Families are constantly busy juggling schedules, but it is important not to let homework and the development of good study habits take a backseat. A child’s homework and studying should remain a priority, even during the busiest of times because as your child progresses through the schooling system, the academic demands become greater and more complex.

To prevent or alleviate anxiety associated with test and exam performance, effective study skills are important to improve academic success. Counselling psychologist, Tracey Whitehead (MA Couns Psych Rhodes), has put together 9 tips on how to help improve your child’s study skills and build the right study habits.

1. Divide Study and Play Time

There should be clear divisions between homework/study time and play time. Allow your child to have an active role in the time management plan.

2. Have a designated work area.

This should be an area where your child feels calm and secure. Improve productivity by ensuring that there is sufficient natural light and they have a comfortable chair to sit on. Remove any clutter from the desk and pin some inspirational quotes or goals to the wall.

3. Remove Distractions.

There shouldn’t be any cell phones, television, or distracting noises that will shift your child’s focus away from their work.

4. Be Supportive

Assist your child if they are showing signs of frustration or anger. Never lose your patience with your child while they are getting frustrated, your help should always be calm and encouraging.

5. Instill Confidence

Help your child feel confident about taking tests. Provide words of encouragement, but also let them know that you won’t be disappointed with their results.

6. Set Realistic Study Goals

Set up a realistic amount of time to study with a definite goal for each study session.

7. Plan Breaks

Plan for short study breaks (about 3 minutes) after study sessions of 20 minutes. Ensure you keep study sessions and breaks age appropriate.

8. Teachers can provide you with a lot of input.

Talk to your child’s teacher about any concerns you may have or for ways to help your child.

9. Time management, time management, time management.

The importance of time management is unequivocal. Effectively helping your child manage their time will reduce stress, maintain a healthy work/play balance, and improve their overall productivity.