How to Help Your Child Develop Good Study Habits

10 practical tips for developing good study habits in children. Create a positive learning environment for academic success. Read our latest blog post.


5/4/202310 min read

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Good Study Habits are NOT Something that Children are Born With

As parents, we all want our children to succeed in their academic pursuits. One of the best ways to set them up for success is to help them develop good study habits. Good study habits are not something that children are born with; they need to be taught and reinforced over time. By providing a positive and effective learning environment, parents can help their children develop the skills and strategies they need to succeed in school and beyond. In this blog post, we'll share 10 practical tips for helping your child develop good study habits.

1. Establish a Routine

When it comes to developing good study habits, routine is key. Setting a consistent schedule for studying helps children establish a sense of structure and discipline, which can lead to better academic performance. Here are some tips for establishing a study routine:

  1. Set a regular time: Choose a time of day when your child is most alert and focused, and stick to it as much as possible. For younger children, a shorter study session of 30 minutes to an hour may be more appropriate, while older children may be able to handle longer sessions.

  2. Create a designated study space: Whether it's a desk in their bedroom or a corner of the living room, having a designated study space can help your child get into the right mindset for studying. Make sure the space is well-lit, quiet, and free from distractions.

  3. Make a to-do list: Before each study session, help your child create a to-do list of what they need to accomplish. This can help them stay focused and motivated, and provide a sense of accomplishment as they check off each item on the list.

  4. Incorporate breaks: It's important to give your child regular breaks during their study session to avoid burnout and maintain focus. Encourage them to take a quick walk, stretch, or do some deep breathing exercises between study blocks.

By establishing a routine, your child can develop a sense of discipline and structure that will help them succeed academically.

2. Set Goals

Setting goals is an important part of developing good study habits. Goals provide direction and motivation for your child to stay focused and work towards something specific. Setting goals helps your child understand what they want to achieve and the steps they need to take to get there.

When setting goals, it's important to make sure they are SMART goals. This means they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example, a SMART goal for your child could be to get an A on their math test next week. This goal is specific (getting an A on a math test), measurable (by receiving a grade), achievable (if your child puts in the effort and studies), relevant (since math is an important subject), and time-bound (for the next week).

Once your child has set their goals, it's important to break them down into smaller, achievable steps. For example, if your child's goal is to get an A on their math test, they can break it down into studying for 30 minutes every day, reviewing their notes, and practicing math problems.

Remember to celebrate your child's achievements when they reach their goals. This will motivate them to continue working towards their next goal.

3. Minimize Distractions

Distractions can quickly derail even the most focused study session. It's important to minimize distractions as much as possible to help your child stay on track and maintain their concentration. Here are some tips for minimizing distractions:

  1. Find a quiet study space: It's important to find a study space that is quiet and free from distractions. This could be a designated study area in your home or a library.

  2. Turn off electronic devices: Electronic devices such as phones, tablets, and TVs can be major distractions. Encourage your child to turn off these devices or put them away during study sessions.

  3. Use noise-cancelling headphones: If your child is studying in a noisy environment, consider investing in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. These can help block out distracting background noise.

  4. Keep the study space tidy: A cluttered study space can be distracting and make it difficult to focus. Encourage your child to keep their study space tidy and organized.

By minimizing distractions, your child will be able to focus better and make the most of their study time.

4. Provide Positive Reinforcement

Children thrive on positive reinforcement, and it can go a long way in helping them develop good study habits. Praising them for their hard work and effort can help build their confidence and motivate them to continue putting in the effort.

One way to provide positive reinforcement is to acknowledge their progress, no matter how small. For instance, if your child has been struggling with a particular subject, and they start to show improvement, acknowledge their efforts and praise them for it. You can also offer small rewards for their accomplishments, such as a special treat or a movie night.

It's important to note that positive reinforcement should be specific, immediate, and genuine. Instead of just saying, "good job," be specific about what you are praising them for. For example, "I'm so proud of you for completing your math homework before dinner. That shows great discipline and focus."

In addition, try to make positive reinforcement a regular part of your routine. When your child feels valued and appreciated, they are more likely to continue to work hard and develop good study habits.

5. Encourage Active Learning

Active learning refers to a process of engaging children in the learning process by making them active participants in their education. When kids are actively involved in the learning process, they are more likely to retain the information they are learning and develop a deeper understanding of the concepts they are studying. Here are some ways to encourage active learning and help your child develop good study habits:

  1. Use hands-on activities: Encourage your child to use their hands and other senses to learn. This could involve using manipulatives, conducting experiments, or engaging in other interactive activities that allow them to explore and discover new information.

  2. Make learning fun: Learning doesn't have to be boring. Find ways to make studying fun and engaging for your child. This could involve incorporating games, puzzles, or other activities that your child enjoys into their study routine.

  3. Ask open-ended questions: Encourage your child to think critically by asking open-ended questions that require more than a simple yes or no answer. This will help them develop their problem-solving skills and develop a deeper understanding of the concepts they are studying.

  4. Use technology: Technology can be a valuable tool for active learning. There are many educational apps and websites that can help your child develop good study habits by engaging them in interactive activities and providing immediate feedback.

  5. Take breaks: It's important to take breaks during study sessions to help your child stay focused and engaged. Encourage your child to take short breaks every 30-45 minutes to get up, stretch, and do something active before returning to their studies.

By incorporating active learning strategies into your child's study routine, you can help them develop good study habits and become more engaged in the learning process. This will not only help them achieve academic success but also foster a love of learning that will serve them well throughout their lives.

6. Emphasize Time Management

Effective time management is a key component of good study habits. Encourage your child to make a schedule that includes dedicated study time each day. This can help them stay organized, prioritize tasks, and avoid procrastination.

Teach your child to break down larger assignments into smaller, more manageable tasks. This can help prevent overwhelming feelings and make studying more approachable. Encourage them to prioritize their work and focus on the most important tasks first.

It's also important to teach your child how to use their time wisely. Encourage them to take short breaks when needed, but also to avoid distractions like social media or TV during study time. Help your child identify their most productive study times and adjust their schedule accordingly.

Finally, make sure your child understands the consequences of poor time management. Help them see how putting off assignments can lead to a last-minute rush, lower quality work, and unnecessary stress. By emphasizing the importance of time management early on, you can help your child develop lifelong habits that will serve them well throughout their academic and professional careers.

7. Teach Test-Taking Strategies

Tests can be a significant source of stress for students, and they can impact their academic performance. Teaching test-taking strategies can help alleviate some of that stress and prepare them for success. Here are some tips to help your child with test-taking:

  1. Read the directions: It's important to read the instructions carefully before starting the test. Many students lose points because they don't follow the directions properly.

  2. Manage time: Make sure your child is aware of the time limit for the test and encourage them to keep track of time. Advise them to answer the easier questions first to save time for the more challenging ones.

  3. Answer every question: Encourage your child to answer every question even if they're unsure of the answer. It's better to guess than to leave it blank.

  4. Eliminate incorrect answers: Teach your child how to eliminate obviously incorrect answers, which increases the chances of getting the right answer.

  5. Review: Before submitting the test, remind your child to review their answers and check for any mistakes.

By teaching these strategies, you can help your child feel more confident when taking tests and improve their chances of success.

8. Provide a Variety of Resources

Children have different learning styles, so it's important to provide them with a variety of resources to help them develop good study habits. Some children may be visual learners, while others may learn better through hands-on activities or auditory cues. Here are some tips on providing a variety of resources to help your child succeed:

  1. Books: Keep a variety of books on hand that cover the subjects your child is studying. If they're having trouble with a concept, look for books that explain the concept in a different way.

  2. Online Resources: The internet is a vast resource for learning. There are plenty of educational websites that offer free resources such as practice exercises, video tutorials, and interactive games.

  3. Flashcards: Flashcards are a great way to help your child memorize information. You can make your own flashcards or purchase them online.

  4. Manipulatives: Manipulatives such as blocks, beads, or counting sticks can help younger children understand basic math concepts. They can also be used to illustrate science concepts.

  5. Study Apps: There are many study apps available that can help your child stay organized, manage their time, and prepare for tests.

  6. Educational Videos: Educational videos can be a fun and engaging way for your child to learn. Look for videos that cover the subjects your child is studying.

  7. Tutoring Services: If your child is struggling, consider hiring a tutor. Tutoring services can provide one-on-one attention and tailored instruction.

By providing a variety of resources, you can help your child develop good study habits and succeed in their academic pursuits.

9. Encourage Healthy Habits

In addition to establishing a routine and providing a variety of resources, it's important to encourage healthy habits that can support your child's overall well-being. This can include things like getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and taking breaks to move and stretch.

Getting enough sleep is crucial for a child's development and ability to learn. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that school-age children (ages 6-13) get between 9 and 11 hours of sleep each night. Establishing a consistent bedtime routine can help ensure that your child is getting the rest they need.

Staying hydrated is also important for learning and concentration. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and make sure they have access to water during study sessions.

Taking breaks to move and stretch can help your child stay focused and energized. Encourage them to take short breaks every 30-45 minutes to get up, stretch, and move around. This can help prevent fatigue and improve concentration.

Additionally, encourage healthy eating habits by providing nutritious snacks and meals that can help support your child's brain function. Foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can provide sustained energy and improve focus.

By prioritizing healthy habits, you can help support your child's overall well-being and set them up for success in their studies.

10. Lead by Example

Children are like sponges, and they tend to model their behavior on the behavior of their parents or caregivers. Therefore, it is important to lead by example and demonstrate good study habits yourself. Here are some tips to help you set a good example for your child:

  1. Create a dedicated workspace: Set up a designated workspace for yourself where you can work on your own tasks, whether it is for your job or a personal project. Having your own workspace helps your child see the importance of having a dedicated space for studying.

  2. Manage your time: Set a good example by managing your own time effectively. If you have work or other obligations, try to manage your time well to show your child how important it is to manage time.

  3. Stay organized: Keeping your workspace and materials organized can set a good example for your child, who will learn that staying organized helps to reduce stress and improve efficiency.

  4. Be positive: Show your child that you have a positive attitude toward learning and personal development. Your enthusiasm and motivation can inspire your child to develop similar habits.

  5. Read with your child: Reading is an important part of developing good study habits. By reading with your child, you can show them the value of reading and help them develop a love for learning.

  6. Take breaks: Taking breaks and getting up from your desk can help improve your productivity and reduce stress. Show your child that it is important to take regular breaks during study sessions.

  7. Communicate openly: Finally, communication is key to building good study habits. Be open with your child about your own struggles and successes in developing good study habits. Share tips and strategies that have worked for you, and encourage your child to do the same.

By setting a good example and leading by example, you can help your child develop good study habits that will serve them well throughout their academic and professional lives.

In conclusion, developing good study habits is crucial for your child's academic success and overall well-being. By establishing a routine, setting goals, minimizing distractions, providing positive reinforcement, encouraging active learning, emphasizing time management, teaching test-taking strategies, providing a variety of resources, encouraging healthy habits, and leading by example, you can help your child develop the skills and mindset necessary for success in school and beyond. Remember to be patient, supportive, and consistent in your efforts to instill good study habits in your child. With your guidance and encouragement, your child can achieve their full potential and thrive academically.