By Amanda Morin
Good study habits don’t come naturally to grade-schoolers. But as your child starts getting more homework, she’ll need to learn them. Here are tips for helping your child develop the best study habits for her.
Kids with learning and attention issues can be easily distracted while they’re trying to study. At home, hearing siblings play might make it hard to concentrate. At their afterschool program, having friends around might make it tempting to goof off.
Help your child learn to survey her study area to identify things that might get in the way of studying. Then she can work to lessen those distractions. She might wear headphones, for instance, or find a quieter place to study.
It would be great if your child could always study in a cozy room with perfect lighting and nothing to distract her. In the real world, that’s not always possible. But she can learn to make her study space more productive.
Show your child how to position her work space away from visual and auditory distractions. You can also help her create a portable homework station to keep all of her study materials on hand.
If schoolwork is hard for your child, it may also be hard for her to recognize the strengths that can help her be successful.
Point some of them out to her, saying things like, “You remember details really well. That will come in handy when writing that book report.” Encourage her to think about other strengths that can be used to her benefit when doing homework.
It’s just as important for your child to recognize her weaknesses as her strengths. Understanding her challenges can help her find ways to adapt during study time.
Help her brainstorm solutions. For example, if she has a hard time sitting still for an extended period, she can plan extra time in order to take frequent breaks. Or if she knows she’ll need your help studying for a math test, she can plan to do homework at a time she knows you’ll be available.
Once your child has identified strengths and weaknesses, she can start keeping track of what she needs to keep track of. Making lists lets her monitor her work without relying on others.
Breaking things down by subject area can help. For example, her writing homework checklist might remind her to double-check the spelling of sight words. Her math homework checklist might remind her to use addition to check the answers to her subtraction problems.
Learning how to prioritize is an essential skill for studying. Keeping an eye on due dates is helpful, but it might not be the only way for your child to prioritize homework.
Some kids prefer to start with easier work before moving on to the harder stuff. Others prefer to tackle the tough things first. Watch your child to see which option seems to work for her, so you can help her make that decision.
It can be easy to overlook the fact that kids don’t just know how to study. Don’t forget to teach your child how to organize her backpack or break down assignments into smaller steps. It will also help her to learn basic organization skills and note-taking strategies.
In middle school, teachers expect your child to be a more independent learner. He’ll have more homework to keep track of, organize and complete. Here’s how to avoid the battles that can come along with it.
For teens with learning and attention issues, homework can be a challenge. For their parents, battles over homework can seem almost as challenging. Here’s how to avoid those homework fights and make the process easier for everyone.
Amanda Morin is a parent advocate, a former teacher and the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.
Ginny Osewalt is certified in elementary and special education, with experience in inclusion, resource room and self-contained settings.
Download: Sample Homework Contract
Download: Graphic Organizers to Help Kids With Math
9 Tips to Help Middle-Schoolers With Learning and Attention Issues Slow Down on Homework
7 Tips for Building Flexible Thinking
9 Simple Steps for Breaking Down Assignments
How to Help Your Teen Develop Good Study Habits
There was an error posting your reply.
Thanks for being a part of the Understood Community. Your comment will appear shortly, once it’s been reviewed.
*Please confirm you are not a robot.
Yimeng was a graduate student when she started to suspect she had learning and attention issues.
Kids with ADHD can have frequent mood swings. Learn why, and how you can help.
Six surprising ways this college student continues to be impacted.
He offers advice to his younger self. Find out what he says.
Sign up for weekly emails with helpful resources for you and your family.
This email is already subscribed to Understood newsletters. If you haven't been receiving anything, add email@example.com to your safe-senders list.
Name must have no more than 50 characters. Email address must be valid. Email message must have no more than 140 characters and cannot include the < > / \ special characters. Please fill out all fields and complete the reCAPTCHA to send a message.
*Please confirm you are not a robot.
Don’t worry—we saved what you wrote.
Sign up to get personalized recommendations and connect with parents and experts in our community.
Only members can view and participate in conversations.
Child’s nickname is private and only you can see it.