Tips from the Study Smart Sweepstakes
November 28, 2011 ~
The Study Smart Sweepstakes brought in a plethora of smart and creative study tips from our wonderful Kumon fans. Many parents had similar suggestions about how to make the most of study time, from eating a healthy snack to studying somewhere peaceful, and we got to see firsthand just how much you care about helping your child succeed. Here are just a few of the helpful hints you all contributed during the sweepstakes.
Timing Is Everything
Should your child study in the morning, right after school or after dinner? As evident from the tips we received, there is no right or wrong time to study, and finding the perfect study time depends on what works best for your family.
“When the kids wake up and finish getting ready, they do their Kumon homework. When they come home from school, they do their schoolwork. Weekends are mostly for playing and relaxing to give them a balanced life.” – Kristine Hon of San Francisco, CA
“I let my children relax for 30 minutes after school. Then I give them their favorite snack. We talk about how the school day was during that time. Then my children feel they can focus on Kumon work without distraction, and they also actually score better.” –Sai Lakshmi of Greensboro, NC
“My daughter has found that if she has studying or reading to do for testing, she can process and recollect more the closer she does it to waking in the morning. She now gets up one to two hours earlier to study, and her grades have shown that this works for her.” –Denise Bustillos of Visalia, CA
Homework Hot Spots
Whether studying occurs in the kitchen, at the library or in a quiet room at home, one thing was clear: One size does not fit all. Some of you found especially creative places to turn into a homework hot spot!
“My daughter’s desk and study area needed a make-over. So we decided to paint her desktop, and we used a special paint to make it an erasable whiteboard. She can do quick calculations without scratch paper. It’s a “green” desk that’s lots of fun.” –Karen Barber of Venice, CA
“We try to make homework fit in anywhere we go. For example, we wanted to go out to dinner, but my daughter had math homework. We brought it with us and she did it while we waited for our food. I believe kids need a quiet space to work, but life happens! We try to show her you can get your work done – even if there are distractions – that is real life!” –Nicole Naviglia of High Point, NC
“My daughter gets to use her Dad’s study table to do Kumon. This makes her feel important and do Kumon sincerely.” –Padmaja Chokshi of Mundelei, IL
“We find neat and interesting places to study such as in a tent, in a dark room with a flashlight or in the backyard lying on a blanket.” –Kim Diaz of Jacksonville, FL
Teamwork Makes a Difference
Many of you made study time family time and reaped the benefits of family bonding and mutual support. Others created study groups to keep your children focused and happy. One thing was clear from all of your tips: Teamwork makes a difference!
“Kumon is now an integrated activity in our family life as family members join in spending time around the dining room table, reading, working and doing Kumon. Kumon helped our family with setting daily goals and implementing a positive academic structure that was not there before.” –Nerina Human of Aurora, IL
“Our family’s secret to studying success is leading by example. We foster an environment of learning by studying together. While my daughter is working on Kumon, I will read a book or research online. In this way we are both learning, and I am available to monitor and assist her if she gets stuck on a problem and needs guidance.” –Heather D’Angelo of Johnstown, PA
“I started a homework club for my son and his friends. I give them after-school snacks, and they come and do homework. Actually, they end up helping each other. I ask who is good at this subject and that, and they volunteer to “tutor” each other. We call it the 3:15 homework club.” –Brenda Jenkins of Maple Ridge, British Columbia
Rewards Create Motivation
Lots of tips included reward and recognition strategies. Sometimes a bit of encouragement and a little treat can go a long way in taking the dread out of studying.
“We have a “Kumon Party” … My two kids have special baskets with all of their Kumon study materials … We take our baskets out and begin our study. It’s a party because the kids invite one of their special toys/stuffed animals to the party, and they wear “Kumon” party hats the kids have made for their guest. After study time we enjoy our favorite snack.” –Jennifer Pratt of Plantation, FL
“We have a magnetic sticker chart, and she earns stickers whenever she does Kumon, homework, chores, etc. When she gets a certain amount, she gets a prize!” –Erika McIntyre of Beavercreek, OH
“I created a display area in the living room to show my daughter’s latest achievements. Recently I have displayed her Kumon Math Honor Roll certificate. She is very proud of it.” –Ruksana Parveen of Livingston, NJ
Creative Keys to Studying Success
Studying success can come from many places; many of you had incredible, creative ideas to keep the energy up, the work organized and the mood happy.
“Always write down your homework assignments in an agenda book, and if you don’t have homework write ‘none.’ That way you’ll know there is no homework rather than wondering if you just forgot to write it down!” –Kristin Bogle of Simpsonville, SC
“Our best study habit is setting the mood. Some chocolate milk, smooth jazz, great lighting and my child’s favourite stuffed animal.” –Candice Laidlow of Toronto, Canada
“If you’re studying a foreign language, labeling everything in your house is a huge help when learning new vocab. Write down words on Post-its, and stick them on appliances, furniture, food … you name it! Associating the word with the item itself helps create a stronger link between the new word and the concept in your mind, helping you learn.” –Erica Lehner of Paramus, NJ
“Our study tip is quite unusual as it comes from our four-year-old and not us. Our son said that you ALWAYS have to remember to SMILE while you are doing homework. That’s it. Simple as that.” –Yana Doubrovine of Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
At the end of the day, studying habits, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. The most important thing is for your child to have your support, to take one step at a time and, as Yana Doubrovine’s son says, “to smile.”