Ways to Improve a Child’s Study Habits

It can be a burden for parents to have their children study or do their homework almost willingly. Some students tend to get antsy and may even throw tantrums every now and then when asked to do their homework or review for the next day’s lessons. If your child is the same, we completely understand. Being in school and sitting in class can already be difficult for the child and adding in another few hours for studying may not seem as palatable as playing or watching TV.

This brings in a dilemma for most parents. However, the most important thing to understand is that studying doesn’t have to be boring or burdensome for the student. There are many ways to make studying fun and engaging that students wouldn’t mind a few hours on it. We have gathered a few ways for parents to help improve their children’s study habits.

1. Dedicate a study space for them

The first step in helping the child with their focus is to make sure the child has a place to study. This can be a dedicated area for them so they can focus properly and lessen the distractions from external factors. The space should ideally be free of noises, airy with enough sunlight, clean and tidy, and should be welcoming to the child. However, parents should also consider the coziness of the place. An area that’s too cozy can also be a distraction as it may put the child in such a comfortable position they may choose to relax instead of study.

There should also be lesser chances of distractions so the area should be free of television or the child’s gadgets. As such, the placing of their table and where they are sitting can also affect their focus. A child whose study area faces the window may also be more prone to distractions from the outside than those who are facing the wall.

2. Don’t forget to give breaks

Studying for hours can exhaust anyone. For children, it can even be more counterproductive and may even kill their performance and drain them instead of keeping them focused. Children have a shorter attention span than their older counterparts. Whereas high school students can study for more hours, children tend to get jittery and restless if they stay still for longer periods of time. With their short attention span and bodies brimming with energy, they may easily lose interest in studying.

Instead of asking them to study for many hours straight, try to divide their study time into batches with breaks in between. In between, they can spend their energy with a few games or eat some snacks. This can keep their energy up and help them focus more on the next part of their study time. Additionally, parents shouldn’t also spend the entire study time only on one subject. Again, the child can easily become bored. Keep the subjects studied to some 20 minutes and change the topic to another or as required by the syllabus.

3. Set a schedule

It may be difficult to stick to a schedule however, it’s not entirely impossible. As such, studying on schedule is also easier for the student once they get used to the routine. Parents can make a study schedule with their children and have them follow the schedule. In the beginning, like anything else, they may forget their schedule or go off track. However, when something becomes part of their routine, they will gradually get used to it and will start to stick with their schedule. As such, scheduling isn’t just beneficial for study time but also helps the child develop their time management skills and their self-discipline.

4. Give rewards

Rewards may be looked down upon by some as a form of bribery but this doesn’t always have to be the case. When the child studies with a promise of a reward at the end, they will become more motivated to do their task. This can be as simple as their favorite dish for dinner when they complete their homework or an hour to watch television when they finish solving their Math problems.

Small rewards can be simple ways to keep the child interested in studying. It creates motivation for them to complete their tasks as well as encourages them to do so. Anticipating their reward at the end of their task can keep their focus and energy levels up and make studying more fulfilling and enjoyable. However, as we’ve mentioned in our previous articles, rewards shouldn’t be promised at the whim. This should be something the child is fully aware of from the very beginning. Otherwise, if the parent promises the child a reward anytime they start acting out, it will lean more to bribery and will not produce the desired form of motivation parents want from their children.

5. Focus on their weaker areas

It’s only basic to deal with the child’s weaker subjects first than studying those they are already proficient in. Studying the more difficult subjects first helps the student focus all their attention on those topics they aren’t familiar with or haven’t mastered yet. It will also make studying the less difficult subjects easier later on. Children may also find it easier to study their weaker subjects when their minds are still fresh and they aren’t drained out with studying the other subjects. If parents have their children study the harder subjects last, the child may already be losing their focus from the amount of time they spent on studying. Parents should also try to incorporate other studying techniques that can make studying easier for students such as memorization techniques or focusing on their reading comprehension.

6. Give practice exercises and tests

Assessment is one giant part of a student’s academic life. As such, even in studying, assessments should also be incorporated. After the child has completed studying for a certain topic, parents can give them practice exercises to test how much they’ve understood and retained. As the syllabus gets wider and more complicated, the parents can also lengthen the tests accordingly.

Practice tests aren’t there to make the child’s study time difficult. Instead, it can help parents see if the child has already mastered the topic and the parts they have to revise. As such, parents can also help their children with techniques they can use when answering exams such as making sure they fully understand and knows how to apply concepts rather than just memorizing them. Memorizing alone may not give the child the edge they need when answering situational questions that may come up in their exams. Since parents will be giving mock exams to their children after each topic, they can also add in these types of questions for practice.

7. Answer their questions

Children are thinking creatures and as young as they are, they are also brimming with questions waiting to be answered. By encouraging children to ask questions, parents will be helping clear their concerns and also widen their horizons in understanding matters.

As such, parents should also show patience when answering their questions. Children are naturally inquisitive and parents should make them feel they can freely ask them questions. Don’t show irritation when explaining the answers to them. However, it’s also encouraged that children be able to discover the answers to their questions. This can help in the development of their brains and also help with their confidence when they find the answers to their questions on their own. But, in some ways, parents can also help to steer them in the right direction to get the answers to their questions.

8. Teach note-taking

Note-taking is an important part of studying that children should learn as early as possible. Notes can help in retaining information as well as help children with the important points of their lessons. It’s important to also teach them the proper note-taking techniques in order to only write important information. If you need more tips for note-taking, check out our article about it here.

9. Show support

Studying can be difficult for the child already. Parents should also show their support to them whenever they need it. Parents can help them when they are completing their homework but it should be reiterated that parents shouldn’t do their homework for them. Helping them is not the same as doing the work for them. Instead, parents can help when they see their children get frustrated over their homework. They can help in explaining the problem to the child and clearing out confusion they may have. Helping them out in situations like this can also help build trust between child and parents and also rebuild the child’s focus and interest in their studies.

10. Hire a tutor

It can be inevitable that some parents may be too busy to help with their child’s homework or in studying. However, there is a solution to that in the form of supplementary learning offered by home tutors. When a child engages in home tuition, they can get personalized education that supports and enrich what they have learned from school. Additionally, home tutors can also help in checking the student’s homework and point out which parts they may need to revise. Home tutors also don’t just help the child academically, they can also help in developing other skills such as time management, examination taking techniques, etc.


Helping a child with building good study habits is something every parent can do. We hope that the tips we’ve mentioned above have given you many ideas on how to help your child with their study time and ensure that they can reach their academic goals.



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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