Now that the school year has begun, this is study season — the time of year when parents need to be supportive of their children without doing too much for them. This post will share tips for parents so that they can help their children develop or improve time management skills to get and stay organized.
It’s important to get to know your child’s teachers, attend school events and conferences, and ask them how you can become involved. At home, it makes sense to set up an area for study time, a place where school supplies are kept, and where your child can have a quiet space to do homework and prepare for tests. Some students can perform better when they spend some time in a library, while others prefer to just use their distraction-free space at home.
Children often perform best with regular study times. When that is can depend on your family’s schedule and what’s most effective for your child. Some kids, for example, perform best when they have a snack break after they first get home and then dive right into homework. Others do better when they can have a breather and then study after dinner. Find out what works and then help your child stick to the plan throughout the school year.
Further study tips include the development of personalized organizational systems that work well for the individual student. For younger children, parents may need to create a system that helps their kids to stay organized — and it’s perfectly normal to need to experiment with it a bit, tweaking the system until you find one that helps them stay on top of their assignments.
Color-coded materials can help some children organize. Perhaps you can use different hues of folders, one for each area of study. Or you could put urgent work in a red folder.
Time management comes more naturally to some people than others, and children are no different. Some parents may need to help their children write down deadlines, estimate how long each assignment will likely take — and then backtrack on the calendar to know when to start each one. For shorter assignments, all may be completed in minutes or hours. Middle and high school students will likely have assignments that can span longer periods of time.
It can help to build a reward system. When your child completes a paper or studies for a certain amount of time, you could encourage a short break or provide a favorite snack.
You could also encourage your child to make a friend in every class. That way, a student automatically has someone to study with and ask questions of when they’re unclear about the subject matter.
Also, let your children know that a bad grade shouldn’t drag them down. Yes, test scores are important, but the best response to a less-than-ideal grade is to see what needs to be improved going forward. In some cases, it’s better time management, organization or study skills. In other cases, a tutor can be helpful.
In the same vein, Parents.com encourages parents to avoid over-emphasizing their children’s test scores. Instead, encourage steady effort and praise your child for what he or she does well to prevent text anxiety. If your child can effectively avoid the fear of failure, success is a more likely outcome.