How To Help a Child Understand the Importance of Studying

Routines, Scheduling, and Parental Example

Studying is one of the necessities of life in order to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. This is just as true for adults in their careers as it is for children in school. The adult does have the advantage, because they have already identified the importance of studying. However, children are the ones that view other activities as the necessities for a fun life in the right here and right now.

I know it is hard for children of all ages to think ahead and realize that the video game isn't going to help them pass the school tests and learn the tons of information they need to acquire in order to have a full and productive life. Children think in the present because they are young, and the here and now is what they are working on.

Step 1

Parent example. Parents' lives influence all areas of their children's lives. If good work ethics are observed in the parent/parents, it sets a tone for the children's outlook on things besides play.

They see parents on a workweek schedule of getting there on time, maybe completing work at home, doing the chores that come with running a home and family. A life plan, of sorts, is being set as an example for the children (hopefully, a balanced one of not all work and not all play, but a healthy balance of both.) Children don't miss much, so if parents seem overwhelmed with the life of work and home, the children may also.

Step 2

Routines and flexibility enables balance. After setting the work ethic and home ethics, parents need to set routines for children. Even before school age, routines are needed to let the children know what to expect and when. Of course, deviation is not an unforgivable sin, but a necessity at times. Not a bad thing, actually, as it teaches the children to be flexible in scheduling and routines and how to return to the original tasks. Flexibility is an excellent trait for all people to have. It allows for breaks in mundane routines that are sometimes just necessary to keep us going.

Step 3

Now the studying. When children are accustomed to a home with routines and flexibility, they know that work is part of the plan. A child's work is actually studying, whether it's homework, reading assigned by parents, or watching a You Tube video of the subject studied in school that day, it is building the knowledge foundation which equals studying. Parents can disguise studying in ways that make it fun, but still achieving the goal of their children's learning. It's not cheating, it's just the same as how fast can you get the garbage to the curb for pick-up...can you break your record and be careful at the same time?

Adults need those gimmicks, too. Five minutes when you come home from work with a glass of wine or cup of tea is a reward for a day well done. Everyone needs encouragement from themselves or others, and children need it from their role models. So making studying fun through a little tweaking or camouflage hurts no one.

Step 4

Not all fun and games. No, it can't all be fun. The morning routine is no fun, but it must be enforced. An afterschool routine will not be all fun and games for parents or children. It must also be enforced, but not to the point where the rigidity makes everyone in the home miserable. All schedules and routines will, at some point, not work because of outside factors-- that is where the flexibility in life that the children have learned comes into play.

A routine can be changed, but the standards and expectations are still there that the work will be done. No child can come home from school, sit in front of the TV for hours, and a few minutes before bedtime be expected to learn anything effectively. Make sure the routine is clear on when you expect what from children. Always know children will be on schedules and routines as adults, and setting these habits and ethics into play as children, will produce productive adults.

Step 5

Active role in learning. Parents must take an active role in their children's education, and that means homework study time also. After a long day at work, it may not always be what we want to do, but in the above steps, the parents have already set an example as to the importance of work and routines. The children, by now, will hopefully view studying as a goal for learning, not a punishment for going to school. I know that sometimes the homework load can be overwhelming unfortunately, but reinforce those days with a story about having extra work on the job, etc. The younger the child, the more time required with one on one attention, but the amount of studying will be lighter. If not much has to be done, add a fun time of working on a skill that may be causing difficulty on a regular basis.


Yes, I am aware that all children do not want to study and will fight to the end to get out of it. I can only offer the advice about the example that parents set from very early on in their children's lives about work ethics and always having a routine in place...no matter the ages of the children. When children know what to expect, they just function better. There is no wondering when is bath, snack, or bedtime; it just is when it is scheduled.

Working studying into the routine has to start a long time before school years. Set aside quiet time for reading, looking at pictures, coloring, stacking blocks, or whatever age-appropriate activity. Have it as a part of the daily routine from the beginning. Let the children know that this is an important part of their day. It's a quality time that will be built upon as children get older and the requirements of the school years come into play.

Parents have the ability to encourage learning or discourage learning. The desire for studying can be instilled at a very early age or destroyed. Most of the teaching that parents do comes from the observations of their children. They closely watch what is important to Mommy and Daddy. If a structured, productive life is observed, then they learn from that. Their little lives will be structured also, not by desire at a young age, but because the parents will make sure it is...by example and yes, by force, too. I know it is not a perfect world where children are running home to study. But with time, patience, determination, and good role modeling, children can be taught that studying is important in all areas of their lives.

The best gift parents can give their children is the desire to learn. There is no magic potion; it begins early in child's life and grows as a part of the child. The knowledge that learning is a part of life that is as necessary as eating good food, I believe, is learned from parents.

 

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