7 ways parents can instil good study habits

Is your kiddo always procrastinating? Wise up to ways to get her to finish her homework and improve her grades!

Kids-7-ways-parents-can-instil-good-study-habits-1 As much as you hate being that Tiger Mum who continuously nags her offspring to do her homework and revision, it’s something you need to do because she is forever putting it off.

And when junior often resists completing her homework, or postpones revising till the last minute, this can put a strain on your relationship.

Grace Lim, mum to Nicole, 8, struggled with this in her daughter’s first year in Primary school. “I placed her in a preschool that did not focus very much on the academic side of things, precisely because I didn’t want her to get stressed. But when she got to Primary school, the transition was just tough.”

Lim adds that her daughter did not quite understand the importance of weekly tests like spelling and “ting xie”, and simply kept putting off studying for it. “I was just nagging and nagging at her, and she started to shut me off.”

Former school teacher and part-time maths and science tutor Angela Yong notes that observing good study habits doesn’t just lie with the kids, it may require some adjustments from the parents, too.

“No matter how old your kids are, it is always good to be involved with their schoolwork, and show an interest,” says Yong. “You are not mollycoddling them, but teaching them skills that will serve them well in their future.”

Here are some tips for parents when it comes to helping their children with their homework:

1. Start young
Be interested in the way your child approaches school and learning. Even from the preschooling age, you can ask them, “What did you learn in school today?”, or “What was your favourite part of school?” Keep it lighthearted and fun, says Yong. “They will realise that talking about homework and school is not always boring and a chore.” You may also want to allocate a short amount of time every evening to discussing your child’s schoolwork. “Say, 15 minutes for a 5-year-old is a good start. Your child won’t see it as mummy checking up on their school work, but as good one-on-one bonding time with the parent, chatting about her day,” explains Yong.

“They are more willing to start a task if they know that the milestones are achievable. Praise them when they complete the task.”

2. Remove distractions
Set rules, like, no smartphones or televisions while studying. “Having a conducive learning environment for a child can make a world of a difference,” says Feodora Tang, academic director at the The Learning Lab. “The television should be switched off, electronic devices kept out of sight, and ambient sounds kept to a minimum.”

An uninterrupted study session is also created when you remove disruptions, like having to sharpen another pencil, or going into another room to look for a stapler. So, make sure to have everything your child needs ― stationary, notebooks, a dictionary, and so on ― within the study space.

3. Get into a routine
Try setting “homework time” at a regular time very day, for instance, before dinner, from 6pm to 7pm, or right after school. Routines can help your child take responsibility on their own. If your child often ignores your nagging or puts off doing her homework, a routine will “leave less room for negotiation,” Tang explains.

She adds that parents can help their children plan daily mini-goals. “They are more willing to start a task if they know that the milestones are achievable. Praise them when they complete the task.”

Four more tips, coming up!