Why Your Good Study Habits Are Wrong
A lot of parents -- maybe yours -- have strong opinions about how kids study. Maybe they think kids should do their homework right after school. Maybe they think good study habits mean kids should study in the same quiet place every day. Maybe they think that you should sit still until all your work is done.
Well, parents aren't always right!
A lot of new research shows that the usual ways of studying may not always be the best ways. Different kids study best in different ways. Here are some twists on study tips and good study habits. You just have to figure out what works for you.
Study Tip: Move Before You Study
Maybe your mom or dad tells you to do your homework as soon as you get off the bus. Ask if you can shoot hoops or run for 15 or 20 minutes first. Explain that you're not trying to put off your work. It's just that exercising your body may help your brain.
Kids in a Chicago-area school do PE first if they're having problems with math or reading. They do much better on tests after they exercise. Moving before you do homework can help get your brain ready to study.
Study Tip: Pick Your Study Spot
Your parents may have set up a great desk in a quiet room. But you feel better doing homework on the floor in the living room or in your bedroom. The important thing is to find a place where you'll pay attention.
Your bedroom might give you privacy. That's great if you have annoying brothers or sisters. But if you start looking at the stuff in your room instead of your math problems, find another place to work. It may even help kids study better when they do homework in different places, just to break up the routine.
Study Tip: Listen to Music While You Study
When it's time to do your homework, your parents might want you to do it quietly. But you might want to listen to music. What's the best thing to do?
There's really no easy answer. Some kids study better with music because it helps them ignore other sounds around them. Other kids get so into the music that they forget about what they're supposed to be doing. Try it and see how you do.
Just be sure to pick music that won't have you singing instead of paying attention to your homework. Save that music for when you take a break. Then get up and dance for five to 10 minutes.
Study Tip: Take Breaks While You Study
Maybe your parents want you to sit and do your homework until it's done. But taking a short break might help you concentrate. When you work on something for a long time, you may start thinking about other things. You might start daydreaming about your soccer game or an upcoming party. Then your mind sure isn't on homework.
So get up, do some jumping jacks or take a 10-minute walk. Then come back to your homework. You should be ready to focus again.