Designate a Study Space
Even adults know that working at a kitchen table cluttered with plates, napkins, and leftover food isn’t the best way to stimulate brain cells. As I often joke to my family, “Cluttered table, cluttered mind. Clear table, clear mind!” — at least I hope it works that way. So find a space to designate as a work area.
Guess what? It can be a fun space! Consider turning a play tent into a study house. Add a little lamp, supplies for assignments, a comfy chair. If it’s a space your kids enjoy being in, they might be more willing to study there, too.
The Toy Insider’s Charlene DeLoach reviewed an awesome item called a Moluk Bilibo by Playmonster. The Moluk Bilibo would make a great chair or item to include in a study space, especially for kids who don’t like to sit still for very long.
No one can study forever, so it helps to know when the end is near. Timers work great for this, and there are tons on the market for kids. Some look like stoplights, some are small and handheld. Learning Resources makes three of my favorites, including the Time Tracker Mini, Digital Timer, or regular sized Time Tracker. When all else fails, use the timer on your cell phone or kitchen oven!
Make it Fun
For some kids, what you’re studying with is just as important as what you’re studying. Make study time fun with colorful pencils, scented notebooks or sparkly memo sets! Some of my favorites come from Scentco, a company that makes an entire line of scented pencils (called Smencils) and notebooks. Santoki also makes LEGO stationery, pencils and writing supplies that any kid would love to use!
It helps to have supplies readily available, and a place for everything to go. Have a designated shelf for books, paper, and supplies. Desk organizers are a great idea, or charts and tablets that help keep track of when assignments are due. The Boogie Board from My Boogieboard is a fun alternative to Post-It notes, as you can see in this post or this YouTube video.
Find Quiet Time
Some kids work best in silence, others prefer background music. Either way, headphones might be a great option. Noise-reducing headphones can help kids focus and reduce distractions. If you think your child is too young for headphones, think again! Cozyphones are great for kids ages 4 and up, and double as sleep masks, too!
Use Common Review Strategies
Sometimes old-school flashcards can be fun and educational, like the sets from Trend Enterprises. They’re a great way to practice facts, colors, numbers, and more. Thinking outside the box can be helpful when trying to get kids to study. Does your child need to learn states and capitals? How about a wooden United States puzzle from Melissa and Doug, or a States and Capitals game from Winning Moves.
Most importantly, don’t give up! Developing good study habits takes time. As children grow and mature, hopefully their study habits will change for the better, too.