Help your child start off the new semester on the right foot with these creative ways to help kids study.
If you work at a desk or cubicle, you already understand the importance of having a workspace that suits you. You need a workspace with minimal distractions, a comfortable chair, plenty of supplies, and inspirational photos or artwork. Your child can benefit from that kind of workspace, too!
Find a spot in your home that’s quiet and cozy, preferably away from TVs, gadgets, and toys. Keep their school books and supplies nearby. Take advantage of organizational office gear like in-out trays, paper sorters, and utensil holders.
When you have hours of studying to do, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. To get over that mental block, set a timer for your child to study in 25-minute chunks. Once that 25 minutes is over, it’s time for a 5-minute break to grab a snack, stand up and stretch, or run around outside and let off some steam. TomatoTimer is a handy timer website, but you can use a kitchen timer or a timer on your phone, too.
For many kids, sitting at a desk and studying alone isn’t the most exciting way to learn something. Why not turn it into a game? You might turn their actual homework assignment into a game, like using flashcards or matching to learn vocabulary or math. Trivia games can help kids study for subjects like history and geography, while brain teasers and riddles can boost your child’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Can you remember songs and rhymes that you learned when you were in school? There are many educational songs and rhymes that help kids remember the planets in the solar system, names of countries, the elements in the periodic table, and much more. You can find a lot of songs on YouTube, or have your child make up their own!
When you’re stuck on a concept that you can’t seem to figure out, sometimes it helps to put it down on paper. Drawing pictures to work through and remember a concept is a fun and creative way to study. It’s a great tool for visualizing a process, like photosynthesis or the scientific method. Make sure your child has plenty of scrap paper, pencils, crayons, or markers to help them study.
Just as drawing can help a child learn visually, reading out loud can help kids who learn by speaking and listening to something. Encourage them to read assignments or passages from textbooks out loud, either by themselves or with you.
Doing homework while your parents and siblings are watching TV or having fun can be a bummer. To make your child feel less isolated, why not work alongside each other? Use their study time to pay bills, work on your budget, catch up on your emails, make appointments, or tackle any other lingering items on your to-do list. Not only are you keeping your child company, but you’re also being a good role model and making study/work time a good habit.
Taking practice tests at home isn’t quite as fun as the other tips on our list, but it has a lot of benefits for your child. If your child is a nervous test-taker, doing practice tests at home can help them get used to the testing environment at school. Try to simulate how the test will actually go with a timer, a quiet environment, and the test material, if possible.
Sometimes, even the best workspace and creative study activities can’t beat a mental block. When that happens, change your child’s study environment and take everything outside. After all, they spend most of their day indoors at school! Let them complete reading or homework assignments in your backyard, or you might make it a family trip and head to a nearby park. You can even run around and play games during break time, and enjoy some fresh air.
At Stratford School, we’re always searching for new and better ways to help kids learn. Rather than use traditional teaching methods that focus on finding the right answer, we aim to get students to ask questions, think critically, consider the context, and work together. Learn more about the Stratford School philosophy today!