Getting your kids to study and do their homework can be a struggle for parents. You want them to learn the material, but it can be hard to convince them to buckle down and hit the books. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to make studying more fun and effective for your kids. Try these creative ideas to help your kids study.
Use Color and/or Get Crafty
Kids love art projects so use that to your advantage when you want to encourage them to study. There are all sorts of arts and crafts projects you can tailor to help them learn different material. Have them color in a map to study geography or draw to study parts of the body. Make a clay model for Science concepts or paper shapes to learn basic Geometry.
You can find lots of ideas online, come up with your own projects, or ask your child’s teacher for inspiration.
Don’t Just Study, Play!
Most kids and teens don’t like studying, because, well, it’s boring! Sitting over a book or a page of notes is not the most exciting activity in the world. If you can turn studying into a game, kids won’t just enjoy it more, they will also create associations that will help them retain the information.
Trivia games, like Jeopardy, are great before a test that involves memorizing a lot of facts and figures. For Math tests, use games that teach counting and basic functions, and try brainteasers for complex tests that involve word problems. Your kids will have fun playing games and won’t even realize how long they’ve been studying.
Practice at Home
OK, practicing for a test may not seem as fun as some of the other activities on our list, but it’s a tried-and-true method for success. If you get the family involved and encourage everyone to be upbeat and positive, you can turn it into a fun learning experience.
If your child has a spelling test, for example, have him practice at home in front of the family. Make sure to cheer him or her on and be super encouraging. This will help your child build confidence in their skills. You could also have your family join in: give each person a word from the test and have them spell it. This will help them practice since they will hear the word being spelled out loud.
If your child has an upcoming Math test, try to simulate a test-taking environment. If it will be a timed test, set a timer and have your child complete all the sample problems as if he were taking the real test. Then, check over the answers with him or her and try to help them see where they can improve. “A common mistake is for students to work on math problems in too relaxed a posture,” according to experts at USATestPrep. “They should be sitting at a desk, with minimal distractions, and working the problems exactly as if they were testing. This method will not only help your child learn the material, it can help them perform better on the actual test, and if you take the right approach, you can make it a fun, valuable study method.
Whether they’re singing along to a song or making up their own, most kids naturally gravitate towards music. Singing can be a valuable study tool. There are countless educational songs to teach and help kids remember things like nouns, The Solar System, conjunctions, the presidents, the 50 states and more. “Singing helps teach kids essential learning skills,” according to Amber Keefer from Our Everyday Life. “Singing also helps your child enhance his vocabulary and, depending on the songs, can teach him about science, history and culture.”
No matter what your child is learning, you can find or makeup a song to help him or her remember the important information.
Changing the environment is an effective tactic to help kids learn. They spend up to six hours in school each day and then several hours at home working on their homework. Give them a new perspective and change things up. Let them do their school work outside.
They can get their reading done outside, and if they have a test to review for, why not take their materials to a nearby park? Designate a time for review and then give them periodic breaks to run around. As long as you make sure there’s committed, focus study time, there’s no reason your outdoor study session can’t be just as effective as hitting the books at home. Plus, this gives you more time to spend together as a family and ensures that your child is getting his or her work done and getting outside.
With a little creativity, there’s no limit to the ways you can help your kids study and learn. Think about what activities they naturally enjoy and how you can combine these things with academic subjects. Homework and studying are an important part of their education, but your kids will be grateful if you can find opportunities to add some occasional fun.