Teaching Study Skills - TeachersAndFamilies

Study Skills

A guide for parents
from the National Association
of School Psychologists



Many capable children at all grade levels experience frustration and failure in school. It's not because they lack ability, but because they do not have adequate study skills. Good study habits are important for success in school. Knowing how to study effectively fosters feelings of competence, develops positive attitudes, and helps children realize they can control how well they do in school and in life. Good study habits also lay the groundwork for successful work habits as an adult.

Teachers and parents must work together to help children learn good study skills. Preferred learning styles vary from child to child. Children need to discover how they learn best, work out a study system that fits their learning style, and use that system regularly. Parents of elementary students usually help their children more than parents of adolescents. However, older students also need parental support and encouragement throughout high school.

Four Basic Principles to Enhance Study Skills

1. Make doing homework a positive experience: associate it with love and affection, freedom, fun and self-control.

2. Make homework a high priority.

3. Use homework to teach organization skills and improve learning skills. Remember that the primary purpose of homework is to improve learning and foster work habits.

4. Set expectations for homework, then provide and enforce logical, meaningful consequences if those expectations are not met.




Parenting Start

Adapted from a handout by Virginia Smith Harvey (University of Massachusetts-Boston), published in Helping Children at Home and School: Handouts from Your School Psychologist , © 1998, National Association of School Psychologists.
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