Learn good study tips to help children with attention and memory problems and homework struggles learn better in school and complete schoolwork in a timely manner. Applying some simple techniques can make all the difference in the world for getting your child to study and do homework without any arguments.
The following tips in my experience have proven to be very helpful in getting children to study and acquire new information, especially for those diagnosed with ADHD signs and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. It may take a week or two of using good study tips and having these rules in place, but as long as you stand firm and remain consistent you will see results.
Good Study Tip #1: Tips on how to give choices. When you ask your child to do homework, make sure you phrase the request so that it involves a choice, but assumes that he or she will already be completing the homework. For example, “After you do your homework, would you like to play a game or watch a movie?” or "When you do your homework, would you like some juice or a snack?"
Good Study Tip #2: Tips for making a study location. Choose a location that is free from distractions, quiet and well lit. It is not good to have them study in an area that others are spending free time. It can also make it challenging to focus on the subject matter when there are distracting noises.
By providing the ideal environment to concentrate and learn, he or she will be able to study in a shorter amount of time more efficiently. This will help to decrease frustrations he or she may have about homework or studying often leading to future refusals.
Good Study Tip #3: Tips for increasing on task behavior. As part of your child’s daily schedule have an hour or longer, if needed, set aside of time spent doing homework or studying. It is good to schedule this time shortly after your child has come home from school. I recommend not allowing any television, video game play, or computer time (unless needed to do homework) prior to studying.
You will probably want to allow some free time to do a different activity and have a snack after coming home. However, television, video games, and computer play can exhaust the brain causing difficulties being able to focus and study, making it less likely they will want to complete assignments.
This is especially important for children with signs of ADHD or a sensory processing disorder. It will also serve as a motivating factor for them to complete assignments in order to be allowed to engage in these desirable activities.
For individuals that have problems sitting still to study or finish homework, it may be good to set a timer for 10-15 minutes initially in which it is encouraged to be on task engaged in doing homework or studying. After the timer goes off, allow a 10 minute free time break to do an activity other than TV, video games or computer times.
Continue alternating 10-15 minutes on task with 10-15 minutes off task until all assignments are completed. Give lots of praise and physical affection (ex. Pat on back) for on task behavior.
Good Study Tip #4: Tips for completing homework assignments. Use a homework chart. Each day create a list of each assignment that needs to be completed with the due date listed. Every time an assignment is completed allow your child to put a check mark, star or sticker (your child’s choice) next to the assignment indicating it has been completed. You can print one for free by clicking the above link (it will open a new window so make sure you temporarily disable any pop up blockers).
After completing a certain number of assignments, you may allow your child to earn a reinforcer, such as a special activity or item while always using lots of praise for each assignment (ex. "Good job doing your work!").
For example, after setting up the above outlined strategies and as soon he or she completes 2-3 assignments without constant requests and struggle on your part, tell your child how proud you are of him or her for doing homework without any argument.
State that he or she should really be proud of him or herself for showing responsible behavior and to show your appreciation you would like to take them to a favorite place, give a special desired item, or make your child’s favorite dinner.
The next time do the same thing, except after 6-7 assignments are completed without struggle, then after completing 4-5 assignments and so on. By varying the number of assignments needed to earn a reinforcer, your child’s behavior is more likely to maintain over time.
Good Study Tip #5: Tips about eating and sleeping. Finally, I would like to note that it is good to make sure your child is getting good enough sleep and eating properly are important for your child to be able to focus on homework and study. Lack of sleep leading to fatigue and diets full of sugar or caffeine leading to energy crashes, make it very difficult to concentrate and study.
These and other important factors related to study tips for homework and other behavior are discussed in my free eBook - Child Behavior Guide: What you need to know It will likely take time using these techniques and study tips before you really see results, but using all tips in combination with each other on a consistent basis, makes a huge difference. It will also increase your child’s self-esteem and sense of accomplishment, a win-win for everyone!