RESEARCH NOTES: effective studying tips with parents
As a parent, it can be challenging to work with your child, especially as he or she studies for finals, regents, APs etc. You’re not alone in this challenge. Most high-school [and middle school]-aged youth are at a place where they are seeking independence, yet haven’t developed all the tools to be supporting themselves.
In studying, many young learners make the mistakes of simply re-reading text — passive recall, as this is called, does not integrate the information inside the brain the way it will be tested. Rather, students should use ACTIVE RECALL. Active recall, requires that they actively recall and express the information in some way [similar to how they will be tested on the actual exam]. This might include quizzing them, or using one of the many online quizzing sites [or apps]. One of my favorite at the moment is QUIZLET.COM.
One idea regarding the quizzing is to have the teenager click the “matching,” or any of the other fun quiz features on quizlet. Quizlet will track on the dashboard what the student is getting incorrect as it quizzes him. The challenge with this for any student, is that he may lose steam without another person pushing him along; he may also find ways to get out of deep learning if it’s just a computer.
BODY/POSTURE and STUDYING
Regarding posture, students don’t often see the importance of how the body plays a role in studying. Parent often see how slumped over or strained the student is physically, yet, telling the child to change often creates a lot of pushback. Students have to be game to try new things, before they will implement it on their own. Rather than instructing them directly, change the environment around the student to support them in choosing better postural strategies. For example, make sure the student has a desk . Ensure there are dedicated shelves and filing systems where they could choose to organize their papers. Consider using lighting that directly illuminates what the student is reviewing [keeping it the center of his focus]. Also, consider changing his environment all-together. Maybe the student will be more enticed to focus if you walk and study – go get ice-cream and have him use quizlet at a cafe, etc.
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