Children are not very easy to handle. Especially, when it boils down to inculcating habits in them, it is difficult to convince them what is good for them and what is not. They often do not want to learn good things that easily. Maybe it’s not just a mother’s problem to get them doing the good. It is a problem for the child indeed. If, at a young age, they do not learn to study harder or behave better easily. ‘How do I teach my child to study’ is a common question asked by mothers. It is not an easy task either. But are there techniques to achieve the unachievable? Are there tactics to make your child love studying? Let us find out.
Major reasons why children do not want to study
It’s monotonous –
Children are more creative than adults. They do not take monotony as good as we do. They like to be free birds instead. Going over the same thing time and again, to memorize it is something they absolutely detest.
Rules are not their cup of tea –
Children do not like rules. They do not enjoy the how and why or the necessity of doing something. They would rather like to create their own rules and boundaries, which they may or may not stick too. They like staying flexible. Studies and learning mean that something needs to be done in the same manner, which implies the existence of rules. The same takes us to square one. Children like areas where their own rules come into play. For instance, when they are playing, they can invent their own rules or modify the existing rules of the game to suit themselves. This is not the same in the case of academics. Therefore, kids like playing more than academics.
Kids are genuine –
The little ones do not play foul. They are genuine and like to do things only when they can put their hearts into it. Studying is something they neither enjoy nor understand. Hence, they find unappealing and unnecessary. They do not understand why they have to do it. Hence, making it difficult for the parent to find out ‘how do I teach my child to study’. Children do not understand what role academics play for them. We as parents, even fall short of the actual answer sometimes. Most parents make their children study to score better marks and hence, earn better. On the other hand, the main motive of education is learning, becoming a better person, gaining a healthier perspective towards life and situations, as well as learning how to tackle different situations in the best possible manner.
How do I teach my child to study?
I have often been asked questions regarding how do I teach my child to study and I just say that it is very simple. First of all, it is very important to understand how the child’s mind works and where his interests, aptitudes, and capacities lie. In fact, one of the greatest educators of all times, Rousseau too was of the opinion that education much always be child-centric instead of teacher-centric. This means that the all activities must be focused on the child’s learning instead of paying too much attention to the teacher’s convenience.
You know there are certain things that are just too typical of children such as running away from studies or being able to concentrate on the same thing for too long. Thus, the key to success on how to make a child concentrate lie in innovation. Yes, you read that right! If the question haunting you is ‘how do I teach my child to study’, read ahead now to find out 25 proven tips on how to make your child study without anyone telling them.
- Inspire: Well, the first point in how to help your child study for a test is that you must inspire them instead of nagging them. This means that you must not impose your decisions on them. On the contrary, you should make them realize the benefits of performing well in their exams. These advantages should not only be related to marking but also on qualities such as excellence and perfection. That is also the key to a healthy person which can be called refined. Inspiration is definitely bound to go a long way instead of nagging which will only irritate your child and the child may then revolt by ignoring studies even more.
- Help in reading: Reading is a very good habit. This pertains to not only academics but also otherwise. This quality and interest must be inculcated within the child from a very young age. Though Maria Montessori was of the opinion that reading fairy tales will limit the creativity and imagination of the child, I think that they are great means of entertainment. They interest the child as well as serve the purpose of useful and productive breaks from academics. Reading on a variety of topics will make the child curious and he is bound to want to explore more and consequently, learn more.
- Compete with oneself: As a parent, your role must be to motivate the child to compete with himself. This is important, instead of competing with others. When a child is told to perform better than others, he is under constant pressure. In fact, this may also lead to negative and unhealthy competition. Ill feelings such as jealousy and enmity may also crop up due to this competition. On the contrary, if a child is told to compete with himself, then it is more likely and probable that he will put in increased levels of hard work and dedication, in order to excel. Thus, it is your duty and responsibility that you teach the child to compete with himself. This will lead to his individual growth and excellence. Also, this is important if you do not wish the child to feel inferior or suffer from any complexes.
- Co-curricular activities: I’m sure that you must be aware of co-curricular activities that take place in your child’s school. Well, they are held for a reason and must be undertaken to fulfill several needs. There are school clubs such as drama, mathematics club as well as the music club. You must have heard that only work and no play will make Johnny a dull boy. Thus, these co-curricular activities are a must. It is highly imperative to note that these were previously known as extracurricular activities, but they are just as vital as academics and that is precisely why they are not referred to as co-curricular activities. This is one of the most known and recommended tips on how to educate your child at birth.
- Enough sleep: You must have often come across memes on Instagram and Facebook where the child says that he or she is very sleepy and the parents refuse to believe it. Well, I strongly advise you to not be that parent. You must be someone who the child trusts and can interact with openly. It is your duty to listen to your kid. Similarly, it is your duty to help the child to go to bed on time. It is said that each child must have at least 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Do not think of substituting it with afternoon naps because of these are two very different things. Going to bed will lead the child to wake up early and with a fresh mind. This is what will help your child to concentrate better and learn faster.
- Soft skills: You must have heard of skills such as reading, writing and doing arithmetic. These are the core skills that are developed through education. But, do know what is meant when someone refers to soft skills? Soft skills refer to life essentials such as the way one talks to others, use cutlery and other table manners and other qualities such as empathy and sympathy to name a few. These as just as essential as the core skills. All of these together influence how to teach a child to study independently. The child must learn to not be dependent on anyone else. This will only slow down his learning process which will be detrimental to him in the long run, to say the least.
- Family time: Family time is very important. Period. There can be no arguments or debate regarding that. Each member of the family has certain roles to fulfill and duties to do. This is what is meant by setting an example for the child and making him realize that he too, just like the others, must do what his work is. A child’s profession is often said to be that of a student. Thus, he can be taught that just like his mom and dad balance work at the office as well as at home, he too must study well and excel. This motivates the child to do better and gives him a sense of importance and being grown-up. Trust me, children love to step into the shoes of elders.
- Basics: This means that in order to help your child prepare for examinations, you must ensure that his basics are on point. To cite an example, I’ll tell you my personal experience. What had happened to me was that I was terrible at math. This was not because I was a weak child or dull in academics. After all, I scored straight As in all of my other subjects. But just one F on my report card against math ruined the entire show. This was actually because my basics were not clear. Since I did not have clear concepts and understanding of the base, that is the foundation, my further studies and working out of sums were affected just the same. Thus, if you do not wish the same thing to happen to your child, you must ensure that their basics are well understood.
- Communication: This is very important if you wish to closely understand and address the issues of your child. Letting the child be alone for a while and giving him his personal space are always recommended as great gestures. But this shouldn’t be done at the cost of his or her studies. Thus, I always tell each and every parent to not just talk but actually communicate with the child. There is a thin line of difference but that actually brings about major changes.
- Focus on weak subjects: It is often seen in children that from a very young age, they develop a choice of a favorite subject and a subject that they do not like. What starts out as initial disliking for a subject, later goes on to result in a hatred for that subject. Naturally, they then totally ignore this subject and often end up securing terrible marks in the same. Now, as a part, your role is to reach to the root of the problem. There is no point in repeating that they have done badly. You must understand that why have they done badly. It is possible that the teacher’s method of teaching and not suiting the child or simply, the child is unable to understand the subject. In order to cope with this shortcoming, children often end up saying that they do not like a subject and hence will not study it altogether. That’s where your role comes in. You communicate in order to reach the root cause of the problem and then work to remove it totally. That is when you will be able to proudly speak of your success as well as your child’s.
- The study reports: You must never ignore the report card of the child. At least I never do. I always read all the comments by the teachers and study the fall or increase in marks between two terms. It is true that marks are not everything and it is the learning of the child that matters. However, you shouldn’t forget that the marks of your child are what will get him enrolled in institutes of further education. Thus, though marks are not everything, they certainly have a very important role to play. If that wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t have an examination in the first place. The report card is like a means of communication between the teachers and the parents. They are vital instruments to know about your child’s progress and where exactly he stands in class. It can be helpful to you to identify the strong points as well as the points of weakness of your child. You can then work accordingly.
- Entertainment: As stated earlier, your child must have a balanced personality. By this, I mean that you must not burden the child with only academics. If you do so, there is a strong possibility that he will totally lose out on the urge to sit down with his books. Thus, you must provide scope for plenty of entertainment. You may take him out for drives or long walks to observe nature. In fact, watching some show on the television or a movie is also recommended. Do not restrict the child.
- Help with homework: You must always help the child with the homework. But, remember that the keyword here is to help. Do not do it entirely on your own. You love your child, I get it. I love my kid, too. But, that doesn’t mean that you do all his work while he sits and stares blankly at you. It’s true and obvious that if he does his work, there will be plenty of errors and it will also take longer. But let that happen. If he does not struggle today, he will never be able to learn. You must only sit close and play the role of an attentive guide. Let the child do it on his own. After all, trial and error are known as one of the best learning methods in the world.
- Question and answer: You must always engage in question and answer. This does not necessarily mean that you need to open the textbook and form questions line to line. However, please note that in order to do this, you yourself need to be absolutely up to date with the syllabus and subject matter. Only then will you be able to ask questions on the go or just at randomly to test your child’s memory.
- Practice writing: You must ensure that your child learns all answers only after writing them. While writing, the child needs to repeat the same sentence at least twice or thrice which leads to better retention. Also, the visual presentation plays a major role in increased memorization capacity of the child.
- Learn from the environment: The child must be encouraged to learn even from his surroundings instead of books. For example, a child can learn about the color of fruits and leaves by visiting orchards instead of merely reading about them in print.
- Practical knowledge: This means that practical exercises are more important for the theoretical knowledge. This is so because of two main reasons. First, it helps in better understanding as there is a huge difference between theory and practice. Secondly, the child finds it more engaging and interesting.
- Sports: Each child must be encouraged to follow and play at least one sport. There are several advantages such as physical fitness, means of de-stressing and increased concentration power.
- Music: Music is very soothing to the senses and encourages scope for better concentration.
- Interaction with teachers: Teachers must also be warm towards the child. In fact, this also includes how the teacher answers questions that are raised by the child. It is first the teacher’s duty to clear all doubts of the child.
- Class participation must be encouraged in the child so that he learns better.
- Rewards and incentives are very important. This may be gifts or prizes or even compliments to raise the self-confidence of the child.
- Achievable targets: The goals set for the child must be achieved so that he feels a sense of pride when he is successful.
- Understand the subject: The child must be encouraged to focus more on understanding the subject instead of rote memorization. That is not useful at all in the long run and only results in making the child a fool who produces mugged up data.
- Pocket money management: Lastly, giving a little pocket money to your child can be a great means to ensure that he understands to study well. This is so because if he understands the value of money, he’ll know exactly how difficult it is to earn it. That is when he will try to excel and be successful in order to make it big in life.
Well, now you too know how do I teach my child to study and can surely adopt the aforesaid means and tricks to see better results in your child as well. Why not check out and try a few tricks to see if they work just as well for your kids too?