Boost Your Child’s Learning Habits
You have probably read many articles with titles like this, aimed at high schoolers, college students, and young adults. There are a lot of tools available to help these groups of people but these tools would not be needed if learning habits and skills were taught to young children.
By the time a child is 4-years old, they have probably been to preschool and are eagerly awaiting the first grade. They understand that a school is a place of learning, and in short order, they will understand that to excel in their academic lives, they will need to harvest their skills and master learning habits.
Who do you listen to?
Before we begin, we should address some common issues that may confuse and frighten you. The issue we are speaking of is labeling. “Experts” come in many positions. You will find childcare workers, other parents, teachers, family members, and the grocery store clerk will offer you expert advice on how to raise your child. They mean well.
Some of their advice is spot on. But, they do not know your child. They don’t know what they are interested in, if they go into overdrive after lunch, or lose all interest in learning anything when they are getting hungry. They do not know their temperament, and they do not know your home dynamic.
If you have any serious concerns about your child, consult a doctor. With today’s technology, it’s much easier to find a professional that you and your child feel comfortable with. You can find many different options to choose from online. Let them interview your child and see if there is anything that needs to be addressed. If there is, facing it early on will save your child a lot of problems in their academic life.
How to begin
From the very beginning, set up study values in your home that apply to everyone in the home.
The study area must be a designated place that has little in the way of distractions. Young minds wander. There should not be a television, cell phone, or computer in the room unless it is needed for the assignment.
If the child is very young, a parent should be near. They must honor the rules. They cannot watch television, play on cell phones, or use a computer (for non-academic work).
Note: if your child needs a computer to do their studies, download social media blocking software. There are many programs available for any type of computer system, and most are free. A bored child will get on social media if left alone for too long.
Make it routine
This is a tough one, but it is important that you set a schedule that requires your child to study at a particular time and for a particular duration every day. If they do not have homework, they can read or practice their math. But the time slot should be used daily and consistently.
Break it up
It is a waste of time to have a child sit and focus for hours without a rest. Set a 15-minute timer. Let them work for 15 minutes then break for 10. This is generally known as the Pomodoro technique, but you can turn this into a game seeing how much they can do in their 15 minutes before the bell rings.
By the time your child reaches their tween years, they will have these study habits down to an art. But, as they grow up, they will feel they need them less and less. This is not the time to give in. This is the time to raise the bar.
Reading and summarize
When your child is assigned reading for any subject, pay attention. At the end of the assignment ask them to summarize what they read. Help them master this exercise. They should get in the habit of pulling the main point from every reading they work on.
As your child and their academic responsibilities grow, their learning habits will mature. Teaching them from the beginning of their educational life to master their environment is giving them a huge head start on their road to success.
Exclusively written for Smartick
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Master’s in International Education from the Universidad de Alcalá– Instituto Franklin.
She has worked as a teacher in three different countries and is now a Translator on the Content Creation Team at Smartick and helps to adapt content for blog posts.
As a native Rhode Islander she loves any activity on the water and when she’s not working you can find her traveling, kickboxing, or trying out a new recipe.