As your child’s first and most important teacher, you can play a vital role in helping your child develop effective studying habits. Those skills are often the tipping point that turns good students into great students! And, we promise, it really can be a fun bonding experience for everyone!
How do you get started? Here are 5 practical, painless ways to get involved in study time.
- Repetition, repetition, repetition
Repetition is often key for retention. The human brain needs to hear something 14 times before it moves from short-term to long-term memory. The method of modeling and mocking is one way to make repetition a bit more exciting at home. What do you do? “Model” a concept you’d like your child to “mock.” For example, have your child watch you complete a math problem they may be struggling with at least once before attempting it on their own.
- Connect concepts to movement
When information is connected to movement, it’s easier to remember. One way to do this while studying is to create a song with choreography, acting out the concept you’re studying while singing a catchy tune about it. Don’t be afraid to get creative and silly!
- Write the answers
When students write in response to their learning, they are more likely to retain the information. Ask your child to recall information by answering your verbal questions in writing. Writing will help them remember the information, and it will also sharpen their language skills. Use note cards, sticky notes, markers, pens, colorful paper, and other items to make writing a fun and exciting exercise.
- Frame learning
One of the best study techniques is to frame learning. Asking your child what he/she did or learned at school gives him/her a chance to capture or “frame” their learning in a verbal snapshot. Doing this regularly will cause the child to think deeper about what he/she learned, and it will encourage them to use relevant vocabulary daily. A great time to perform this exercise is during snack time, in the car on the way home from school, or even at the dinner table. This promotes communication between you, while allowing your child to practice “framing” on a regular basis.
- Set goals and celebrate
Help your child set goals for how long he/she should study and how often. Then celebrate when your child meets their goal by doing something they enjoy. Create a chart or graph that displays their progress over time. Or have your child draw a picture that represents the goal they are working toward, having the child color a portion of the picture each time they complete a session. When the picture is complete, they will have met their goal. This also promotes commitment to goal completion.
Children tend to have a more positive outlook on school and do better overall when parents and families are involved. Many studies show that family involvement is more important to a child’s school success than many factors – including family income and the education of the parents.
Supporting your child’s learning at home is important, but it doesn’t have to be all business. With a little creativity, it can be a fun experience for all of you!