"Learning Good Study Habits"

Defined the word “Habit” is “a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance.” OK, so now to define the definition, a habit is a behavior that you repeatedly do that becomes almost involuntary. They can be both good and bad.

I remember when I was a young boy growing up on Long Island, (begrudgingly) going to school and doing all the things most kids did. Getting on the bus, meeting new kids, and learning about the world I lived in. As if it was not hard enough just to go to school and develop that into a habit. In addition to attendance they actually had us sit through long classes where our teacher with all their ability tried to teach us. On top of attending and sitting through classes we had homework and tests. As if that was not enough, imagine going to school and knowing you didn’t get your homework completely done or going to a class and knowing you didn’t exactly ace the test added a boat load of additional pressure.

Needless to say, I struggled with the whole school concept, I enjoyed looking out the window, day-dreaming and “oh yes” playing with all my toys. I remember though my parents and certain teachers that saw more potential in me than I saw in myself. While some would want to medicate, label and give a negative diagnosis. Those key influences in my life began the process of teaching me good study habits. Now as a young boy I didn’t embrace the habits right away; it took hard work. I stressed out my very patient mother at times as we walked through reading and the multiplication tables. In my network of support came Mrs. Allerton a true Godsend. She was a retired school teacher that just happened to live across the street. Two times a week I went over to her house and read “The Readers Digest”, worked on homework and worked on reading comprehension skills. From my parents to Mrs. Allerton, to all the others that helped instill good learning habits, I will always be appreciative. Their investment of time and energy had a great influence and impact on the person I have become.

Now as a parent, I have found myself trying to instill and teach good study and life habits to my children. It is difficult and trying at times but I have found it to be very rewarding. A benefit, to being involved with my kids learning is that I have spent more time with them as they grow. A valuable parenting concept I have learned though is that I cannot assume that they are learning good study habits. As parents we assume our kids are doing well and understanding the work. The assumption may be because they are in class and we are not, it may be due to the fact that we ourselves don’t really understand it, lastly it could also be that we just don’t have the time to see how there doing. We don’t really get involved until the report card comes and then we react. For myself similarly to what my parents did, I am learning to ask my kids what are they struggling with and why? Then I ask myself what tools am I using to help them succeed? I hope the tools that they will eventually use independently without my instruction, the tools that will become healthy habits for life.

In John 14:26 we read “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Jesus knew that the disciples and believers throughout the ages would need guidance and instruction. In accepting God’s plan of salvation we are given the Holy Spirit to help us develop and grow. He desires to teach us daily all we would need to live life to the fullest.

In this season of life that you find yourself in, be a student of God’s Word, be a student of our culture and society. Learn good study habits that allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you. Invest what you learn into the generations that will follow you and one day lead you. Look past their flaws and imperfections and see the giftedness that has been instilled in them by God and teach them.

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