Teaching your tween how to study

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There comes a time when your kids will have to start studying.  My 2nd grader has a spelling test every week.  The teacher gives him homework and classwork.  If he completes those assignments, he should do well on the test.  My oldest is in 5th grade.  He has a vocabulary test on Fridays.  There is no worksheet or assigned homework to make sure he’s practicing his words.  He has to study them.  This was very difficult for him to grasp.  He kept saying he didn’t have homework and the result would be an ok grade on the test.   Here are some tips to help kids make that transition.

Teaching Your Tween How to Study

1. Set some time aside to help him learn to study.  Don’t just say, “Go study”.  They may have NO clue what you mean.

2.  Identify what way your child learns best.  Is it flash cards?  Is it audible?  Do they need to write it out?  Trying different methods can make things a little more exciting and help identify what way they learn the best.  My middle son loves working on a white board with colored markers.

3.  Teach them to study a little every day instead of cramming the night before the test. Pick a few words or math problems and do those every night.  They should know most by the end of the week.  THIS IS A HUGE CONFIDENCE BOOSTER!

4.  Teach them to be efficient.  This is the hardest in my house.  This means doing homework while focused and doing it right the first time.  Doing it right the first time means more free time.  I know it sounds silly, but when my son has a good eraser and sharp pencil, it gives him a little push to get started.

5.  Choose a realistic time limit.  You’re going to lose your kids attention if you send them up to their room for an hour to “study”.  I know my kid would be drawing and wasting time and you’re teaching them NOT to be efficient.  Try 20 minutes and then taking a small break.  Did they get everything done? If not, do another 10 or 20 minutes.

6.  Help them set a goal for each study session. For example, “You should know at least 5 words like the the back of your hand.”

7.  Quiz them.  After the end of 20 minutes ask them some vocab questions or sample math problems.  Did they get it?  If not, then you’ll need know what they’ve been doing the whole time!  Maybe they have been studying wrong and you need to help them correct that.

8.  Work on things in the summer. I know, it’s tough.  I’m already preparing for this.  I’m finding books and websites that can keep their brains working.  Just like kids need physical exercise, they need mental exercise too.  Preparing them for the school year can make them feel confident going into the new year.

Parents I have spoken with all say this transition can be a tough one.  I hope working out these issues now will make the teenage years a little easier!

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