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Why Your Good Study Habits Are Wrong

kid doing homework while listening to music

A lot of parents -- maybe yours -- have strong opinions about how kids study. Maybe they think kids should do their homework right after school or study in the same quiet place every day. Maybe they think you should sit still until all your work is done.

Well, parents aren't always right!

The usual ways to do your schoolwork may not always be the best. A lot of kids study well in different ways. Here are some tips and good habits. You just have to figure out what works for you.

1. Move Before You Work

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 minutes first. Explain that you're not trying to put off your work. It's just that moving your body may help your brain.

Kids in a school near Chicago do PE first if they're having problems with math or reading. They do much better on tests after they exercise. When you move before you do homework, you can help get your brain ready to study.

2. Listen to Music

When it's time to do your homework, your parents might want you to do it quietly. But maybe you want to put your headphones on and listen to your favorite songs. What's the better thing to do?

There's 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 those tracks for when you take a break. Then get up and dance for 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Take Breaks

Maybe your parents want you to sit and do your homework until it's done. But a short break might help you focus. When you work on something for a long time, you may start thinking about other things. You might daydream 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.

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