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Back to school means back to homework and back to books–but not back to teachers’ dirty looks, thanks to these tips for studying success.

1. Let your kid take charge. If your child insists that listening to music helps him concentrate on his math homework, let him give it a shot. Having control over how you learn something boosts memory-enhancing brain activity, allowing you to remember it better, finds research from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

2. Make it personal. We tend to remember best what we identify with, so help your child find a way to make the information meaningful, says Nancy Irwin, a psychotherapist from Los Angeles. Is your child studying division? Encourage her to speak with someone who uses it in his job, like a baker who deals with different recipe quantities.

3. Break up big tasks. Instead of one long study session, have your child review his materials in a few short blocks of time leading up to the test. “Students will retain the most information by studying over several shorter sessions rather than cramming,” says Casey Crnich, executive director of Chicago’s Hyde Park Day School.

4. Write it down. Before a big exam, your child should put her concerns on paper. Anxious students earned higher test scores just by hotting down their fears prior to an exam, finds a recent University of Chicago study.

5. Give it a rest! Kids should take a five-minute break for ever half hour of studying, recommends Erin Floyd, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Atlanta. “Study breaks let kids relax and refocus their thoughts, which helps enhance focus, solidify memories, and boost productivity,” she says.

Reprinted from KIWI Magazine

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