What’s the difference between a child who is a productive student and one who struggles to stay organized and get things done? “Good habits,” says Eileen Huntington, Co-founder of the Huntington Learning Center. “It’s simple but true: good school habits can make all the difference in a child’s academic success,” says Huntington. “If you teach your child from an early age to acquire positive habits, you will equip him or her with the tools to flourish.”
Huntington offer several suggestions for parents to help their children develop better habits.
Establish routines that work. Children benefit from structure and routine in many ways. A reliable routine helps children learn to be responsible, take ownership of their to-do lists and feel confident in approaching new and familiar tasks. Top 3 tips for children: Plan ahead to avoid procrastination, break large tasks into smaller steps, and create a homework chart or tracking system (and review each night).
Get organized. Good organization helps children use their time wisely and feel and act more independent. On the other hand, a child who has difficulty staying on top of multiple priorities—from school assignments to extracurricular activities—wastes time and likely suffers from unneeded stress. Top 3 tips for children: Develop a homework organizational system and stick to it, create and maintain a neat, stocked study area, and put things away—from pencils to backpacks—in the same place every time.
Focus on study skills. There are obvious study pitfalls that your child should avoid to be an effective student, such as cramming and procrastinating. You can help your child make the most of study time by encouraging organization, time management and tried-and-true study techniques. Top 3 tips for children: Set ground rules to improve concentration (i.e. sufficient sleep and food and no TV or electronics during study sessions), develop a nightly plan to keep study sessions on track, and develop long-term study schedules for concepts that require repeated review or multi-step projects.
Take note of when your child is at his or her best. Finally, pay attention to what works for your child—keeping in mind that all children learn differently. Is your child most productive doing homework immediately after school or after activities and dinner? When studying, does your child do better independently or with a study partner? Does your child prefer a planner notebook or a planner app? Top 3 tips for children: Try out different study approaches and organizational systems, ask teachers for suggestions for effective study strategies, and stick to habits that yield positive results.
Helping your child develop and hone good habits in all aspects of his or her academic life will benefit your child in the long run. “Talk with your child about the habits that yield positive results and those that do not,” says Huntington. “Then, establish effective habits that help your child achieve his or her best. In time, your child will be a more successful student.”
Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards. Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible. Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.