University of Illinois Extension

Study Habits and Homework

Many of the issues concerning success in school revolve around developing good study habits and expectations regarding homework. Parents can certainly play a major role in providing the encouragement, environment, and materials necessary for successful studying to take place.

Some general things adults can do, include:

  • Establish a routine for meals, bedtime and study/homework
  • Provide books, supplies, and a special place for studying
  • Encourage the child to "ready" himself for studying (refocus attention and relax)
  • Offer to study with the child periodically (call out spelling words or do flash cards)

An established study routine is very important, especially for younger school age children. If a child knows, for example, that he is expected to do homework immediately after supper prior to watching television, he will be better able to adjust and ready himself than if he is allowed to do homework any time he pleases.

Connected to the idea of a study routine is the concept of a homework chart. This type of visual system tends to work very well, especially with children ages 9-12. The chart might look something like this:

Day Reading Math Science Spelling
Monday        
Tuesday        
Wednesday        
Thursday        
Friday        
Saturday        
Sunday        

All children need their own place at home to do homework. The space does not need to be big or fancy, but it needs to be personal so that they feel it is their "study place."

Remember, learning styles differ from child to child, so the study place should allow for these differences. Parents can take a walk through the house with their child to find that special corner that is just right.