Are you looking for ways to make your child interested in studying?
You’re not alone. Many parents struggle with getting their children to study, especially during middle & high school years, but there are ways to make it easier for yourself and your child.
Studying can be a chore for many kids. It doesn’t have to be this way, though!
In this post, I discuss 20 practical tips parents can use to motivate their children to study. I’ll also recommend some study skills books and offer advice on how to teach your child how to study on their own so they don’t need constant supervision or assistance from you when doing homework or other assignments.
- 1. Read with your child.
- 2. Play games.
- 3. Reward your tween's good study skills.
- 4. Create time in the day that is dedicated solely to study.
- 5. Make sure your tween has all the supplies they need to study.
- 6. Limit your tween's screen time.
- 7. Encourage reading by making a book nook in their bedroom.
- 8. Choose a fun or exciting subject to teach your tween.
- 9. Allow them to explore their interests in learning.
- 10. Encourage reading by having a book club with family members or friends at home.
- 11. Create an educational environment that is visually stimulating.
- 12. Mix up your tween's study routine.
- 13. Be a good role model.
- 14. Find out your tween's strengths and weaknesses, so they can work on improving those areas.
- 15. Have a set time every day when they do homework or study.
- 16. Make sure your home environment is conducive to learning.
- 17. Get rid of bad habits.
- 18. Put their favorite books, games, toys, or other items in the area to make it more enticing and comfortable.
- 19. Teach them to take breaks during long studying periods so they don't get too tired.
- 20. Encourage them by asking questions and giving hints if they struggle with something hard.
20 Great Study Tips for Parents of Tweens & Teens
1. Read with your child.
No, they’re not too old for read-alouds!
One of the best ways to encourage a child’s love of reading is to read aloud together regularly. You can make this process easier by choosing books appropriate for your tween’s reading level.
There is no need to choose complex, highbrow material. Pick an age-appropriate story and read it together as often as you can. You’ll find that active listening will help build your tween’s vocabulary and comprehension skills—and it’s a great way to spend quality time together!
While you read, ask questions about how the story makes them feel and what they think will happen next. You can clarify how much your tween thinks when they listen (and read!).
Want to read more about why my husband and I still read aloud to our teens? Check out my article on Scary Mommy.
Popular read-aloud recommendations for middle schoolers are the Percy Jackson series, The Hobbit, or The Graveyard Book.
If you want to stay away from fiction, how about some nonfiction? Try reading a biography together like Billie Eilish, The Unofficial Biography: From E-Girl to Icon! It’s one more way to turn your tween into an informed citizen of the world while spending time with them at home.
2. Play games.
Games boost vocabulary and math skills. What kinds of games work for middle schoolers?
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Teach new vocabulary and concepts to tweens using board games or apps like Boggle, Scrabble, and Words with Friends.
Enhance math skills by playing card games like War and Solitaire (which require strategy).
Keep tweens’ attention spans engaged through TV-style video games or apps that involve problem-solving to complete various missions.
Find an extensive list of games that build vocabulary here.
3. Reward your tween’s good study skills.
Some appropriate rewards for 12-year-olds are movie tickets, a new book, or a game for their console. One-on-one time with mom or dad might work just as well.
I wouldn’t encourage using screen time as a reward. Your tween will learn to use screens as an incentive or bribe. If you do give your child some extra screen time every day, be sure to limit it.
You could also watch TV with your child so they can learn the difference between educational programming and entertainment shows.
4. Create time in the day that is dedicated solely to study.
That means no TV, video games, or other distractions are allowed. If you want to make your child interested in studying, ask them to turn off their phone because distractions make it hard to focus.
If your child is easily distracted, find a quiet room in the house where they can study and leave them there until their time is up, which should be no more than one hour at most for younger children and up to three hours for older ones.
5. Make sure your tween has all the supplies they need to study.
Ensure that everything needed for school work (paper, pens/pencils, eraser) are visible on top of or next to where they will sit while doing homework assignments.
Organizational skills will also help your middle schooler stay on task. Check out these Essential Kids Desk Organization Ideas For Busy Students (and Parents)!
6. Limit your tween’s screen time.
Screen time includes TikTok, Youtube, television, etc.
The screen time limit benefits studying because it prevents your tween from getting distracted by technology. Screen time can also lead to more study procrastination, which means your child will put off learning until later in the evening when they’re more likely to be tired.
Please keep track of how long you allow them to be on screens each day with an online timer, the timer on their phone, or a physical timer they have to reset. Once they are past their limit for the day, it’s time to turn off the TV or put away their devices.
7. Encourage reading by making a book nook in their bedroom.
Make sure they have a good reading lamp, comfy pillows or cushions, and lots of books or an e-reader device with plenty of exciting titles.
A book nook is a cozy space in your child’s bedroom where they can curl up with their favorite books. It might be the perfect spot to enjoy a snack or play with toys, but it’s most important how you get them interested in reading (and studying).
8. Choose a fun or exciting subject to teach your tween.
Keeping the subject fun or interesting is the key to making a child interested in studying. You can do this in many different ways, but one of the most effective methods is teaching them how things work.
One of the best examples of how to teach your tween how things work is through science experiments. With these experiments, children can learn about chemistry and physics while having fun simultaneously! They’ll be asking for more…
9. Allow them to explore their interests in learning.
Tweens still have the spirit of a child, but they’re starting to become more aware of how their actions can affect both themselves and those around them. This is where you, the parent, come in, as it’s your job to help guide them through these tricky years and set an example for how they should behave.
Here are some tips on how to make sure your tween is exploring their interests in learning:
- Offer opportunities for independent study time.
- Encourage exploration outside of school.
- Be supportive and understanding when mistakes happen.
- Have open discussions about how their mood affects how they feel about schoolwork.
- Teach responsibility by having chores that teach skills.
10. Encourage reading by having a book club with family members or friends at home.
How to start a family bookclub:
- Choose a book to read.
- Have everyone in the family (or the group of friends) who come over sign up for how many chapters they want to read each week.
- Have everyone take turns reading chapters, or two or more people can share reading the same chapter.
- Discuss your thoughts on the book and what you learned from it in a group or one-on-one with parents or guardians.
Some great titles to kick off your book club: The Westing Game, The Inheritance Games, Holes, and Hoot.
11. Create an educational environment that is visually stimulating.
A visually stimulating educational environment invigorates the senses. This type of environment allows for a more engaging experience.
You can create a stimulating environment by incorporating different types of art into study rooms, such as painting murals on the walls or having plants in the corners to break up long stretches of space. A room with these features will look pleasant and feel inviting and enjoyable.
Ensure your tween gets plenty of natural light during the day, and ensure their desks are not too high or low.
Have a colorful space where they can be creative and have fun studying! Successful students thrive in an environment like this because it is more engaging.
12. Mix up your tween’s study routine.
For example, how about learning on a hammock or under a tree instead of studying at a desk? Or they can read at the park. Be creative and mix up how your child studies so they don’t get bored quickly.
Try to engage in their school work as often as possible. Getting involved with the material will make it seem more attractive, making studying easier for them.
13. Be a good role model.
If you’re not interested in studying or learning new things, it’s hard for your child to be interested. Lead by example!
Parents and educators can help children become interested in learning by being enthusiastic about their own studies. Parents should show an interest in what they’re doing at school when kids ask questions, which will encourage kids to take an interest, too.
14. Find out your tween’s strengths and weaknesses, so they can work on improving those areas.
To identify your child’s study skills strengths and weaknesses, list the things they are good at studying. The things that they do well or get excited about are their strengths.
Then, list the things that frustrate them or get them stuck. For example, if your child gets frustrated when he can’t find his notes for class, keep them in a folder so it’s easier to find them.
If your child does well with writing assignments but has trouble with reading comprehension, give them more reading opportunities to develop their reading comprehension skills.
Read about learning styles in How to Completely Change the Way Your Child Studies.
15. Have a set time every day when they do homework or study.
Setting aside time helps them get into a good study routine and teaches them to manage their time better.
Setting aside time to study daily is a great way to learn more efficiently. In fact, studies have shown that those who dedicate an hour of their day to studying improve learning by up to 40% compared with those who don’t make any effort.
A study was conducted in the late 1990s that found students who studied for at least 20 minutes every day earned an average of B+’s, while students who only studied once a week earned C’s.
16. Make sure your home environment is conducive to learning.
Have a quiet space for your tween with enough light and comfortable seating without distractions like TV or loud music. An environment conducive to learning is important because your child needs to concentrate on schoolwork.
17. Get rid of bad habits.
Habits like overeating junk food, drinking too many sodas, etc., will distract them from their studies, and allowing them to have a healthy snack while studying is a great option.
Make sure your tween has enough time and mental energy for homework.
It’s simple: when children are tired, they won’t focus well, so their grades will suffer.
Ensure your kids get plenty of sleep every night, so you don’t have any yelling matches or arguments with them later on! A good rule of thumb is allowing an hour and a half per grade level after dinner.
18. Put their favorite books, games, toys, or other items in the area to make it more enticing and comfortable.
When your tweens see their favorite board games on the table, they are likelier to want to play!
You can do many things to make studying more interactive and fun. Create study guides and flashcards with your child. Install a whiteboard in their room to write or draw how to solve equations, spell words correctly, etc.
19. Teach them to take breaks during long studying periods so they don’t get too tired.
A study by the University of Illinois found that people who took regular five-minute breaks after every 45 minutes of work were more productive and had less stress than those who didn’t take any breaks. You can apply this logic to your child’s study time.
The reason is that when you’re working for a long time without taking a break, your mind will wander, leading to mistakes and burnout.
In addition, your child should exercise during their breaks because studies have shown that exercising can increase memory and concentration power. Try ten jumping jacks or 20 push-ups!
Your kid will feel more refreshed and ready to work harder after taking a rest and getting in some exercise.
20. Encourage them by asking questions and giving hints if they struggle with something hard.
If your middle schooler stresses over an assignment:
- Break it into smaller steps and give hints on what they need to do next
- Write out a detailed example of the steps involved in completing the problem for them to follow
- Check every so often if you’ve answered all their questions.
five books on study skills that can help you make a child interested in studying
This book gives you strategies and advice, including taking notes effectively, reading a text more efficiently, working with difficult textbook authors, learning from problem-based examples, remembering what you studied over long periods easily, and much more.
This workbook looks at the most important group of study skills, taking notes (with advice on reading a textbook to prepare for a lecture). You’ll be shown how to: format your notes, use headings and highlighting, write different types of text summaries and pictorial ones, including concept maps and mind maps (you’ll find out the difference and the pros and cons of each), and ask the right questions, make the right connections, review your notes, and evaluate text to work out which strategy is appropriate.
We all have the tools to learn what might not seem to come naturally to us at first. The secret is to understand how the brain works so we can unlock its power. This book explains:
• Why sometimes letting your mind wander is an important part of the learning process
• How to avoid “rut think” in order to think outside the box
• Why having a poor memory can be a good thing
• The value of metaphors in developing an understanding
• A simple, yet powerful, way to stop procrastinating
Allen Mendler offers both time-tested and newly developed strategies for reigniting enthusiasm in even the most unmotivated students. Educators gain fresh insight into social-emotional development in the daily classroom, and use technology, and digital tools to enhance learning.
Here’s something worth learning: Studying doesn’t have to be a chore! This fun and accessible resource provide the tools you need to develop better study habits, boost your grades, and position yourself for academic success.
Educational consultant Cynthia Clumeck Muchnick uses a wide range of taken from hundreds of students to help you find a unique, effective method for your individual learning style. You’ll improve transcripts for college applications, ace standardized tests, and become a better student at any level of education.
Many factors determine whether your child will be successful in school and life, but one of the best pieces of advice is to be patient with them and not push too hard. You can learn how to make your child interested in studying and learning, which will make the other parts of growing up easier!
The tips in this post are by no means exhaustive, but they should be a good start for any parent looking to help their child get more motivated when it comes to studying. Now that you have some practical advice on teaching your child how to study independently so they don’t need constant supervision or assistance from you when doing homework or other assignments, hopefully, all of these suggestions will provide the motivation needed for your children!
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