June 18, 2024

Back to School with Less Stress by Juli Shulem

Teaching your child efficient and effective study habits allows for less stress, for all family members!

Students of all ages can improve their study habits for better scholastic success. Consistency creates habit. Here are some tips to increase the chances of your student in dealing better with homework, exams, and school stress:

Set up a regular routine for doing homework. When your child arrives home they are most likely in need of a break  and perhaps a snack, so let that be the first thing they do. However, this shouldn’t go on for longer than 15-20 minutes.

Establish a place/desk-space where they can do their work easily. Some children do better in the kitchen with things going on, while others prefer complete silence. Test different spots until the best one is determined, as their room may not be where they concentrate best.

Secure the tools they will need to do their work. Determine what kind of paper, writing tools, calculators, etc. are necessary. Additionally, help them become organized by having a consistent location for their completed homework to go inside their backpack immediately when completed. Doing so will make sure their assignments are returned to class on time.

Finish homework early. Encourage your child to get their homework done before dinner (when possible) so they can relax the rest of the evening before bedtime. Many children try to bargain for “gaming time” before they complete their work only to not have enough time to finish what is due. Teach them responsibility by doing the higher priority tasks first.

Use a timer to aid in sustaining focus for those who find that difficult. Set a timer for 30 minutes to work, ending with a short break before resuming once again. If your child does best powering through their work without a break – great! If that kind of sustained focus is difficult, or your child has AD/HD, then the timed-focus sessions will really help.

Teach your child to schedule exams and projects well in advance. If a student has a paper due in two weeks, starting it the night before is a recipe for failure  and stress. Show your child how to break a large assignment into small steps and to do step daily. Write these mini-steps on the calender and hold them to their commitment.

Giving praise and encouragement plus listening to your child’s concerns about their strengths and weaknesses is necessary as a parent. However, note: not everyone is good at everything. Your child may need a tutor or more time in a subject to understand it. Listen to them, then empower them to learn effective and efficient study habits.

Juli Shulem, CPC, is an ADHD Coach specializing in students with ADHD and related challenges. She can be reached at jshulem@gmail.com or (805) 964-2389.