When we work hard at something we like to be rewarded. Students do too! Grades, praise, money, and special rewards are all incentives to do well. Part of your child’s job as a student is to spend time studying the material presented in class and learn that material for future use on exams or in other courses. Studying is a very important but sometimes frustrating part of the job – especially when children feel they do not know how to study.
Many companies, books or infomercials promise success with a magic formula. The truth is, there is not one magic study technique that will guarantee student success. Instead, students must look at the big picture and understand what skills and characteristics need to be developed to be successful learners in school and throughout life. In order to support the skills of successful studying, students need to work on foundational characteristics: learning how to become a knowledge seeker and how to gain confidence.
First, let’s look at effective studying. Next month, we will discuss what it means for a child to gain knowledge and confidence in regard to studying and give you practical study techniques to help your child learn most efficiently.
What is effective studying?
Effective studying is the process of using purposeful techniques and tactics to aid in the process of understanding and retaining information. When asked how to study for exams, how would your child respond? Would the response be, “I looked over the course material”? If so, passive reading is not enough. Effective studying includes active listening, productive reading, and continuous review.
- Active listening is listening with the purpose of capturing main ideas and key supporting information, asking clarifying questions, and taking notes to engage through writing and to use them for future study
- Productive reading, also known as active reading, is reading with the purpose of understanding main ideas and key supporting information. It includes asking questions to check for understanding and staying engaged as well as taking notes to document information in an organized way for future study.
- Continuous review is the process of repeated rereading or rewriting of essential course materials to build recall and comprehension. The process is also active not passive. Students review classes notes and book/textbook notes to find connections, similarities, and differences among the two note sets. You child may also combine class and reading notes as an active review through writing.
How can Mom and Dad help?
Ask questions. Inquire how your child studied for a particular class or exam. Before a test, ask your child to write down what he did to prepare for the exam. Once he gets his results, reflect back on the study techniques. This will start the conversation and help the child determine what techniques worked best to learn and retain the information and to study effectively.
Remember and share. How did you study best as a child? What “tricks of the trade” helped you? Think back to when you were in school. Tell your child some different ways you found effective to learn new material. Many times your child will find some of these techniques helpful.And it’s fun to hear stories from the “olden days”.
Next month, we’ll tackle what it means for a child to gain knowledge and confidence in regard to schoolwork.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…
By Megan Stone, M.Ed.
Wife to Rick,
Mom of two
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder of Stone Foundations of Learning, Inc.
Author of Own Your Education! A Student’s Guide to Greater Success in School (And Life)
The 1 Corinthians 13 Parent Series: Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love and their companion Study Guides, are formally launched this month. We are sharing the LOVE with over $400.00 worth of give-aways: books, jewelry, and one-on-one parent coaching with either Lori Wildenberg or Becky Danielson, both licensed parent and family educators. To be eligible for the gifts, comment on one or more of the 1C13P blog posts during the month of February. Winners will be randomly drawn each Friday and notified via email.