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Q:  My child had a pretty good school year, but his study habits need improvement.  How can I help him work on these skills over summer break?

A:  Congratulations on tackling the issue now instead of waiting until fall.  By working on the problem areas while they're still fresh in your child's mind, you may be better able to solve them.
To start, have a talk with your child.  Ask him what he thinks his strengths and weaknesses are.  Is he a strong reader but a poor note-taker?  Find out now. 

Boost your child's study habits by:
  • Encouraging   reading.  Does he read for pleasure?  Do you?  If not, it's time to start.  Make a trip to the library every week or two and choose something new to read.  A talk about what he's reading.  Share what you're reading.  Make books a habit.
  • Nurturing his observation skills.  Are you taking a car trip this summer?  Ask him to pick out specific signs or landmarks.  Have him keep track of miles you've traveled.  Get him to pay attention to details.
  • Having him write.  Is he a computer whiz, while you fear all things electronic?  Ask him to write you a simple "Here's what to do if…" manual that you can use when you're home alone and your monitor freezes.  It'll build his writing skills and his organizational skills. Better yet, it'll help you.
Source: Holly Smith, Reprinted with permission from The Parent Institute, a division of NIS Inc., (c)2006