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A Good Habit to Study  


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imageFor some people, learning comes naturally— concepts, facts, figures, events, and dates just seem to fall into place. For others, digesting the daily onslaught of information and homework proves to be more of a challenge. From disinterest in the subject matter and boredom, to short attention spans, temptation to socialize, and availability of other entertainment options, absorbing the information required to advance through school often meets with a multitude of obstacles. With a minimum of twelve years of schooling in the future for most children, developing good study habits can prove to be a vital tool in the education experience. As with anything, establishing the habit early in a child's life (while he or she is still open to absorbing new methods) will make the studying process a natural part of the day while helping eliminate the typical struggle most parents encounter each evening.

The U.S. Department of Education states that it's never too early in a child's educational career to start some type of homework—even in first grade and kindergarten. At that early stage, assignments should be simple and may involve reading to a parent or adult or having the adult read to the child. Those simple tasks begin to formulate the expectation in a child's mind that homework is expected and is their responsibility. These early assignments also show the adults in the home that their daily support and input in their child's education is vital.

imageAs a child advances through school, homework assignments become more involved. The National Education Association (NEA) notes that for children from kindergarten to Grade 2, homework should not exceed 10 to 20 minutes each school day. Children in Grades 3 through 6 are capable of handling 30 to 60 minutes of homework each day. Junior and high school students will have a varied workload depending upon the subject and, as such, their homework experience will also involve time management and planning for projects, research papers, and reports that may be assigned weeks or months in advance.

The NEA adds that when homework is turned in to a teacher, graded, and discussed with students, the process can improve a student's grades as well as their understanding of the assignments.

Establishing a routine for studying at home should begin in elementary school. The NEA states that there are a number of ways a family can help a child establish a good study cycle:

  • Children should be sent to school each day well rested, fed, and with a positive outlook.
  • Parents and guardians should take an active interest in a child's schooling by asking questions about what occurred in school each day and how the child feels about the day's events.
  • Families should establish a "quiet time" where parents and children can work together on homework, letter writing, and similar projects.
  • Establish a quiet, comfortable study area with good lighting and all the supplies your child will need while studying.
  • Each person is comfortable studying in his or her own way. There is no harm in your child choosing to lie on the floor or listen to background music while studying. Some children may be able to work with music playing, while others need silence. The NEA also suggests that televisions be turned off during homework and study periods to eliminate the audio and visual distraction.
  • Try not to let your own negative experiences keep you from being supportive, interested, and encouraging in your child's learning experience. Let them know you value education by continuing your own education on either a formal or informal basis.

Most importantly, stay involved in your child's education. Ask to see homework and stay current on your child's progress. If problem areas arise, you'll be better able to recognize, address, and correct them before the problem worsens.

Studying is a skill that must be taught but the knowledge your child will accrue throughout his or her schooling will be a priceless reward.

U.S. Department of Education—
National Education Association—

Articles are provided for the general interest of our readers. Gerber Life Insurance is not responsible for any content and recommends that you consult the appropriate professional with any questions or concerns you may have concerning any financial or health related issues.

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