Smart study tips for teens and tweens

Throughout Kumon Australia’s 40-year history, over one million children have relied on Kumon to develop essential mathematics and reading skills through studying Kumon worksheets, along with building a daily study habit that sets our students up for success in school and later life.

The right amount of practice and a daily study habit prepares students for higher levels of learning and lays the foundation for smooth progress.

As Kumon wants to see all children achieve their best in school and develop a love for learning, we are sharing our best study tips for teens and tweens. These tips are derived from our decades of experience in helping students to excel academically.

Smart study tips for teens and tweens from Kumon Australia:

1. Turn study into a daily habit

Kumon believes that small, consistent efforts are far more effective than last minute cramming sessions for achieving academic goals. It’s easier to maintain your motivation for learning by completing a little bit of work each day, as this reduces stress levels and helps to solidify learning. 

2. Schedule a regular study time

Scheduling a set time for students to commence their home study of worksheets, provides a helpful structure for consistent, daily study. This study time can vary for a range of reasons, but it helps to be as consistent as possible. Some time the morning is the best study time as it helps your teen or tween to focus for the day ahead. Of course, the exact timing is up to you to decide.

3. If your teen or tween is struggling, parents should be present until they settle into a steady study routine

During the first year of high school especially, students are building their study skills. To support this, we recommend that parents be in the same room as their children when they are studying to ensure their school study is being replicated at home. Breaks should be kept to a minimum so that learning can continue uninterrupted. As your child develops a study routine and can maintain it independently, parents may not need to be present.

4. Gently remind your teen or tween of the reasons for studying

Your children may believe they are studying just for their parents, or for a reward. While this belief may have short-term benefits, it does not provide a healthy approach towards future learning. Ideally, a child will want to learn due to self-motivation. Self-motivated children are more likely to learn and retain information. One step towards nurturing self-motivation is to help the child understand that studying is for them; it will help make their school work easier and assists them in achieving future goals.

5. Try some strategies to build your child’s self-motivation

To encourage your child’s self-motivation, try the following strategies:

  • Avoid use of excessive rewards. These provide the child with extrinsic motivation and inhibit the development of self-motivation.
  • Praise your child based on their persistence and effort, as opposed to their talent or skill. For example, say, ‘Wow, that’s a good score. You must have worked really hard’. This will help your child develop a mindset where they understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort and persistence.
  • Rather than stating that you think they have done a good job, ask your child what they think of their work.
  • Encourage your child to see mistakes as learning opportunities.


For many children, the motivation to study is not instant, as it can take time to see and feel the benefits for themselves. One child may notice the benefits within a few weeks, while some may take longer. Supporting your child as they are developing self-motivation may include setting aside a study time and place at home, showing interest in what they are doing, and encouraging their efforts.

6. Establish a study space

The bedroom, living room, study; these are some of the spaces where students might go to complete their homework. There are different approaches. The space where your children study at home will vary, depending on age and how much parental supervision they need. We suggest that students should study in a place free from distractions and in an area that will become their regular study space.

7. Ensure good lighting in your teen or tween’s study space

This is particularly essential. We encourage parents to choose a space with enough natural or artificial lighting which allows your child to clearly see their homework. If your child studies in the evening, we recommend providing a desk lamp that can be easily positioned, or has adjustable brightness. Lighting that is too dim or too bright can quickly fatigue the eyes. 

8. Have a ready-to-use set of all study equipment

Your child should have all the material and equipment they need, such as pens, pencils, eraser, calculator, ready to go in the designated study space. Having this ready will prevent time being wasted through fiddling or searching for missing materials.

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