As the beginning of school quickly approaches, it is important that kids buckle down into study mode as seamlessly as possible. Which, of course, includes setting aside time each night for school work. After a lax summer of fun, many kids have difficulty making this transition, and particularly putting away the electronic devices, including cell phones during this study time.
A typical mistake that parents make is allowing a child to do their homework in the bedroom. There are simply too many distractions in your child’s room, including the never-ending temptation of their cell phones. Allowing your child to communicate with friends via cell phone during study time will significantly impact your child’s studies and performance in school overall. Continuously breaking every few minutes to glance at the phone, read or respond to a text is very distracting and prevents your child from ever fully entering into “study mode”.
Research has shown that multi-tasking while studying significantly reduces a child’s ability to learn and absorb new material. Constantly checking a cell phone for messages and texts has a significant impact on studying. Additionally, multi-tasking has a detrimental effect on remembering new materials, all important factors for when your student is studying for an exam. By not engaging the full attention of their brain on the subject matter, it is difficult to remember the material at a later date.
The key to assisting your child in getting back into school mode is all about routine. Set aside a certain time each night for homework. For some children setting a timer may be helpful. This special study time that you have designated each day should also be an “electronics free” time. Have your child turn the phone off and put it in a different room when studying. By having the cell phone out of sight, you are eliminating this huge distraction, and ensuring that your child is better able to concentrate on school work. Additionally, turning the phone off will ensure there are no message alerts that may still be heard from another room causing distractions.
Another approach is to have your child “turn in” their cell phone after school. Once their homework and studying is completed, they then have earned back the privilege of the phone for the remainder of the day. This is a great way to motivate a resistant studier, encouraging them to get their work done early to earn back their phone. This strategy also ensures that the homework is done earlier in the afternoon, before your child is too tired to fully absorb the study material. Restricting cell phone use is a great motivator, as your child will work to earn back their cell phone communications each day.
These approaches to removing cell phone distraction from your child’s study time will ensure this time is used to the fullest, resulting in successful school year. However, there are times when as a parent you can’t be around whether because of work or other obligations. Tracking software like TxtWatcher is a great way to ensure your rules are being followed, restricting access and messaging during certain times each day.