Back to school yesterday and I’m still elated by my mostly quiet house!
Today, I wanted to talk about how to create good study habits for life in your babies.
For us, this started in Grade 1, every school day after supper, we would clear the table and take turns sitting with Nick to go over his sight words and reading homework. If he didn’t bring home a new book or words, we would write a few or read a book from home. The key was consistency. At that age, kids have very short attention spans, so we would set our kitchen timer to show him that he only had to concentrate for 3 more minutes, etc. We would also let him bring a snack to the table if he needed it.
As the boys are growing, I’ve really noticed that different years and teachers have different levels of homework. So, I’ve insisted that the boys have their study/table time after dinner each day, even just to review their binders or organize themselves. If they really have nothing to do, they can bring a book to the table for at least 15 minutes.
Usually, I stick very close by, cleaning the kitchen, while they’re at the table, to discuss with them what they’re learning, what’s coming up, and check their homework and class calendars with them.
Occasionally, if the boys aren’t best friends at the moment, I’ve had to stagger table time so that there’s no bickering interrupting the study session, and set the timer for Nick first and then Max afterwards.
The key here is to start ASAP, and have a dedicated time and place for work time. Also, to discuss with your child your expectations of the time in advance as well as the objective, as in “We are going to sit at the table for 10 minutes every day after dinner to do your spelling homework. If you don’t have spelling, we will read or do math flashcards. Pay attention for the whole time and then we will have a snack.” The habit is just as important as the content, especially when they get older and you’re dealing with more than one homework assignment and project and test in a week! Get ready, parents!