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Study Skills for Children: How to Help Them Learn and Prepare For Exams

08Apr2019
Study Skills for Children: How to Help Them Learn and Prepare For Exams

Are you frustrated that your child seems unmotivated to study? Or that they refuse to learn independently?

Effective study practices for children can take time to develop. If you’re a parent or a tutor, it can be daunting for you to motivate the children to study on their own.

In this post, we’re going to discuss how to develop study skills for children, so that they start taking an interest in their homework and exam preparations on their own.

How To Motivate Children To Study

It has been repeatedly advised by researches and child counselors not to force the children to sit with their textbooks but indirectly motivate them to do so. You have to make studies interesting enough for them through motivation and performance merits.

Healthy study habits for children cannot be developed through constant pressure and harassment. If you have a tendency to nag and berate them to study, refrain from doing this immediately, because it doesn’t work.

You can guide your children to develop effective study habits through tried and tested scientific methods that will prove beneficial in the long run. Let us discuss some of these methods, which can motivate a child to study:

  • Ask the child to teach you

Whenever the children come back from school and are ready to spend some time with you, ask them what was taught in the school casually, and not in an interrogative tone.

Ask them to teach you as if you were their wards, and not the other way round. Your child will not feel the pressure to demonstrate their learning skills and will also be able to revise their lessons though such sessions.

  • Don’t get frustrated over your child’s learning

Before the exams, make sure you do not impose your frustration on your kids over their learning practices. If they sense your frustration, they may feel burdened by it and perform ever worse.

Make sure you motivate your kids in a calm and mature manner and give them enough encouragement to help them score well.

  • Build a loving relationship with your children

If you wish to develop effective study habits in children, you need to build a loving and encouraging relationship with them to help prepare their lessons well.

Work together and help them complete their homework without scolding them. It is alright if they do not get something at once and take time to understand concepts.

Never compare them to other kids in your social circle or family. Appreciate that your child has their own gifts and talents and try to understand what these are.

Be patient with them to make them understand each lesson properly. While teaching children, keep your temper in control, as they may behave immaturely at times.

  • Create a regular study routine

Developing effective study habits in kids have to follow a step-by-step procedure. You have to create a routine for your children to study, and you should follow that routine yourself.

Don’t just let them off the hook initially. Be with them and help them develop a habit of sitting with their textbooks at a fixed time regularly.

  • Create a positive ambience

Decorate your child’s study room with fun stuff. Take them out for shopping stationery items and include their suggestions in your shopping list.

That will help them gain motivation for studying, just like they have in case of playing games and other activities.

  • Practice goal-setting with your kids

One of the most important study tips for children is developing a habit of goal-setting. You can begin that by setting your own goals for daily activities and making your child follow those.

In addition, you can reward them for meeting their study goals. That will motivate them to carry on with the practice.

How To Get Your Child To Take An Interest In Studying

Now that you know how to motivate children to sit down and study, go through the following study tips for kids to develop their interest in learning:

  • Emphasise storytelling and practical learning

One of the best-known study tips for children is the practice of storytelling. It can generate interest even in the most unwilling child. Most children hate to study because of a lack of interest in their respective subjects.

When you narrate real-life incidents that are related to their study topics and perform some practical experiments with them, it will spur their interest in the subject.

This is most applicable in the case of science subjects, which may fail to generate interest if you only focus on textbooks. In literature, it is easier if you can make them watch dramas or movies, so that they relate to the characters from their books.

  • Encourage sports and outdoor activities

A number of subjects can be taught outside the four walls of a room. If you can take your child to perform experiments out in Nature, they will learn through those observations and remember those for a longer time.

If your child has an aversion towards biology or natural science, take them out often and point out to them how things actually work the way it was described in their textbooks. This effective learning practice will help them develop an interest in the subject and memorise theories faster.

Studies have also shown that increasing the amount of physical activity children and teens get each day can boost academic skills, improve classroom behaviours and benefit several aspects of academic achievement, especially mathematics-related skills, reading, and composite scores in youth.

  • Respect their choices

Allow your children to spend time with the subjects they like the most.  Let them be happy with their studies on the whole, even if they are more inclined towards one or two subjects only.

Once they develop a habit of studying, coax them into giving time to other subjects as well. However, make sure you do not force them into anything by warning them against not learning their lessons properly.

Let them develop their interest naturally, through a positive and gentle approach. Later, you can create effective study plans for your children, so that they have enough time to enjoy learning their favourite subjects.

How To Teach A Child To Study Independently

If you want your child to study independently, you should give them some prior lessons on how to complete their homework by themselves and how to study for exams.

You need to be with them till the time you can trust them to complete their work efficiently. The following suggestions may help you achieve that aim:

  • Create effective study plans for kids regularly and set a timer
  • Ask them to keep notes and write down their queries, so that you can resolve those during discussion sessions
  • Hold sessions for discussion, where the children can discuss their doubts and queries with you
  • Give them a secluded but positive environment to study peacefully
  • Keep mobile phones and other diversion-inducing instruments away from the children’s study space
  • Reward them for completing their homework properly
  • Before exams, make sure you create mock question papers for them to solve
  • Keep an eye on them, but make sure that they don’t feel burdened by your anxiety

Effective Learning Techniques For Children

Children’s learning habits differ from one another as chalk and cheese. However, certain learning techniques for children are universal and can help them develop their skills gradually, as follows:

  • Practice Tests

Mock tests or practice tests are regarded as effective exam learning techniques for every child. They also help boost the child’s self-esteem to a great extent.

  • Elaborative Interrogation

Explain to the children why some explicitly stated facts or theories are true so that they can understand the logic behind those theories.

  • Highlight Queries

Ask your child to sit with a marker and highlight or underline areas on their textbooks, which they have queries about. You can explain those to them later, during the discussion sessions.

  • Summarisations

Ask your child to summarise their lessons and write them down in their own words. This will help them understand and explain their lessons better.

  • Mental Imagery

Help your child to develop mental images with respect to the text they learn. It is one of the most effective learning techniques for children that help them memorise their lessons faster.

What Are Some Good Study Habits For Children?

Study habits for children may differ from individual to individual. However, some general practices that will help them develop effective study habits with time have been mentioned below:

  • Organise their study space properly

Ask your children to keep their study space clean and organised. Help them do it if they don’t understand what is required of them.

  • Group Studying

If you have more than one child, it is best to make them study together, so that they get motivated by each other. You can also ask your children to invite their friends over for exam learning sessions.

  • Review and reward practice tests

If you make your child take practice tests, be sure to reward them if they score well. That will encourage them to a great extent.

  • Read to your children

If your children face difficulty in learning new subjects, read those out to them. Explain each topic profusely to generate interest. In no time, you will find that the children have taken an interest to study independently.

  • Maintain a positive and stress-free environment

You can never underestimate the effects of a stress-free environment in the study habits of children. Always make them feel that learning is not a burden, but a game, where they have to score best.

Speed Learning Psychology: How Can It Benefit Children’s Learning Habits?

Speed learning is a set of effective learning techniques, which can help anyone learn something faster, without compromising their retention or comprehension abilities. Here are a few amazing speed learning techniques:

  • Learn in short bursts – Do not burden the brain with a bulk of information at any given time
  • Take notes consistently – Handwritten notes work best to help in memorising any subject
  • Mental reviewing – Ask your child to mentally review each lesson and if possible, write those down, at one or two days’ interval
  • Teaching others – As mentioned before, asking your kids to teach you can help them memorise their lessons faster.
  • Look up information – Help your kid develop a habit of running up searches on the internet for information they seek. This will help them get some quality time off the textbooks and gain interest in the topic.

You have to be calm and patient while developing effective study habits in your children. Once they get a grip of it, you will notice the difference gradually.

Be supportive to cause a natural flow of information, which they may digest happily. Help your child grow fond of studies and not fear it in any way.

Study Skills for Children: How to Help Them Learn and Prepare For Exams

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