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Helping your child succeed: Good study habits are key to academic success

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Many parents know that good grades and success in school are highly dependent on their children’s study habits.

Below are nine of the most important and essential tips parents can use to help their children develop good study habits:

  • Create a study area. Put your children in surroundings that will help them concentrate and encourage a ready-to-study attitude. Their study area should have good lighting and be comfortable. In addition, make sure they have all of the necessary supplies, study aids and reference material readily available.
  • Establish the best study conditions. Determine the best setting for your children to study. Do they study better alone, or with friends? Is it helpful for them to study with music, or do they need a quiet setting?
  • Remove distractions. Make sure their study place is not in a high-traffic area where there are frequent interruptions from people passing through. If it is, then you will need to identify another place. In addition, make sure that the TV is turned off — it is the biggest distraction.
  • Schedule study time. Create a routine time of day for studying, and have your children study at that time every day. They may want to study right after school, or they may want to schedule their study time after dinner, or later in the evening. They will also need to study for a specific length of time (an hour or two) every day. The important thing is for them to adhere to their plan on a daily basis.
  • Study as if having a test the next day. Each day, have your children go over their notes and homework as if they were having a quiz the following day. This routine will help to condition their minds and increase their memory retention.
  • Schedule breaks. Teach your children to study for 30-45 minutes at a time, and then take a 10 minute break. Most students retain more information by studying for shorter periods of time with breaks in between.
  • Study right before going to sleep. Teach your children to do rote memory tasks and review facts just before they go to sleep. Studies have shown that people remember more information when they study right before going to sleep.
  • Prioritize. Each day, have your children make a list of the things they need to study. Then have them prioritize the list, and execute their plan. In addition, you and your children will need to decide on the length of time they will need to study for each subject area. Make sure the length of time is reasonable.
  • Review notes and outline chapters. Teach your children to be prepared for class by reviewing class notes, and outlining textbook chapters. This will help them distinguish the most important facts and points, and develop a good understanding of the subject matter. Also, teach them to jot down keywords, important sentences and ideas their teachers explain in class.

Elizabeth Hamilton, ME, MA, is a teacher with 29 years of professional experience. You can write to her at with your questions or comments.