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3 Ways You Can Help Your Children Develop Good Learning Habits

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There are a million publications out there on how to raise kids successfully. The truth is, there is no one way that works. But there are a few things that you can do that will give your kids the best possible chance of achieving success—whatever “success” ends up meaning to them.

The best way to help your kids succeed, whether they are still in middle or high school, preparing to begin college, or well into their college years, is to help them develop good learning habits. 

If you set your kids up with good learning habits, you are laying foundations that will help them build a successful future for themselves, and avoid a lot of stress and disappointment along the way. 

What Are Good Learning Habits?

Good learning habits—the basics of how to study well, learn efficiently, and retain information—will help your kids get into the best university that they can. Not just because academic success is crucial in college admissions (it is), but also because those study habits will help them plan ahead and craft successful college applications too. Those same study habits will help your child succeed in college and succeed at whatever professional path they embark on afterwards.

So, if you’re tired of micromanaging their projects, checking in nightly on their homework load, and are worried about how they’ll manage in college—well, you’re probably “fishing” rather than “teaching how to fish.”

Here are the top tips for building successful learning habits, from the ground up:

1. Find or Create a Study Area for Your Child

Whether it is a space at the breakfast table, a nook at the kitchen island, a desk in a quiet study, or even a local library, having a dedicated space for work will help your child focus. When working in a specific space becomes a habit, it will help set a tone of concentration and productivity.

Keep in mind that this space will look different for everyone. Some kids (and some adults too) need a space where they can spread out. Others might work best in public, with a little ambient noise around them, and still, others will need a dedicated quiet zone with no distractions. Rather than impose what you think will work best on your child, work with them to figure out what makes a good workspace for them.

“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

2. Alternate Periods of Uninterrupted Concentration with Short Breaks

Sometimes known as the Pomodoro method, it is well-documented that we work better when we are focused, but that we also need to take a break every now and then. The typical cycle will be 25 minutes of dedicated work time, with absolutely no distractions, followed by a 5-minute break. After three or four of those cycles, take a longer (roughly 15 minutes) break.

While your instinct may be to confiscate your child’s phone for the entirety of the evening study time, this will more likely land you in a never-ending battle and result in decreased productivity for your child. It is better to encourage them to focus completely for these moderate intervals of about 25 minutes, and then allow them five minutes of phone time. This will also enable them to work longer.

Anyone will get worn out after a couple of hours of intense focus with no break, but with shorter intervals and intermittent rewards and breaks, your child can keep up a steady pace of study for the length of the evening and get a lot more done. As a bonus, they are training their brains to focus longer and forming lifelong good habits of productivity.

3. Estimate Required Work Times, and Work on the Hardest Tasks First

The third foundational pillar of good learning habits is to help your child learn to plan ahead and manage their work time effectively. This is a skill that often isn’t learned until the young professional years, so if you are able to instill this in your child early, you will be giving them a huge head start.

For starters, help them develop a habit of assessing their workload—not just what they need to do, but how long each task will take. If possible, they should be doing this not just for each evening’s homework load, but for the week ahead, or at least the next few days. When this becomes a habit, and you will find that your child is able to constantly assess their workload, plan ahead, and manage their time more effectively.

When it comes to actually tackling that workload, encourage them to work on the hardest, most time-consuming tasks first. This way, they will be working on the tasks that require more mental effort and concentration early in the evening (or day) when they are still fresh, rather than late in the evening, when they are tired. They will feel the benefit of this when they are able to coast through the last few tasks of the evening.

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee

Good Study Habits Will Help Them Choose What They Want to do!

When it comes to helping your kid choose a major in college and what they might want to do as a career, the best thing you can do is to have ensured that they have the foundations of good learning habits. 

While the connection may not be clear at first, when your child is constantly struggling to focus and complete tasks, the material often becomes a background factor—it is all about simply “getting it done.”

However, when you create learning habits that empower them to be in control of their work, you free them up to consider—or realize—what they actually ENJOY. This will lead them to a more carefully considered choice of major or career, rather than one they choose because it’s “easy” or they already have some credits in that area.

The end goal of all of this is stepping out of your child’s way. Rather than micromanaging, give them space, time and be a resource for them. You’ve provided them with the tools so let them use them. The result will hopefully be that your child follows their interests and passions to a fulfilling career and success.

What was your favorite part about this article that resonated the most with you? Share your thoughts with us below!

Andriana is a Chicago native with strong Mediterranean roots. After exploring over six fields of study as a Northwestern Wildcat, she completed her BA in Psychology and Business Administration. She is a content manager at one of the leading Admissions Consulting companies.

Life

How to Write a Personal Destiny Statement in 3 Steps

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We all have a God-given destiny to fulfill that we were each born with. I personally believe it is buried deep down within us. The number one secret to success is to let it emerge out of you and release it to the world. What is my destiny you may ask? It is the thing you would regret not doing before leaving Planet Earth. (more…)

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Life

Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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Life

Why You Never Have Enough Time and What You Need to Do About It

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Has this ever happened to you? You had an assignment, and the deadline was far away. You didn’t work on it much, but in the back of your mind, that insistent little voice was always whispering, “I gotta get this assignment done.” (more…)

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Life

6 Unusual Exercises to Effectively Increase Your Creativity Faster Than Ever

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Although a vast majority of people think that creativity is something you are born with, the truth is a bit different. While we cannot deny that you need natural talent to a certain extent, stimulating creative thinking is indeed a matter of practice. If you give this thought a bit of thinking, you can realize pretty quickly that even the most fascinating and creative minds have faced the lack of creativity at some point in their lives. (more…)

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