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Now that we're further into the school year, parent-teacher conferences are coming up and many schools are sending home progress reports. For teens and tweens, especially, this time of year is when many parents start to look for ways to help their kids buckle down and form better study habits because the work load is only getting harder. You can't go to school with them, but there are a few things you can do at home to give your child the best chance at success in school.



5 Tips for Improving Study Habits

by Angela Forsyth


Now that we're further into the school year, parent-teacher conferences are coming up and many schools are sending home progress reports. For teens and tweens, especially, this time of year is when many parents start to look for ways to help their kids buckle down and form better study habits because the work load is only getting harder. You can't go to school with them, but there are a few things you can do at home to give your child the best chance at success in school.


Here are 5 simple tips for helping your tween/teen student improve his study habits.


1. GET ORGANIZED

Between homework, tests and projects it's easy for a student to forget he had homework or that he has a test coming up. Learning to write down the information is an important step toward becoming an independent and successful student. Buy your child a planner and talk to him about writing down assignments and test dates as soon as they're mentioned in class, and then checking the planner as soon as he gets home to see what he needs to work on. For older kids, some schools post these assignments online through Google Classroom or teacher web pages. Those can be checked routinely as soon as your student gets home too.


2. QUIET ZONE

Some students may do well with music playing while they work, but in most cases, kids work best in quiet homework zones without distractions. Designate an area at home that is away from TV, siblings or any other noise. You can take it a step further and have your child put the cell phone far away until work is completed.


3. BE POSITIVE

Even if your child procrastinated, try to be an example to them for how to think positively. For example saying, "Yes, you got a late start on that project, but you can work hard now to do the best job you can." Going into class to make a presentation or take a test will be easier with the right mindset. It's harder for a student to focus in class if they go in with anxiety or feeling ashamed for not being prepared.


4. BREAK IT UP

Pushing your student to focus too long can backfire. Be aware of their attention span. You know best how long your child can go. Help them divvy up the homework into intervals with breaks. The same goes with larger projects. When you know of an assignment that will take hours to complete, help your child chunk the work up into different days.


5. GET HELP

Struggling to understand new concepts is a natural process of learning. If you aren't able to help your child at home, encourage your student to go back to the teacher for help. If he's embarrassed, help him practice what to say. Encourage him to raise his hand to ask questions during class or speak to the teacher privately when the lesson is over. If money allows, try finding a tutor. Many kids respond better to studying with someone other than a parent.



Angela Forsyth, free lance writer with Firefly Marketing, LLC

Angela Forsyth, Editor - FamilyLifeNWA.com