As a born procrastinator I tend to leave things to the last minute. Studying during varsity days used to be one of these things and as if karma is starting to make up good time, I thought I would share a few ways to get in some study time with kids and teens even when the urge to Netflix on the couch is slightly overpowering later in the afternoon.

Study smarter, not harder

Spend smaller chunks of time reviewing material or reading – don’t attempt to study for hours by memorising old notes. Set some time aside to get this done. For kids this seems to be better timed earlier during the day (after lunch even) and before sunset. (Moms still studying part time with kids at home might prefer to get up before the rest of the family wakes to catch up on studies over a hot cup of tea).

Follow a 50/10 rule

Older kids should block out time to review material for assessments or test by planning what they would like to focus on during that specified time. For every hour spent studying or reviewing, take a short break (of not more than 10 minutes). Once the ten minutes are up, try to recall what was covered in the 50 minutes prior by writing a quick summary or have them explain it to a parent, sibling or a friend.

Adjust your approach to studying to each subject

Numerous education specialists have various tips and tricks that are typically broken down into:

Essay Based Subjects

  • Take notes
  • Make mind-maps
  • Make flash cards

For science or maths

  • Practice using the textbook or past papers
  • Don’t wait for the exam or test to ask questions
  • Make notes in your textbook and use multiple colours, PostIts or stickers

Recognize your own excuses

The procrastination habit spawns from self-limiting beliefs. It is therefore important that you start recognizing these habits and changing them. Thinking “It doesn’t matter” or “I need to do _____first” two common excuses stated by procrastinators all over the world. An easy way to forever rid yourself from these types of excuses is to completely define the project. Older kids might have to prep for an algebra test in a weeks time. Younger kids might need to complete an early reader for Language Arts. By clearly defining these “projects” completely and clearly and planning how you will be breaking them into smaller, manageable pieces you are making your day more manageable and teaching kids how to project their own activities without getting overwhelmed.

Keep distractions to a minimum

Cell phones, iPads, Xbox, Playstation, you name it, it causes distractions. Well technically if my son wants to zone out or is not inspired by the task at hand a rubber band or the paper around a crayon could be a distraction. If physically moving these devices to another room is not an option consider some of the awesome new apps available to limit screen time on kids devices. Motivate your kids to put cellphones away during the hour or twos study hours and rather use them as motivation to get through that days tasks.