How to help your kids build good study habits

By Karen Lomas

Lots of parents ask us about how to help their children with learning activities that they bring home with them. Homework, or assignments to be done outside of school hours, can be hard to prioritise among other extra-curricular activities.

An early introduction to time management and planning is a great way of giving your child the tools to be a planner in the future.

Here are a few ways you can help your child with their study routines.

Choosing the best time for study

We’re all different – some are keen to get homework or study tasks out of the way and move on to other activities. Others like to leave assignments to later — there is no right or wrong way.

I recall my own children being very different. One of them wanted to rest or do other activities before studying. The other was what her school principal referred to as a ‘Five-Past-Four-er'. She would come home, grab a snack and start her homework straight away. That was her ‘personal style’, her preferred way to operate.

Weeknights can be busy for students who also have a part-time job or after-school sports. Each of us has an optimal time in our days to concentrate, when we perform at our best. Talk to your child about when they feel they can concentrate best and let them to choose when and for how long they take breaks.

How to help your child build good organisational skills

  • Lead by example – Make lists of your own activities and demonstrate how you prioritise your tasks.
  • Ask them to help out – They can assist with things like planning meals, gardening activities, weekend camping trips, writing shopping lists, planning a shopping trip and doing food preparation.
  • Be available – Even if they say “I’ve got this’, continue to show an interest. They will appreciate you giving them your attention.

Helping your child manage their time and schedule

  • Using a paper diary or planner – If they don’t use a diary or calendar, shop for a paper diary or find out if their school has student diaries. Alternatively, you could use a table/activity planner.
  • Using a digital calendar – Older students may have access to digital calendars – encourage them to start using one early in the year so they can get used to navigating it.
  • Scheduling time in among extra-curriculars –Discuss their other after-school activities and commitments in their diaries – you can then help them to allocate a good time to their studies.
  • Catering to visual learners – Your child might like to colour-code their diary or digital planners; for example, a dedicated colour each for study, sports, chores, subjects and career activities.

Don’t forget that transitions often generate a few nerves. Remember your first day at high school, or uni, when everything seemed so big and strange? Your help is so valuable, and your child will appreciate your contribution, no matter how small it may seem to you.


Karen is a career coach specialising in early career exploration with school-aged students. This article has been edited and republished with permission from the author. You can read the original here.

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