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Best Strategies to Help Children Study

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Peyton White, Oct 24, 2017.

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  1. Peyton White

    Peyton White Member

    With too much technology nowadays, it is sometimes difficult to let children develop good study habits. Can you share your strategies?
  2. djbaxter

    djbaxter Administrator Moderator Member

    This site, although primarily about ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) offers some excellent advice about homework and study strategies: ADDitude
    Gin, VirtualGlobalPhone and Edvin like this.
  3. Edvin

    Edvin MVP Member Top Contributor

    Hi Barbara,

    There are many strategies to maximize study sessions; but, in my opinion the most important ingredient is: involved parent(s).

    As an involved parent you'll find many wonderful resources; like the one from @djbaxter thread.

    Allow me to provide some background...

    I was a very active child and disliked school work. By the time it took me to get my bachelor's degree I could have earned a PHD in any field. I don't know why I stuck with education; considering that I was the first in my family to get a degree. Years later I went back to school and earned three masters degrees within three years while raising family and working at the same time. I often reflect on my education, and ask what could anyone do, at any stage in my life, to help me finish my education faster & better. I keep finding that there is nothing anyone could have done to encourage me do better.

    I find my son has the same lack of drive & focus and feel that I've tried everything (study space/environment, music, scheduling, memory techniques, note taking, reward/punish system, supplemental education, etc). The truth is that even as adults we lack the drive/passion for many important tasks (i.e. eat well, exercise, time management, get enough sleep, better manage relationships, etc).

    That does not mean that only the gifted can succeed. As a matter of fact, I'm impressed with what is possible for children. Take a look at what I helped my son accomplish at age 11; incidentally, he was responsible for authoring all the web content (video editing, image editing, html, css, JS, etc). He is now 14, and I find it difficult to continue that momentum because of his high school work; but, he has a foundation for understanding complex and abstract ideas that will carry easily into his future.

    I don't subscribe to theory of "let them learn from their failures"; because in my opinion the price is too high when they can't comprehend the magnitude of poor grades and their affect on continued education.

    In my opinion the magic formula is: be an involved parent and you'll find the way.

    I require my son to maintain a daily school agenda, and I review it daily. I ask open ended questions about every class everyday and ask about specifics of his class to know what he did and learned. I check his grades online several times a week and have a minimum grade requirement for every assignment. If he does poorly on an assignment/test , then I require him to redo the work (even if he doesn't get any credit) so that he re-learns the concepts; this also is a natural consequence where it encourages him to do it right the first time. I critique the quality of his work. I make sure to see his notes and make sure he reviews them; at times I test him on his notes to insure he is indeed reviewing them. I contact his teachers when he seems to be deceptive or unclear. In one case, I felt he was producing poor work; yet he argued that he was getting good grade and it was his teacher's requirement. In another case he would submit his work in class without bringing it home for me to verify it. In every case, the dialog with teachers lead to resolving misunderstanding and clarifying expectations which made it easier for him to perform above standards.

    Like my childhood, my son gets distracted easily and takes along time for him to complete his school work; thus, needs immediate supervision to help him stay focused and complete his tasks. Given that I know about his assignments due to our daily dialog, I have an idea how long it should take to complete every item. I used to give him 10-15 minute time limits; while he was younger, and I would have him run around the block if he failed to produce reasonable amount of work in that duration. He is now older and a faster runner (5 minute mile); so, I need to stay creative with keeping him focused.

    There are certain issues with being the involved parent strategy:

    Issue 1) Parents may lack the knowledge in the subject area; thus, are unable critique their child's work.
    Who can remember everything they've learned in school; or perhaps the parent didn't finish school.
    In that case, you need to supplement child's education. The important thing is to make sure they stay on task and review all the materials/resources.

    Issue 2) Supplementing education costs money
    Yes, so does having a nicer car or house; better education requires both time and money.
    Many cultures, such as Indian family, continually supplement their children's education. Unlike U.S., they don't look for tutors only when kids get bad grade.
    You can ask for help from teachers, neighbors, friends, library, etc. If you stay involved, then you'll find a way.

    Issue 3) Parent(s) work alot and don't have any time
    This is matter of priority, you have to decide how to manage it

    Issue 4) Children are busy with other activities (i.e. sports, math-blast, science Olympiad, etc) and we are short on time
    See issue 3

    Issue 5) It is frustrating and affecting family life
    If there is a pain-point, then you can actively try to resolve it or ignore it.
    Tony Robins once said: "Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change"

    Issue 6) Is this reasonable as children get older or even into college
    Consider the alternative; poor grades will close the doors to top universities. As I mentioned earlier, I don't subscribe "let them learn from their failures" at the cost of their future.
    Our hope is that in time they will build the internal drive to be self-sufficient. Even if we can help them into tier 1 universities, that does not mean we can help-pay their way. Even if we could, we may decide that they would be more successful if stayed home and continued their education at the local university.
    At some-point something has to change (see issue 5)

    Issue 7) This is your opinion
    Yep :)
  4. VirtualGlobalPhone

    VirtualGlobalPhone Moderator MVP Member

    Hey @Barbara Arthur , Very interesting topic you have raised.

    You didn't define your meaning of "Good study". Please do so in your next reply.

    Trying to address in general here below

    The world today is changing rapidly .. thanks to the young, adult and senior born in industry and IT revolution. The result of "Too much of information at finger tips" that's "Too much Technology". But i believe these new generation are learning how to live with it.

    But lots of parents "think", "feared", "concerned" that something bad is going to happen. Its just the view and also cost we pay to ever growing desire of human beings.

    The only way is to have peace with all these and strengthen "Consciousness". Really address the "need" of everyday.

    Best wishes..
    Adam Toren likes this.
  5. Peyton White

    Peyton White Member

    Very impressive insights. Thank you very much. I agree with involving the parents to study and really make some time to be with them. I personally develop a relationship with teachers in order to discuss the status of my children in terms of their academic performance. Don't get me wrong here. I am not doing anything wrong like asking for some leaks to exams. LOL. What I'm trying to point out is by talking with their teachers, you will have an idea how your children are behaving in the class. There are other helpful strategies that can increase the child's enthusiasm in doing their homework.
  6. Jessica A.

    Jessica A. Member

    Hi Barbara! I agree with Edvin. A parent's involvement in the child's everyday struggles means a great deal. It also depends on the child. Some are late bloomers. They don't do too well in school in the first few years of their education and only excel when they are older or when they already know what is going on and what really matters.
    Adam Toren likes this.

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