Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Study Wisely with Study Hygeine

Whenever I teach a class on sleep, we talk about “sleep hygiene,” or the habits we can create to prevent sleep disturbances. One of the things we know about human behavior is that we learn from repetition. Habits, good and bad, can change our lives. The same goes for the kids we love. A few key Study Hygiene habits can help our kids really thrive now and in years to come.

Before I get into these easy to remember habits, one thing all parents should remind themselves is the incredible power of repetition. If we decide to campaign with our kids and share these habits with them regularly, we will begin to make inroads. Most of us can recollect the 10 million times we were told by our own parents to, “do your homework,” “put your laundry away,”etc. Learning is usually not a switch, but a slow process and one of the jobs of parents is to stick with it till it’s stuck with our kids.


The Replay is a simple tool in which you repeat things over and over. It is so important for kids to learn what “study hygiene” means. And the best way for them to learn is to have the people who care about them replaying it over and over for them. I recommend you go over “study hygiene” with your kid every week, until the eye rolling becomes unbearable and they can replay all the facts to you before you can get your words out. Okay, that said, here are some key study hygiene habits.


Studies have pointed out repeatedly the impact of breakfast on student performance and testing. Make sure your child understands the value of breakfast and the importance of protein. A glass of milk in the morning is associated with higher test scores with students.

After school snack coupled with homework

This is two hygiene tips in one. Most kids are hungry after school and a bit depleted. A healthy snack will give another energy boost. Do homework after school! Retention is best the quicker we revisit something. Kids can have a snack (this is a great time to add in a second glass of milk) and knock off homework while it is fresh. This is pragmatically good hygiene because energy fades as the day goes on and it’s also emotionally good study hygiene. Instead of homework “hovering” over a child’s head, they are free for the rest of the night. Never underestimate the power of finished tasks on the confidence and emotional strength of your child!


Getting enough sleep makes us all function better. When you ensure that your child gets to bed on time, you are planting seeds for them to build better habits.

Try it. Replay the 3 Study Hygiene habits for your child. Remind them week after week. Let them complain and whine and then tell them that you care and that is why you keep saying it and enforcing it. Use that minute or so of time to educate and encourage your student to make their way to a decent breakfast or an earlier night or homework after school.

And remember the power of your every contribution!


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