As students enter the middle elementary years, schoolwork becomes more difficult, homework becomes more plentiful, and children begin the shift from learning to read to reading to learn. How can parents help children make this shift? Children need to be taught study skills that will help them maximize their learning throughout their school career.
Why Study? Approximately 50 percent of material that is taught in class or read from a text is forgotten in a matter of minutes, reports Walter Pauk in Reading World Journal. Regular studying helps kids to go beyond memorizing material to understanding the material, which aids in long-term retention of the information.
Where to Study? Children need to be comfortable when doing homework. Some kids work better sprawled on the floor, while others prefer a desk or the kitchen table. The area needs to be free from distractions and interruptions, and contain the necessary tools to complete the task. A basket with dividers can hold pens and pencils, highlighters, post-its, scissors, glue, rulers, a calculator, and crayons or markers so your child can work efficiently without wasting time searching for supplies. Have plenty of lined paper, computer paper, and construction paper handy.
When to Study? Kids should take 30 minutes after school to unwind and have a snack before hitting the books. Some children who are involved in after-school activities might prefer doing their homework after dinner. Others might prefer the late afternoon. Pick a time that best fits your family’s schedule and stick to it.