Learning to study !

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Homework is introduced very early in U.S. schools. Kindergarteners even may have assignments. Learning to study and developing effective study habits is very important particularly considering most American children will be in school for a minimum of 12 years and possibly 16 or more. Study skills are not just about homework; however, study skills are for all academic endeavors. A plan of action is important for parents in helping to guide their children to good study habits/behavior. One of the first challenges is time awareness. Time Awareness involves all spheres of child’s life. It should include attention to the many time management challenges a family and child must face in today’s fast paced very busy world. There must be time for eating, sleeping and self care as well as sports, school, homework, leisure time/TV/game time, play time, religious education
time and other activities like music lessons, dance lessons and more. Daily
life can present many challenges to parents and children in being able to
develop a schedule for all the many activities of family members. Parents will
need to be aware of a child’s needs and activities and consider the age and grade
of a child, the school level such as primary (K-3), intermediate (4-6), Junior
High/Middle (7-8), and High School (9-12) and how homework will be graded. Some
teachers grade all homework and students gain points and are greatly assisted
by homework points when a subject is difficult and test scores average. Some
teachers don’t score homework and view it as practice and enrichment. It is
best to complete all homework but if life interferes it is important to know
what you and your child are dealing with regarding the impact missing homework
might have on his or her grades. One of the best tools is a schedule/time
chart/calendar
with date, time and activity recorded for each day. It
is important for a child to be able to self check the schedule
to know what he or she should be doing at a particular time. Putting
schedules/calendars on bedroom doors or on the refrigerator where it can be easily seen optimal. Learning to take responsibility for his of her behavior is a major accomplishment for a child. Teaching a child to accept responsibility for his or her school work, and chores around the house and behavior should start young and will be a process that matures as the child matures.

Organization is a challenge for children and adults alike. Some of us are more able to organize than others. Organizational tools are important for all of us in today’s busy multitasking world.  Assignment notebooks, day timers, and calendars are a few of the ways we keep track of assignments at school, home and work. Teachers have many varying ways that they want their students to organize how they keep their work- future, present or past. It is important to use the method and understand the method that your
students/child’s teacher prefers
. There are both internal and external organization strategies. Internal is how we operate in our mind and nervous system and how we manage our emotions around these things.  External organization is important to task completion and can support and help internal organization as well. Disorganization can create or stimulate anxiety, hyperactivity, depression, frustration, anger, loss of property such as assignments and irritability just to suggest a few possibilities. Elementary
students often have an assignment sheet to fill our each day to take home.

These might be a loose sheet or in a booklet of some type. It records the
assignments for the day that will be due and the date they are due. At the high school level some teachers will have a syllabus that lists assignments for an entire term with dates assignments will be due.

Class homework assignments should be written down
by the student. Children learn to accept responsibility for the work they are
required to complete by getting in the habit of writing it down rather than
depending on memory.

Parents should REVIEW the assignments sheet/book
daily with the student to discuss what is required. If there is no written
assignment students should still be reading or rereading assignments or reading
for pleasure and practice. Study time should be decided by the age of the child. Check with your child’s school and teacher about suggested homework/study time each evening.

Children do need down/play time after a long day of sitting in
school. Physical activity after school is important
to develop a healthy strong body and for stress relief.

Children may come home from school hung and need a healthy snack to boost
energy for the evening activities. Video games and passive activity should be
limited. Game systems are very alluring but don’t give a child enough physical
activity. Games and phones and other electronics should be turned off and put
away by parents at bedtime. If children have access after you are asleep they
will sometimes get up and play or talk or text on a phone and not get adequate
sleep. Inadequate sleep can cause a range of physical and emotions issues.

Parents can be helpful to their child/student with assistance in proof
reading
assignments and helping the student organize complicated assignments. Attitudes about homework and developing good study habits are important. Parents need toassist children in knowing what good study habits are and helping to set up the properhome atmosphere for study and support for the child.

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