How to Help Elementary Students Study
Give yourself some credit.
Whether or not your child is learning remotely, you deserve credit for being involved in their education. Even when it is frustrating, you are doing the right thing and establishing yourself as a resource for years to come. For elementary-aged children, the world is still big, and new, and distracting. Keeping their focus on math, reading, and social studies is a difficult task for teachers as well as parents. We get where you are coming from and want you to know you are doing a great job. We commend you and encourage you to keep going.
Help them get organized.
Elementary-aged children are not known for being the most organized age group. You probably find yourself repeating the phrase, “Clean your room,” daily, often to no avail. If your child is not one of the rare ones to whom organization comes naturally, you will need to step in and help. Your young student may be the type that works well on a messy desk; however, you may need to enforce cleaning up frequently, so assignments and books do not go missing. Book bags, notebooks, and computer desktops may also become impossibly disorganized.
Part of helping them get organized may include creating a space specifically for schoolwork. This is not to be an area near distractions like televisions, video games, and other screens (with the exception of a computer dedicated to schoolwork). Remember, your child may not take much initiative to organize their own things, so you may have to model it for them for some time.
Use a study calendar.
It is not going to be enough just to remind them to study. You are going to need to be involved in prioritizing what to study and when. To do this, you might implement a study calendar.
- Make it large and put it in their study space
- Consider color-coding by subject or type of assignment
- Include goals for studying and mastering subjects beyond just assignments
- Celebrate when assignments are completed, and study goals are achieved
- Make the study calendar a part of your daily routine
Pay attention to the way your child learns.
Your child may excel in different learning environments than you did when you were their age. Pay attention to the subjects they enjoy and the methods that seem most successful. This may help you achieve breakthroughs in the areas in which they struggle.
Get help from their teachers.
Your child's teachers spend considerable time with them each day. If your child is struggling to study or grasp subjects, your teacher will likely already know about it and have ideas on how to help them have a breakthrough. Most teachers are going to be delighted to see you take the initiative to be involved in your child's education. They will be happy to provide tips for how to improve your child’s study habits.
Evaluate and reevaluate.
Your elementary-aged student is a growing, learning work in progress. There is no one-size-fits-all for study methods and habits. You are going to have to evaluate and reevaluate often to determine what works and what does not. Do not commit yourself to methods and ideas that are not working. If your child does not study well in isolation, move them to a common area. If your child is not getting your color-coded system, consider dropping it in favor of post-it notes, lists, or something else entirely.
Keep the door of communication open between you and your child’s teachers for updates on how to improve studying.
At St. Paul Lutheran School in Northville Michigan, our small class sizes help us pay closer attention to each child individually. As a private Christian school, parents and students are part of our family. Our goal is to help elementary school students grow into the people God created them to be. If you would like to know more information about our school, please contact us.