Study Guide

Secrets to helping your kids study less.

by Amanda LeBlanc  


Believe it or not, summer’s end is fast approaching and it’s time to start getting the kids ready to go back to school. If you’re anything like me, you dread this time more than your kids. I’m just like other mothers, which means their homework is my homework! Ugh! Didn’t I already do fifth grade math? (When my daughter starts talking about comparative numbers, I have to wonder if I did ever do fifth grade math.) In any case, I’m pretty sure I hate homework as much as they do. Because I want to limit the time we are both doing homework, I have to make sure my kids are set up to study smart and not studying all night long. 

It might interest you to know that I have ADD. I do not have the hyperactivity portion, so I’m what they call a “daydreamer.” I think it’s a terrible kind of ADD for kids, especially since they don’t grab your attention with their hyperactivity. Because of this, they can often be overlooked. I could have easily fallen into that, but my environment and study practices that my mom set up ensured efficiency and helped me to focus.

So here are a few tried-and-true ways to help your child excel in his or her studies and lessen the stress on both of you.

Have a designated study area. This is where your child always does her homework and is free of distractions like the TV.

Make sure you have the right desk for your child; it should be a comfortable place for him to work.

Stock the desk area with everything your child will need. You don’t want her to have to get up and look for the proper supplies, as this causes distractions and will take her away from the task at hand.

Make sure there is no TV or radio or noise from the family. You or your child may think he can absorb information with other distractions, but it’s simply not true.

Get to know your child’s learning styles. Does she need to read to understand? Or does she need things demonstrated to her? It’s important for your child to embrace what works for her and for you to encourage her to start to understand her learning style. I was the child who had to read once, then read and highlight, then make flashcards from the highlighted notes. I always knew to carry flashcards with me to study on the go.

Know your child’s peak times. I am a morning person, and while I would get most of my studying done at night, I always knew that I had to wake up early and study again.

The best thing you can do as a parent is to have a genuine conversation with your child about his or her learning style and what he or she likes. Then set up an environment that is clutter-free, peaceful, quiet, and stocked with everything he or she needs to be successful.

They go to school all day. Let’s not make them work all night!

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