It has been a tough year and a half. That is why it is essential to think about things that help us when we face challenges. If you can help your child with life skills, you have given them something that will serve them every day of their life—what a gift.
Researchers say that when children are not progressing in school, they are more vulnerable to misusing drugs and alcohol. This blog post is about a few simple tips to help them study better.
1. Eat your frogs early—I had a manager once who told me to picture a tiny frog on my desk every morning. She said as the day progressed, the frog would get bigger and bigger. It is essential to eat your frog early in the day before it gets too big. In the world of homework, this means doing the tough stuff first.
2. Create a to-do list each night before bed. The idea behind this is that while you’re sleeping, your brain works on the tasks you’ve listed.
3. Think process—not product. Procrastination is a tricky thing. We get payoff or reward by putting off something we dread. So, teach your kids to think about the steps involved, not the big scary due date.
4. Just do it, as Nike says. The work teaches itself. The beginning is the hardest part.
5. Use a timer. Set a timer for 20 minutes, and when the timer rings, reward your kids. Even if it is as simple as a happy dance, the reward is crucial.
6. If they are working on math or science, the daily study is essential. Cramming doesn’t work well with math and science. Once a student gets behind in one of these subjects, it is hard to keep up.
7. Make sure they schedule time for fun and breaks.
8. Skim chapters before they read them. This process is called chunking. It is when you put similar items together so that they process together as one concept.
9. Test your kids or have them test themselves. Many times, students think they know a subject that they have read repeatedly. They might review math problems and think to themselves, “I know this stuff.” But this is a trick our mind plays. Having your kids tell you about what they’ve just studied also helps them remember the material. You have to test yourself to know the material thoroughly. If you have a sample test, you can take it at various points in the study process—and remember, no looking at the answers.
10. Don’t focus on the distant due date. Help your child create daily deadlines that get you to the big project due date.
No one wants to study, but everyone wants to be smart. No one wants to train to be a top athlete, but many of us want the kudos that come with those victories. You can’t be a track star without running. You can’t be a writer without writing. You don’t just get up one day and bust out one hundred pushups. There has to be some daily habit. And mostly, you can’t do any of it without the willingness and guts to fail.
When a journalist asked Thomas Edison why he failed 1000 times when inventing the light bulb, he responded, “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The lightbulb was an invention with 1000 steps.” Many of us choose not to do it at all. That way, we can cling to the fantasy of success. One of the bravest things you can do is show your children that you are willing to fail.