Study Habits

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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The earlier on children establish good study habits, the better their chances of academic success. Achievement in the classroom is only partly dependent upon natural ability. Like a highly skilled basketball player who's never been adequately coached, a gifted child without the proper academic guidance can fail to live up to his or her promise.

There's no need to wait until middle or high school to start teaching good study habits. Even toddlers can understand that there's a time for work and a time for play, in whatever rudimentary form that understanding takes. This will be the basis for the distinction between classroom or homework time and play time once he or she enters first grade. Comprehensive study skills training at an early age can be highly beneficial, as can taking such a course at any time in life.

Teaching Sound Study Habits

One of the first principles that parents and teachers must explain is that their kids are ultimately responsible for their own education. As such, they must be active learners, not passive recipients. Once a child is shown that he or she can "own" his or her education, the rewards of hard work and practice will become more self-evident. No longer will these children work to please mommy and daddy or teacher, but to better understand the world, its history, its culture, and its problems. Only then can students begin to work on solving those problems.

Setting priorities is a skill that functions hand in hand with owning one's education. Prioritizing means learning when and how to say no to invitations from friends and temptations such as TV, video games, and sports. Naturally, there's a time for each of these things as well, but good study habits include knowing when to sit down and do the work.

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