Creating a low stress study environment at home, can set the tone, and shape your child’s attitudes about homework, studying, and learning.
A certain amount of school related stress is inevitable and helps children learn coping strategies, how to manage time and feelings, and grow as a person. There are however, some simple things you can do at home to help your child balance studying, relaxing, and communicating with you.
This article will highlight some simple ways that you can help make studying and homework a more enjoyable and fun component of school and home. From making a dedicated study space, to inviting friends over to study with, simple changes can make a big impact.
Dedicate a quiet and consistent place in your home to study and complete homework. Make sure you have all needed supplies available in this area or create a homework supply toolbox (crayons, markers, pencils, pens, tape, index cards, highlighters, paperclips, and a stapler) that can be easily brought to the work area.
Talk about your child’s day. Ask your child about the work they are completing. Is there anything they find hard? Is there something they are really interested in? Is there something they would like to learn more about? When you show you care and are interested in their homework or what they studying, your child will become more interested in it too. Remember that too much emphasis on grades can destroy a child’s love of learning so make it fun and don’t take it too serious.
Sometimes the simplest ideas work the best. Let your child invite a friend to come over and be a study buddy. The friends can quiz each other, help answer each other’s questions, and have fun while doing it. Decide on a set amount of study time, and reward their hard work by allotting time for a fun activity together or reward at the end. A trip for ice cream or watching a movie with popcorn can be great motivators.
Work to your child’s strengths. For a child that likes to get their work out of the way, have them study right after school. If you have an early riser, try letting them do their homework or studying in the morning. For a child that may need more guidance, have them study at the kitchen table while dinner is being made. Allowing your child to decide when they complete their work is a simple way you can help them take ownership of their time, while incorporating lifelong problem solving skills.
If your child is active and loves to move, try replacing their regular chair with a balance ball chair. Having just a little bit of movement can be a game changer in helping children to focus on a task. Working on spelling words? Have your child do a jumping jack for each letter in the word as they spell it.
Reviewing history facts? Write review questions on index cards, line the cards up on one side of the room, and then let your child race across the room to pick a review question to answer.
Music: Setting information to a song or tune can be a useful tool in helping children retain information.
Picture Notes: If your child is a visual learner, work together to illustrate what they are learning about.
Write a Letter: Help your child remember facts and information by writing their friend a letter. In the letter they should explain what they are learning about and any important details they are trying to remember, in an attempt to teach their friend about it.
Everyone learns differently, and it is important to help your child figure out what ways work best for them. Stay involved, offer encouragement, and be flexible, while your child figures out how they learn best. The start of a new school year is a great time to start new routines and form new habits, so setting the tone for homework and studying right away, will help both of you throughout the new school year.