Her stall tactics at homework time show how much she dislikes studying, but you can make the task more enjoyable for everyone. Your teen's personality and study style guides what type of changes you can make to the routine to add excitement. One teen might find motivation with music in the background, while another might find the sound distracting. Some teens enjoy the social aspect of a study buddy, but others can't focus with a friend in the room. Work with your teen to shake up the study routine so she doesn't dread the responsibility as much.
Set up a homework zone that is most compatible with your teen's personality. Studying in a common area makes her feel like a part of the family and gives her access to help from parents. Your teen may prefer the quiet and privacy of her bedroom for studying. The National Association of School Psychologists suggests discussing the options with your teen to find an inspiring homework spot.
Put out a plate of homework snacks to fuel her brain. Giving her a few different snacking options adds to the enjoyment and keeps her going.
Invite a friend or two over for a study session. The social aspect of the group makes studying more enjoyable for many teens. Set ground rules for the study buddies so they focus on the work more than the latest high school gossip.
Start off each study session with a laugh. Tell a joke or share a funny story from the day. A positive mood going into the study session keeps the atmosphere upbeat.
Make memorizing facts fun with little memory tricks. A mnemonic device uses a silly word or sentence to remember the first letters of the facts you want to remember. To remember the directions clockwise, you might remember, "Never eat soggy worms" for "North, East, South and West." Help your teen make up funny sentences for the facts she needs to memorize.
Play games to help remember information. Simple card games, such as matching a word and its definition, work well. Use index cards to make your own game.
Incorporate music into your teen's study sessions. Play quiet music in the background. Another option is to sing the information she's learning. Singing the facts makes the information more interesting and may help her better remember what she's learning. The tune doesn't matter -- as long as the rhythm helps her learn the material.
Draw or act to retain information. Drawing a picture to help understand a concept gives your teen a visual reference that makes it easier to remember. For science, you might draw a picture that shows the water cycle with a pond, clouds and rain. Acting out an event or an idea is another way to make the information memorable. You might act out the signing of the Declaration of Independence with your teen if she's studying it in history.
Stop occasionally for breaks so your teen doesn't get bored. Give her a chance to stretch her legs or text friends for a few minutes. Set a timer so the break doesn't last too long.
Items you will need
- Index cards
- Talk to your teen to figure out ways to make studying more enjoyable if your strategies aren't working.
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