Every parent wants their child to do well in school and to learn as much as they possibly can. To be good students, children need to develop good study habits at home and at school. You can help develop good study habits at home by approaching homework with a positive attitude and by providing an atmosphere that encourages learning. Here are some ideas that can help.
Set a Homework Schedule
Set up a regular time for homework to be done each day and stick to it. Expect homework and plan it into the daily routine, just like meals, sleep, and play. Plan the time that best suits your child. Some children may work best in the afternoon when they get home from school, while others may need to unwind first.
Provide an Appropriate Place to Study
Choose a place that is quiet and free from distractions such as TV, radio, and other family activities, if possible. Make sure there is good lighting. Provide a desk or table with a comfortable chair for your child. The kitchen table will work if other family members agree to stay out of the room during study time.
Keep Basic Study Supplies Handy
Store needed items such as pencils, pencil sharpener, glue, erasers, markers, scissors, and paper near the study area. It is easier and faster to do an assignment when everything is at hand. A basket or shoe box can be decorated to store these items.
Help Your Child Keep Track of Assignments and Projects
At the first grade level, the teacher will usually send home some type of printed daily or weekly homework assignment sheet to let you know what work your child is to do. Be sure to find out from the teacher how and when this information will be provided to you. Be sure to check the backpack every day and read any messages or papers sent home by the teacher.
- Help your child with homework when needed, but do not do it for your child. Children only learn when they do the work themselves.
- Check over all homework and have your child correct any mistakes. Turn mistakes into positive learning opportunities!
- Encourage your child to always do their best. Praise all papers and projects brought home. Display them in a special place for all to see!
For more ideas about how to help your child develop strong study habits, as well as many other parenting topics and ideas, visit the University of Missouri's Extension resource: ExtensionInfoNet.org.
Keeping Minds and Hands Busy
As the weather gets cooler, gather ideas and supplies for inside activities that will keep your child's hands and mind busy so the "I'm bored" syndrome does not set in. The activity provided below will be fun for you and your child to do together and can be made from items that you already have around the house.
Homemade Bird Feeders
In the wintertime, birds like to eat fatty foods like peanut butter and suet (hard animal fat). These foods help make their bodies warm. Try these bird feeder ideas to attract some feathered friends to your backyard.
PINECONE BIRD FEEDER
What to do:
Mix a little bird seed with the peanut butter in a small bowl. Stuff it between the "petals" of the pine cone. Hang it by a string on a tree in the backyard that you can see from your window.
SUET BIRD FEEDER
What to do:
Place pieces of suet in a plastic mesh bag and hang it from a string on a tree.
Bird feeders can also be made by cutting out a large opening in a plastic liter pop bottle or any size milk jug. Hang it from a tree branch with a strong string and keep a supply of bird seed in the bottom of the bottle or jug.
You and your child can watch the birds eat and chirp "thank you"! Help your child keep a record of the different types of birds that come to eat at the feeder. See how many you can identify together. Note the color of each. Make a trip to the library and check out a book to learn more about birds or to help you in identifying them.
Source: Grawemeyer, B. (November 2003). Our Feathered Friends. Cloverbud Program Curriculum Instruction Materials. 710 GPM 5.2. Ohio State University Extension.
Staude, S. (n.d.) Good Study Habits. University of Missouri Extension. Accessed April 9, 2010, at extension.missouri.edu/extensioninfonet/article.asp?id=2253.
Edited by: Rose Fisher Merkowitz, Extension Educator—Family and Consumer Sciences, Highland County; Kathy L. Jelley, Extension Educator—Family and Consumer Sciences, Brown County; and Scott Scheer, Professor and Extension Specialist—Human and Community Resource Development and 4-H Youth Development, The Ohio State University.