minutes blocks for every two years of age, to determine the appropriate amount of time needed to study.
There are many study aids you can provide for your child. Index cards are one of the most successful study aids. When a child writes the information down on the index card, he is more apt to retain the information. For children with reading comprehension issues they have audio lessons. You can obtain many of these audio lessons from your local library. Study aids are generally used to improve study skills in an area that your child where your child may be weak. To improve organization, use file folders. Label them each night, and place the study material from that night in the appropriately dated folder. For a child who bores and distracts easily you can make a game out of their study material. This will help them focus and engage in the material itself. As well, this is your opportunity as a parent to get more involved in their schoolwork.
Finally, use a rewards system once the improved grades start coming home. Display your child’s work on the refrigerator or cork board. Mention to all family and friends each good grade that your child brings home. Your child will see how proud you are of their efforts and continue to improve. You can use small rewards for each good grade, or a larger reward for an overall good quarterly grade. The reward itself will be determined by you and your child. Don’t be afraid to talk to your child about his future education. Explain that he can avoid taking any education loan, in the future, if he can keep his grades up and get a scholarship. Talking about the future of his education can help him plan for future educational goals.