Like any job, being a student involves a great deal of work and requires many tools. Parents who are aware of the types of tools and support necessary for study are able to ensure that their child is prepared before they begin to study. To prepare your child for study, you can:
• Help your child to discover what type of study environment works best for them. While some students study best in an environment that is quiet without distractions, others may be more successful if there is a moderate amount of noise, or if family is around. It may be beneficial to help your child determine what works best for them by comparing their productivity in different environments with different degrees of background activity.
• Designate a specific area for study in the appropriate environment in which your son or daughter likes to do work. This work place does not necessarily have to consist of an entire room, like a bedroom, but may include an area within a room, such as at the kitchen table. Sometimes children are able to study well with their parents or siblings around, while other times they work best alone. If your children share a bedroom, it may be best to separate them during study time if they seem to work better independently. However, it is important to let your child decide what works best for them after evaluating their academic progress. Not all children work their best in a quiet room without distractions.
• Provide appropriate supplies, including lighting, paper, highlighters, notebooks, rulers, and index cards, for study.
• Provide reference materials, including dictionaries, thesauruses, and encyclopedias, when possible. Teach your son or daughter how to access these materials online if there is a computer in the home. If possible, help your child to get to the library when needed.
• If there is a computer in the home, ensure that your child has appropriate access to it for study purposes. Let your child know that their school related computer needs take priority over casual internet surfing by other family members. If you have more than one child who needs to use the computer, prioritize according to study needs and due dates. Designing a computer usage schedule may be helpful in families with more than one student.
• When using the computer for study purposes, ensure that your child is doing their work as opposed to checking email or instant messaging friends.
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