Let’s pick up where we left off last month with 3 Tips for Effective Studying, this time focusing on the principles needed to study effectively. Ask yourself and these questions to better help your child learn better skills.
- Has your child has tried to improve his study skills and had only little to moderate success?
- Did he focus on effective study skills and skip over or ignore the principles involved?
If you answered, “Yes” to either question, know it’s a common study problem for many students.
Try these ideas for success. Start with the foundational principles of effective studying—seeking knowledge and gaining confidence. Once the child understands the principles, he will be better able to master the skills.
Seeking knowledge is the act of acquiring information and transforming it into understanding, insight, or wisdom. How is information transferred into knowledge? It’s done by moving information from short-term memory to long-term memory by focusing on the meaning of the information in ways that will lock it into the memory. Simply actively review and work with new information many times, in many ways.
What is involved in seeking knowledge?
- It is an active process, not a passive one. Find it and work to gain it.
- It is not rote memorization or cramming. Students who memorize facts, definitions, and other details may retain that information long enough to take a test and do well short term. However, they will not be able to use the information in the long term to help form new ideas, understand more advanced concepts, make decisions, or solve complex problems.
- It requires students to process information over time and in a variety of ways. This can be accomplished by working to analyze and apply information in new situations, synthesize new ideas with old ones, make decisions, and to solve complex problems. Students develop these competencies best when gaining knowledge, instead of simply memorizing information.
Gaining confidence does not mean developing arrogance, which is a false sense of achievement or pride. Rather, true confidence is a trust or belief in self, others, and situations. To apply the principle of seeking knowledge fully, work to develop self-confidence.
Here are the action steps to gain confidence in the ability to understand specific course material.
1. Spend time learning, processing, and applying the information.
2. Test the knowledge to demonstrate that the important concepts have been mastered. This can be done by being quizzed or grading a practice exam to see exactly the areas mastered and where work is still needed.
Gaining confidence takes time and practice, but the payoff is worth it. Why? Confidence generates more confidence. When a child become confident in one area of study, he will be more confident the next time he encounters similar material.
Benefits of the Foundational Principles of Knowledge & Confidence
Seeking Knowledge By involving more parts of the brain in studying, you have a better chance of retaining information for later recall on a test. You will also be able to use your knowledge in other courses and on the job to do these things:
• answer questions
• understand higher-level concepts
• solve problems
• create new ideas
Gaining Confidence Confident students are less likely to have anxiety about a given situation (such as test anxiety) and more likely to do the following:
• Take reasonable risks.
• Try new things.
• Persist even in the face of difficulty or failure.
• Formulate new ideas.
Whatever you do, work heartily,
as for the Lord and not for men…
Next month we will explore creative ways to help children master knowledge gathering, the “many times, many ways”.
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)
And for more about these concepts from Megan, read Own Your Education: A Student’s Guide to Greater Success in School (and Life)