Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Teach homework note-taking skills.

What you can do

Encourage your child to take notes while doing homework. Help him practice picking out the most important information. This is a useful skill in school and in life.

Working on note-taking and other skills will help your child strengthen his working memory. This is what our brains use to sift through incoming information and decide what should be saved for later use and what can be tossed. Taking better notes can help your child get better at prioritizing information and remembering the more important stuff.

What you can say

“Jacob, I understand that taking notes is difficult for you. It’s hard to know what’s important enough to write down and how to keep track of all that information. But taking good notes now will make it much easier for you to study for tests and quizzes.”

“You may want to try using the Cornell note-taking system. That’s where you make a narrow column on the left side of your paper and use it write down the main ideas or questions. The wide column on the right is where you put all the details. I bet your teacher can suggest an approach that will work for you.”

Why this will help

Kids who are disorganized often have working memory problems. Difficulties in this area make it hard to learn to take notes that are good and relevant. If you take lousy notes, they won’t be very helpful when you sit down to study for a test or write a paper.

That’s why it’s really important to help your child get better at taking notes.

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